In some ways, Ottumwa’s first playoff game in six years was a snapshot of its 2020 season. The Bulldogs hung around for a while and made some big plays in key moments, but were unable to make enough plays to come out on top.
Ottumwa fell on the road to Iowa City High 41-16 Friday night, ending its season in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs. The Bulldogs concluded the 2020 campaign with an 0-7 record.
Although the final was rather lopsided, OHS stayed close to the Little Hawks for much of the contest. City High didn’t push its advantage to three scores until halfway through the fourth quarter, and only reached the 40-point mark with a fumble return for a score with under a minute to go.
Both offenses tried to put together long, methodical drives on the ground, with the Little Hawks getting the better of the exchange in the first half. City High’s first three drives took seven, 14 and 12 plays, respectively, eating up a combined 12:16 of game time and all resulting in touchdowns. By the time Ottumwa started its second possession of the night, it was already the second quarter and they trailed 14-0.
It was in that quarter, though, that the Bulldogs fought back. OHS embarked on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that was all running plays until Adam Denniston hit Colton McKinnon for a 16-yard touchdown pass to cut the City High lead in half. The Little Hawks would score again to make it 20-7, but Ottumwa found lightning in a bottle with less than 30 seconds left in the second quarter. McKinnon took an inside reverse handoff and raced 51 yards for his second score of the night, sending the Bulldogs to the locker room only down by six.
Ottumwa had the ball to begin the third quarter with a chance to take the lead, but they went three and out, and City High scored on its ensuing drive to regain a 14-point lead. After another OHS punt, the Bulldogs forced the first turnover of the night, recovering a Little Hawks fumble at midfield. Ottumwa drove into the red zone as the fourth quarter began, but a City High interception snuffed out the Bulldogs’ chance to make it a one-score contest. The Little Hawks then drove down and scored again to go up 35-14, putting the game out of reach. The final OHS points came with just over a minute left, when City High sent a snap over the punter’s head and out of the end zone for a safety.
OHS running back Kie Glosser had a standout performance in his final game for Bulldog football, rushing 21 times for 109 yards. Senior fullback Andy Palma had a season-high 54 rushing yards on 11 carries, and McKinnon had 53 yards on the ground, the majority of which came on his TD run. Ottumwa rushed for 205 yards as a team on the night, but only mustered 39 passing yards.
all stats unofficial
QB Adam Denniston: 4-14 passing, 39 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
RB Kie Glosser: 21 carries, 109 yards
FB Andy Palma: 11 carries, 54 yards
WB Colton McKinnon: 3 carries, 53 yards, 1 TD; 1 reception, 16 yards, 1 TD
TE Trae Swartz: 1 reception, 12 yards