Colton Davis sparks OU offense in win over Tabor

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

When Colton Davis plays quarterback, it adds a different dimension to the Ottawa University offense.

The sophomore made some electric plays — coupled with backs Derrick Curtis and James Reeder getting loose — gave the Braves their best offensive game this season.

Ottawa ran for 249 yards and averaged 6.8 yards per rush in the 45-22 win Saturday at AdventHealth Field. Ottawa came into the game averaging less than 250 yards of offense per game.

Ottawa University sophomore quarterback Colton Davis runs the zone option offense which lit a spark for the Braves against Tabor. Ottawa rushed for a season-high 249 yards.

Davis was moved to quarterback from receiver after the second series of the game and took over. His presence opened up the offense.

“It was nice to see what we hoped to see with Colton Davis in at quarterback,” Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said. “He is pretty dynamic. He can throw the ball too. It was nice to see him play pitch and catch and also nice to see him get them with his legs if you are not paying attention. He has played quarterback for us on and off for three years now.”

Davis played quarterback for most of the fall season a year ago when Ottawa posted a 4-2 mark, but went back to receiver during the spring and early fall games for the 2021 season.

“When you are able to add the run game to the quarterback, that will start stretching out defenses,” Ottawa offensive coordinator Julian Mendez said. “[Davis] is a tough-nosed kid that will do anything for you.”

Davis led the running attack with 113 yards, which included a 71-yard scamper for a touchdown. Derrick Curtis finished with 100 yards and James Reeder had 45.

“People like to load up on Derrick [Curtis] and James [Reeder],” Kessinger said. “When you got somebody else back there who can take it the other way, it really becomes positive for your offense.”

Mendez said it was time to get the ground game untracked.

“That is something we wanted to get going and see some spark,” he said. ‘Credit to the guys upfront and our backs. It was a well-based run game.”

The Ottawa running attack — which has been grounded this season — came alive early. On the second offensive play, Curtis found a seam and sprinted 62 yards for a touchdown.

“That is the tempo we wanted to hit,” Mendez said.

Kessinger said the touchdown run gave Ottawa a lift early.

“When you make the big play right off the get-go, it gets the juices flowing,” he said. “We really got James and Derrick going pretty good.”

You couple the offense with top-nosed defensive play and an opportunistic special teams, it makes for a well-rounded game for the Braves.

“We were able to get some pressure on the quarterback,” Kessinger said. “We did a good job upfront. We did some nice things in our pressure package to stop the run.

“We had some good coverage back behind. It made the quarterback indecisive in what he wanted to do. That indecision causes problems.”