Bulldogs crush Ottawa 35-7
It might not have been quite what Mike Berg was hoping for, but he’ll take a win any chance he can get one.
Berg’s Baldwin High School football team (4-1) overcame four turnovers to defeat a struggling Ottawa team (0-5) 35-7 Friday night.
“We kind of started the game off a little shaky with turnovers,” Berg said. “It just kind of kept building. We kept alternating between turning the ball over and scoring. That’s not what an offense needs to do. We didn’t take care of the ball or execute very well.”
A pair of BHS seniors agreed that they didn’t play well as a team. However, they were both happy they weren’t the Cyclones’ first victim.
“It was a pretty ugly,” senior David Garrison said. “We didn’t play anywhere close to our full potential. We should have beat them by more, but a win is a win, whether it’s a good team or bad team.”
Senior Carson Wood thought the Bulldogs should have scored more than 35, but turnovers hurt their offensive production.
“It’s still a win,” Wood said. “We didn’t play to our full potential. I would have liked to have seen more points on the board.”
Baldwin fumbled the ball three times and threw one interception to help the Cyclones. Even with the Bulldogs coughing the ball up, Ottawa wasn’t able to score its touchdown until late in the contest.
Before Friday, the Bulldogs had only turned the ball over twice in their first four games.
“One of them looked like a helmet hit the ball, but on the others we just weren’t focusing,” Berg said of the fumbles. “We haven’t turned the ball over much until last Friday.”
Baldwin was able to create a few turnovers of its own Friday. In fact, BHS equaled Ottawa with four turnovers. Senior Andy Thurlow intercepted a pair of passes, while his senior teammates, Logan Schiller and Brandom Tommer, each intercepted a pass also.
“They decided to throw the ball all over the field,” Berg said. “They tried to dink and dunk us, but our defensive backs came up and tackled well.”
Wood joked about how sometimes the defensive unit has to improve its performance if the offense is struggling.
“Sometimes the defense saves the offense,” Wood said. “The offensive guys are still putting points on the board so we can’t talk too much trash on them.”
When the Bulldogs maintained possession of the ball, they were successful offensively. Senior Sam Beecher carried the ball 13 times for 140 yards and sophomore Josh Hoffman rushed eight times for 39 yards. Beecher scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, while Hoffman and sophomore Landon Ausherman also scored on runs.
Beecher even completed two long passes, one of which scored a touchdown. He threw a 49-yard pass to Hoffman and a 48-yard throw to Thurlow. His pass to Thurlow scored the Bulldogs’ other touchdown.
“We had two really nice long passing plays,” Berg said. “One to Andy Thurlow and one to Josh Hoffman. Those two kids ran great routes and Sam hit them in stride. That was nice to see.”
The Bulldogs won’t play another road game for two more weeks. They play a pair of home contests before finishing the regular season with two road games. Their next game is at 7 p.m. Friday at Liston Stadium against Louisburg.