Tabor downs Ottawa 27-9

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
The 8th ranked Tabor College Bluejays traveled to Ottawa on a windy Saturday afternoon and blew out of town owning a 27-9 win over the Ottawa Braves.



Tabor won the initial coin toss and opted to take the wind, allowing Ottawa the game’s first possession and the strategy worked.



Tabor’s aggressive defense forced a Brave fumble on the second play from scrimmage and the ball was recovered by the Bluejays Brent Overmiller at the Ottawa 19 yard line.



Six plays later, Ricky Ishida connected with Jeff MacKinnon for a five yard touchdown pass and Tabor grabbed a quick 7-0 lead just four minutes into the contest.



That’s the way the score remained until early in the second period when Tabor took over on its own 38 yard line. The Bluejays proceeded to drive 62 yards in 12 plays and crossed the goal line when Ishida hooked up with tight end John Garcia for a 9-yard scoring strike with 8:18 to play in the half. Although the extra point kick failed, Tabor led 13-0.



After a Roger Butler fumble was recovered by Ottawa on the Tabor 31 yard line, the Braves drove to the Tabor goal line but their bid for a touchdown on a fouth and one from the one failed and Tabor took possession.



A holding penalty in the end zone on Tabor’s first play however, resulted in a safety and the Braves were on the board at 13-2.



Ottawa took the Tabor free kick on the Braves 44 yard line and pounded the ball 56 yards in 8 plays to whittle the lead to 13-9 with just 7 second remaining the the half.

The point after attempt failed but the Bluejays headed to the halftime locker room nursing a slim 4-point advantage.



Tabor’s defense again held on Ottawa’s opening possession of the half handing the Bluejay offense the ball at the Tabor 42 yard line.



From there it took the Bluejays just nine plays to traverse the necessary 58 yards. Butler covered the final three yards and Tabor led 19-9. Butler added the two-point conversion and Tabor’s lead was a more comfortable 21-9 with 11:02 to play in the third quarter.



Tabor mounted one final drive late in the game and capped it with an Ishida quarterback sneak from a yard out with just 35 seconds remaining.

The point after kick never got off the ground, but Tabor pushed its winning total to 27-9.



The Bluejay offense which entered the contest averaging over 500 yards per game, was limited to just 324 in this one but the Bluejay defense was solid, allowing Ottawa 62 rushing yards and 196 total yards.



Ishida went 17-for-32 passing for 189 yards and two scores while Butler was held to a season low of 70 yards on 23 carries.



Tabor’s defense was led by Brent Overmiller with12 tackles, Jake Schenk had nine stops and John Ohm added eight tackles.



With the victory, Tabor improves to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the KCAC while Ottawa falls to 4-4 overall and 3-4 in conference play.



Tabor returns home next weekend to tangle with the Friends Falcons with game time set for 1:30 at Reimer Field.




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