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Tenth-ranked Braves manhandle 'Jays

Ottawa’s high-powered offense spoils Tabor homecoming, 79-6

Sports writer

Through the years, the Bluejay football team has seen its share of tough homecoming opponents.

Opponents have included KCAC foes Bethel, Friends, and Ottawa.

Saturday afternoon’s homecoming game in Hillsboro against the KCAC’s top team, Ottawa, was another unfortunate meeting.

The game had mismatch written all over it. The Braves, with five wins and yet to see a loss, struck fast and they struck often, dismantling struggling Tabor, yet to find a victory in the past five games.

Going against a team that averages 517 yards per game —sixth best in the NAIA, let alone the KCAC — the Bluejays had to play a perfect game to knock off Ottawa.

That’s exactly what didn’t happen with the Braves blowing the lid off the game after just one quarter, en route to racing to a 44-0 lead by halftime.

The Braves showed why they’re the team to beat in the KCAC, piling up 711 total yards offense, 328 rushing, and 383 passing.

Ottawa quarterback Ethan Haller completed 17 of 26 passes for a game-high 354 yards and four touchdowns.

Haller’s 354 yards of passing were more than twice the amount of Tabor’s total offensive output of 144 yards.

Haller distributed the ball to six different receivers with Corey Schultz hauling in seven catches for a game-high 166 yards and two touchdowns.

Tailback Andy Otto punished Tabor for a game-high 115 yards rushing — 196 total — while having a hand in four touchdowns.

In a game parched for Tabor highlights, the Bluejays did manage to hold the Braves 64 yards below their top-rated passing game, which averages 447 yards.

Out of the Bluejays’ 14 drives, only their scoring drive of 63 yards was more than 37 yards.

Of the Braves’ 14 drives, nine equaled scoring with Tabor spotting Ottawa 30 points off mistakes — two fumbles and two interceptions along with a safety.

The game began with Ottawa driving 79 yards in nine plays to grab a 7-0 lead. Tabor was unable to get anything offensively the entire game, having to contend with rugged field position.

From 64 plays, the Bluejays were only able to muster 144 total yards — 38 the first half —managing 13 first downs and going 2-for-14 on third downs.

Tabor played a balanced game, unfortunately it accounted for only 68 yards rushing and 76 passing.

Ottawa threatened late in the first quarter, but Tabor denied the Braves on fourth-and-two from the 6.

The Braves had no trouble moving the ball against the Bluejays, and had the game more than wrapped up by halftime.

By the time Tabor finally broke up the shutout late in the third quarter, the game had long since come apart, with the Bluejays trailing, 65-0.

The Bluejays engineered a 10-play, 63-yard drive, capped by Marquise Lawrence punching it in on second-and-two from the Braves 3.

Tabor tried for a two-point conversion, but Lawrence was stopped, leaving the score at 65-6.

Ottawa tacked on two more scores for the final.

The Bluejays’ road gets no easier as they travel to Sterling Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

Last modified Oct. 14, 2009

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