Tabor football fumbles Ottawa contest

The Bluejays could not hang on to the game against conference opponent Ottawa any more than they could hang on to the ball in tonight’s 37-10 loss.

Interceptions and fumbles at key moments plagued Tabor all night long. At first it seemed they would favor the Bluejays after Spencer Brown intercepted a Braves pass near his own end zone with eight minutes left. But Ottawa would intercept Bluejay quarterback Tim Rozzell on the next play, paving the way for a Braves touchdown at 7:22 to give them a 7-0 lead. 

With 9:21 left Ottawa’s Donald Anderson snagged another interception for Ottawa, stalling Tabor’s drive at the Braves’ 10 yard line. Ottawa broke free for a long run to Tabor’s 30 yard line, and ran in for a touchdown off the pitch with 4:31 left in the second quarter. 

The Bluejays drove back down the field but once again turned over the ball, this time on a fumble recovered by Ottawa on their on 25 yard line with 3:40 left in the half. Brown and Bluejay Donnell Davis saved the touchdown by breaking up Ottawa’s third-down pass in the end zone, but it was not enough to prevent the Braves from kicking a field goal, making the score 17-0. 

Ottawa again crushed Tabor’s hopes of scoring before the half with an interception at Ottawa’s 29 yard line with 15 seconds left in the half. 

Tabor would finally get points on the board in the third quarter when the Bluejays blocked an Ottawa kick at 12:38 to gain possession of the ball. With nine minutes left in the third quarter, Tabor’s Aziz Spellman-Smith hauled in a long pass. The Bluejays could not pull off the touchdown and had to settle for a field goal to make it 17-3. 

With 6:11 left in the quarter Ottawa strung together two long runs for another touchdown for a lead of 24-3. 

The Bluejays fumbled the ball on their own 34 yard line, which was recovered by Ottawa, with 1:41 left in the third quarter. Ottawa prepared to kick a field goal, but Davis blocked the kick to keep the Braves from scoring.

But Ottawa’s Anderson had sticky fingers and picked up another interception on the first play of the fourth quarter on Tabor’s 40 yard line, setting up touchdown off a screen play from Brave Clarence Anderson with 13:37 left to play. The extra point bounced off the uprights, making it 30-3. 

Ottawa tacked on another touchdown with 9:07 left in the game for a 37-3 lead. 

With just 3:31 remaining, the Bluejays got their hands up to block an Ottawa punt and ran the ball in for their only touchdown of the game. The extra point was good, making the final score for the game 37-10. 

The Braves had nearly twice the time of possession as Tabor and logged 473 all-purpose yards to the Bluejays’ 266 yards. But perhaps more telling is Ottawa’s four interceptions, three of which set up touchdowns for the Braves, and two recovered fumbles, one of which translated into points on the board for Ottawa. The other fumble set up the field goal Tabor blocked. 

The Bluejays are scheduled to play Kansas Wesleyan on the road next Saturday. 

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