McPherson College’s football team has yet to lose at home this year and it’s hoping to entertain what should be a large homecoming crowd on Saturday.
The Bulldogs host Ottawa at 1 p.m., and hopefully the expected rain will stay away and not spoil the festivities.
Mac is 1-3 in the KCAC and 2-3 overall, both wins coming at the friendly McPherson Stadium confines. In their last home appearance, the Bulldogs throttled Bethel 48-14 and carried that momentum over to last week, leading nationally ranked Kansas Wesleyan by 21 points in the second half before the Coyotes caught and passed Mac in overtime, 42-35.
Mac and Ottawa played a memorable game last year as the Bulldogs let a 14-point lead get away in a 55-52 loss.
The Bulldogs’ chances could depend on the availability of quarterback Ed Crouch, one of the KCAC’s best. Crouch hurt a shoulder last week and it is unknown if he will be able to play on Saturday. If not, the Bulldogs will turn to Jake Tiernan, who played much of the second half last week.
The Bulldogs did get back running back Tyrone Campbell last week. After scoring three TDs in the season-opening win, he missed the next three games with a bad quad. But last week against Wesleyan he rushed for 90 yards.
Ottawa needs a win to keep its flickering playoff hopes alive. The Braves are 2-2 in the KCAC and 2-4 overall, but is still considered dangerous simply because they have former Bethany College All-American Kent Kessinger at the helm. He’s the dean of KCAC coaches and enjoyed many years of success at OU.
The Braves are coming off an easy 34-10 rout of Bethel last week. Their other KCAC win came against Friends in triple overtime, while they lost to Bethany and Tabor.
Ottawa is only ninth in the KCAC in scoring and averages just 20 points a game, a far cry from the Braves’ halcyon days. They are fifth in the KCAC in scoring defense.
Mac is fourth in the KCAC in offensive yardage, putting up 402 a game. The Bulldogs rank second in team defense, giving up 346 yards.