Inconsistency hurts Cyclones in setback

Greg Mast

The Ottawa High School football team’s consistency has been lacking all season.

It raised its ugly head again Friday against Bonner Springs at Steve Grogan Stadium. Ottawa outplayed the Braves for three quarters but could not overcome mistakes and defensive breakdowns in the second quarter.

Bonner Springs scored 24 points in the second quarter and rode a 31-7 halftime lead to clip Ottawa, 37-21.

“We were not good enough to win,” Ottawa coach Rob Hedrick said. “You have to play solid for four quarters. We made too many mistakes to win. You can’t hide from them. They are hard to bounce back from.

“We have to play consistently for four quarters and we will have a chance to beat anybody.”

Ottawa and Bonner Springs were tied 7-7 after the first quarter. The Cyclones won the second half, 14-6.

Ottawa finished with three turnovers, gave up big plays for scores and a blocked punt late in the first half for a touchdown.

“We gave up big plays on third-and-20 and fourth-and-20,” Hedrick said. “The turnovers and big plays on down-and-distance plays that should have never happened ... those were the plays.”

Ottawa played a spirited second half, despite being down 31-7 at halftime.

“We decided we had to play better football,” Hedrick said. “They are coachable. We had flashes of really good football. They kept battling.”

Junior quarterback Noah McCullough scored three rushing touchdowns for the Cyclones.

“Noah had some big runs,” Hedrick said. “The O-line did a good job. Wyatt Sink did a nice job at middle linebacker. He was flying around. The defense played their hearts out. They put the ball on the (ground) a couple of times and we did not recover. That would have been big.”

Hedrick said the players are disappointed by the loss.

“They hate losing,” he said. “They care. That is what you want. They deserve to win. That is a testament to their character and who they are as people. I love working with the kids. We need something good to happen.”

Ottawa (1-4) plays Friday at home against Eudora.

“We have Eudora coming to town running the flex bone,” Hedrick said. “We have to stop the fullback and option then we will have a chance to win. They are a physical team. We need to take care of us, everything else will take care of itself.

“They are a good football team and we can be too.”