OU football plays first game beyond December
The 2020-21 football season has been different for Ottawa University. The Braves spent a month this past fall idle because of the pandemic.
The KCAC decided to extend the season into the spring so schools could play a complete schedule. Those games that were postponed from the fall because of COVID-19 concerns were rescheduled for March.
Ottawa plays its first rescheduled game at 1 p.m. Saturday at home against Sterling. It will be the first game in Ottawa's storied history played past December. Ottawa ranks third all-time in the NAIA in wins (578).
Ottawa (4-2,1-2) last played Nov. 14, 2020, when the Braves fell to Kansas Wesleyan, 34-23. Sterling (0-5, 0-5) opened the spring schedule this past Saturday with a 69-14 loss to Kansas Wesleyan.
The Braves offense turned to the running game during the fall portion of the schedule. Ottawa ranks No. 17 in the NAIA in rushing per game at 204 yards.
The defense was sparked by its pass rush with 18 sacks, which ranks No. 13 in the nation. Senior linebacker Colby Johnson is second in the nation in tackles per game (13.5).
The offense is led by two receivers, senior Dylan Foos and sophomore Colton Davis, who spent part of the fall season at quarterback. He ranks 48th in scoring with 30 points through six games. The duo combined for 34 pass receptions for nearly 400 yards in the first six games.
Davis passed for 276 yards and rushed for 224 yards in the fall games.
Ottawa has been successful on opening drives during the fall, scoring touchdowns in five of the six games.
Sterling comes into Ottawa with a seven-game losing streak. Its last win came Nov. 2, 2019, with a 20-17 overtime victory over Southwestern.
The Warriors’ offense mustered 257 yards in the loss to Kansas Wesleyan. The defense surrendered 677 yards to the Coyotes.
The Ottawa offense averages 344 yards and 29.8 points per game through the fall season. Ottawa leads the series 29-25, but is just 1-4 in the past five games. Ottawa’s previous two wins over Sterling came by just a point (42-41, 2014) and 48-47 (2018).