OU football team rolls into bye week with a two-game winning streak

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa University football team heads into its bye week full of steam and confidence.

The Braves enter their two-week break with a two-game winning streak. On Saturday, Ottawa rolled to a 37-14 win over Saint Mary.

Ottawa University sophomore quarterback Colton Davis stiff arms a Saint Mary tackler en route to a big gain. Davis paced the offense with 200-plus all-purpose yards and three touchdowns.

Ottawa dominated in every facet. The running game went for more than 200 yards, the defense befuddled the Spires and special teams was special at times.

The coaches and players will use the bye week to refresh and attempt to build depth heading into the final four games of the season.

“We have eight practices and a JV game before we play Friends,” Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said. “It is a good opportunity to build a little more depth.”

Offensive coordinator Julian Mendez will take time to self-scout and break down what works, but also wants to take advantage of the extra practice time.

“It is a good opportunity for our young guys to get reps,” he said.

The extra week of practice will benefit Colton Davis to work on getting more comfortable at quarterback.

The sophomore’s athletic ability opened up the offense in the past two wins. He rushed for 94 yards, passed for 111 yards and accounted for three touchdowns against the Spires.

“Putting Colton Davis in there gives us an advantage,” Mendez said. “They are not able to key on our running game. It is a credit to the wide receivers blocking, giving us an opportunity to get loose a little bit.

“He will do anything. He is one of those hard-nosed tough players.”

Once Ottawa had the running game going, it opened up the passing attack, Kessinger said.

“We had the opportunity to do a little bit of play-action passing,” Kessinger said. “It really opened up some things. They were trying to get a safety down in the box. We made good adjustments. They went back and forth between a three-man and four-man front.”

Ottawa spread its passing game with six receivers catching passes.

“You go out and block, we will try and get the ball to you and spread it out,” Mendez said. “That is always fun to get more players [involved]. The guys were having fun.”

The special teams finished with 101 yards in returns. Ottawa had a 60-plus yard punt which set up the defense for a safety early in the third quarter.

The Ottawa defense gave Saint Mary fits. The Spires finished with less than 250 total yards.

“Defensively, we caused a lot of pressure on the quarterback,” Kessinger said. “He was throwing some errant throws. We covered their RPO [run-pass option] game pretty good. We were able to stop their drives and keep points off the board.”

The Ottawa defense had two interceptions and seven tackles for loss.

Senior linebacker Colby Johnson led the defense with 13 tackles. He surpassed the 400 career tackle mark, which is a school record.

Aaron Schoemann finished with 12 tackles from his defensive line spot. Jacob Garcia and Saamad Ali had eight tackles apiece and combined for 3.5 tackles for loss.