McPherson College’s Bulldogs were hoping to put on a good show for the large homecoming crowd here Saturday, but the Ottawa Braves turned them into a no-show.
Ottawa’s dominance at the line of scrimmage and all-around experience advantage led to a 58-0 plundering of the Bulldogs, whose fighting spirit of the first four weeks appeared to be broken early on when the Braves scored 27 first-quarter points.
This was a total beatdown as the defending KCAC champions chewed up 595 yards of total offense against the depth-thin Mac defense, which gave away an incredible amount of size. The Bulldogs’ offense, meanwhile, managed just 166 yards and that led to the defense having to spend large amounts of time on the field.
“It doesn’t really matter what you run, if you don’t control the line of scrimmage in one way, shape or form, you’re going to run into problems,” said Mac coach Paul Mierkiewicz, whose team reached the halfway point of the season 0-4 in the KCAC and 0-5 overall. “It was evident right out of the gate that we were having a lot of different things go wrong and it was so hard to find any seams. We had no answers for what they were doing up front.”
Ottawa started the year ranked in the Top 25, but fell out after losing to Tabor to fall to 0-2 on the season. But the Braves have righted the ship with three straight impressive wins and could very well run the table for the rest of the season, provided it can knock off undefeated Kansas Wesleyan, though the Coyotes’ schedule has been suspect to this point.
Six Braves scored touchdowns, with Tanner Staats scoring two. Diego Reuter added a field goal and made his final six PATs.
The Bulldogs did not suit up their most dynamic offensive weapon Ste’fon Walker (knee injury) and top tackler Dalton Whitfield left the game early with an injury.
For the second straight week, the star of the game for Mac was defensive back Braden Bush, who was in on 15 tackles.
Chris Linnin threw for 125 yards and Ryan Lakso rushed for 41 yards on eight carries, which actually was the final rushing total for the Bulldogs in the game. Michael Ramos had four catches for 62 yards and at least three times had his defender beat for a touchdown, but the passes were just a shade too long.
Mac’s Kavoderic McIntrye picked off a pass and nearly returned it for a touchdown, covering 55 yards.
Mac goes on the road Saturday to play a struggling Friends team in Wichita that is just 1-5 on the year, 1-3 in the KCAC.
• STATISTICS •
Mac Listed First
First Downs — 10, 35. Rushes-Yards — 27-41, 55-286. Passing — 8-24-3-125; 22-29-1-309. Fumbles-Lost — 0-0, 0-0. Punts- Avg. — 5-39.8; 1-30.0. Penalties-Yards — 4-35, 4-45.
• INDIVIDUAL LEADERS •
Mac — Lakso 8-41.
Ottawa — Francis 19-99, Cobbs 16-96, Staats 13-94.
Mac — Linnin 8-22-2-125, Garza 0-2-1-0.
Ottawa — Walter 15-19-1-184, Morovick 7-10-0-125.
Mac — Ramos 4-62, Fagan 2-35.
Ottawa — Harter 5-96, Whittaker 5-76.