McPHERSON — Victories have eluded the Ottawa University football team. Four of the five losses have been by eight or fewer points, including Saturday’s 19-17 loss to McPherson College in McPherson.
The Bulldogs drove 53 yards on three plays midway through the fourth quarter to regain the lead in the topsy-turvy game. Ottawa turned the ball over on downs in its next possession and McPherson salted the game away, running out the final nearly four minutes.
The two squads answered each other on the scoreboard throughout the contest. McPherson jumped into the lead by scoring a touchdown on its first possession, but missed the extra point.
Ottawa answered with an eight-play 57-yard drive as Connor Kaegi tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Greg McMahon to give Ottawa a 7-6 lead. Kaegi finished with 201 yards passing on 18-of-36.
The second quarter saw both defenses dominate as no points were scored.
The third quarter saw both teams’ offenses find success. McPherson scored on its first possession of the second half to take a 13-7 lead. Ottawa roared back with a nine-play, 64-yard touchdown march. Dalyn Johnson, who had 77 yards rushing, scored from the 1. Ottawa led 14-13.
Ottawa opened the fourth quarter with a nice drive that stalled at the 3. Freshman Corbin Boles, who connected on both extra points, nailed a 20-yard field goal, the first of his collegiate career, to extend Ottawa’s lead to 17-13.
After exchanging punts, McPherson found the end zone for the winning touchdown.
Ottawa finished with 311 yards to McPherson’s 412. Kobie Womack and Colby Johnson paced the Braves’ defensive effort with 11 tackles each.
Ottawa (1-5, 1-5) will attempt to snap its five-game slide Saturday at home against Bethel. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at AdventHealth Field. It will be the first of three straight home games for Ottawa.