HILLSBORO — So far, the Ottawa University football team has a consistent pattern of falling behind in the first half.
The Braves have yet to lead at halftime in any of their four games and attempted to rally in the second half of each game. That scenario has only provided one victory, a 35-34 win over Southwestern in the season opener.
Tabor held off a late Braves rally Saturday in Hillsboro. The Bluejays won 35-28 to send the Braves down to their third straight defeat.
The game started well, but the second quarter bit the Braves again. Tabor scored 22 points in the second quarter to forge a 28-14 halftime lead. Ottawa has been outscored 70-14 in the second quarter through the first four games.
Ottawa jumped on top 7-0 with an eight-play 63-yard touchdown drive on its opening offensive series. Quarterback Connor Kaegi culminated the drive with a rushing touchdown.
Tabor answered with three straight touchdowns to give the Bluejays a 21-7 lead. Ottawa answered back with a 75-yard drive. Karim Powell caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kaegi to bring Ottawa within 21-14.
Tabor added another touchdown before halftime.
Ottawa started quickly in the second half, scoring two touchdowns to tie the game at 28-28. Ottawa opened the third quarter with a 58-yard drive with Santino Gee ran the ball in from the 1.
The Braves tied the game on their next possession. Powell snared an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Tabor retook the lead with a score at the 10:34 mark of the fourth quarter, which turned out to be the winning score.
The Braves had 395 yards of offense, 194 yards rushing, 201 yards passing. The Bluejays had 167 yards on the ground and 292 through the air for 459 yards of offense. Kaegi finished 30-for-45 passing for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Matthew Blankenship paced the defense with 11 tackles.
Ottawa (1-3, 1-3) returns home for a homecoming battle at 1 p.m. Saturday against Avila University. It will be the KCAC ESPN3 Game of the Week.