Bulldogs Show 2nd Half Improvement in Loss to #1 Rams


The Ottumwa football team knew what it was in for Friday night when the Bulldogs hosted #1 Southeast Polk. The Rams performed as expected at Schafer Stadium, but a strong second-half performance by the OHS offense gave the home team something to build on as they head into the final week of the regular season.

Southeast Polk improved to 5-0 with a 69-21 victory over Ottumwa, which fell to 0-5. The Bulldogs trailed 48-0 at halftime, but found the end zone three times in the second half, moving the ball both on the ground and in the air.

Senior tight end Trae Swartz caught a season-high seven passes for 93 yards, including a 36-yard score on a perfectly-thrown pass down the sideline from quarterback Adam Denniston. The senior signal-caller overcame a pair of first-half interceptions to lead Ottumwa’s three scoring drives after halftime, including a ten-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter that gave the Bulldogs their first score of the night.

The other OHS score came late in the third quarter. On 4th and 16 from midfield, Colton McKinnon took a reverse handoff and scampered 50 yards to paydirt. The run marked the second time in as many weeks the senior wingback took a handoff and ran 50 yards or more to add to the Ottumwa total.

The first half belonged almost completely to the top-ranked Rams, with the notable exception of Tanner Schark’s first-quarter interception. The Ottumwa sophomore cornerback now has three INTs in his first year as a starter.

The interception was the only Southeast Polk drive in the first half that did not end in a touchdown. Junior QB Jaxon Dailey threw two TD passes, while running backs Titus Christiansen, Mason Rankin and Xavier Nwankpa all scored on the ground. Nwankpa also ran an interception back for a touchdown in the first quarter, while Christiansen ran the opening kickoff of the third quarter all the way back for a score. Kyle Sisler would also run a kickoff back for a TD in the third quarter, giving the Rams three non-offensive scores on the night.

Ottumwa will end the regular season next Friday night at home against Ames. The Bulldogs were scheduled to face Des Moines North, but had to find a new opponent after the effective cancellation of football season for Des Moines Public Schools. Friday’s game kicks off at 7:00 on 1240 AM/102.7 FM KBIZ, with the live video stream on this website.

all stats unofficial

QB Adam Denniston: 8-20, 101 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT; 1 rushing TD

TE Trae Swartz: 7 receptions, 93 yards, 1 TD

WB Colton McKinnon: 2 carries, 57 yards, 1 TD

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