Braves football in search of consistent play against McPherson

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa University football team is reeling after two poor performances against ranked teams.

Ottawa struggled in all three facets —special teams, offense and defense —in the losses. Ottawa was outscored 79-27 the past two games.

Ottawa University freshman quarterback Caleb Kessinger scrambles for yards in last week's loss to Avila.

The Braves face their only non-ranked team in September 6 p.m. Saturday in McPherson.

Ottawa’s offense was completely shut down in the loss to Avila. Ottawa managed 156 yards of offense, the lowest in many years. The defense surrendered 523 yards.

McPherson (1-1) is coming off a big 42-9 win over a struggling Tabor team after falling 24-0 to Bethel, the defending KCAC champions, in the season opener.

Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said the Braves can fix many of their problems such as penalties, poor blocking and tackling and consistent special teams play.

“We have to work on those finer points and find those guys that can get it done,” he said. “We have to get our stuff down. We have to develop that consistency. It all comes with the comfortability of knowing the guys upfront are going to do their job.

“You have to dig deeper into the well. That is going to be a theme for us. Create good habits and dig a little deeper and find that water or spring. Get some consistency going for us. Our kids, for the most part, they fought really hard. We have to figure out what mistakes we are making and get those fixed.”

Ottawa, which returns a bevy of experienced players, has had recent success against the Bulldogs, including last year’s 31-13 win. Ottawa has won 35 of the past 45 games against McPherson.

Ottawa looks to get the running game uncorked this week. Derrick Curtis, one of the top rusher’s in the nation last year, has just 215 yards this season.

“We have one of the best backs in the league we can’t get uncorked because the middle of our line is not getting the job done,” Kessinger said.