OTTAWA – Ottawa-Glandorf is at the top of the Western Buckeye League with a 5-0 mark and Titan head coach Ken Schriner knows a little luck and his team’s resiliency have been the keys to the team’s success this year.
It has been feast or famine in terms of wins for Ottawa-Glandorf. After opening the season with a 21-14 loss to Eastwood in its lone non-league affair, the Titans then proceeded to beat Elida 51-7, followed by a narrow 30-27 win over St. Marys. A 28-7 win over Bath came next and then the Titans needed overtime to fend off Van Wert 34-27. Last week, the Titans pulled off a thrilling 24-23 victory over Celina.
In that win over Celina, Ottawa-Glandorf stopped the Bulldogs on a two-point conversion at the end of the game to preserve the victory.
“Overall it hasn’t been pretty,” Schriner said. “We have been very fortunate and got a number of breaks and sometimes lucky is as good is good and we are fortunate to be where we are at. We are not going to apologize for our success and our kids are excited to be where we are at and hopefully we will continue to improve and we realize there is a tough road ahead.”
The Titans came into this season going 5-5 last year and 3-7 in 2017. Coming into this year there were still a number of question marks swirling around Ottawa-Glandorf this season.
And after losing the first game, many might have thought the Titans were in for another uneven season.
However, Schriner said it was in that first game where the Titans decided to turn things around.
“I think it started in game one when we had our struggles and weren’t able to finish the second half and I think mentally we refocused and have done a much better job of finishing off games,” Schriner said. “We have been down in a number of games and been able to come back so that resiliency has been huge.”
Schriner said one of the reasons for this team’s success is that they play and work well as a unit.
“We don’t have any superstars on this team,” Schriner said. “You know we are not a great running team. We are not a great passing team. Defensively we give up a lot of yards. We are just finding ways to win games and that is a credit to the resiliency of the kids and the way they approach the game.”
Schriner points to the team’s balance on offense that has been one of the team’s strong points.
The Titans are seventh in the league in team rushing with an average of 145.2 yards a contest and third in passing with an average of 183.8 yards a contest. Overall, O-G is fourth overall in total offense averaging 329 yards a game.
More importantly, the Titans are second in the WBL in total points with 182 and average just over 30 points a contest.
Individually, Clayton Recker is the team’s leading rusher with 553 yards and five touchdowns. Titan quarterback Jacob Balbaugh is third in the league in passing yards with 1,103. He has thrown 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.
A pair of Titan receivers are in the top ten in yardage. Brennan Blevins has 16 catches for 441 yards and four touchdowns and Jarrod Beach has 17 catches for 316 yards and four touchdowns.
“We have been identifying what teams are trying to take away from us and if they are playing pass we have the ability to run and if they are playing run we have the ability to pass,” Schriner said. “I think we are making good calls. My assistant coaches are doing a tremendous job of preparing our kids to take away what teams are doing in terms of our defense. The coaches are making great calls.”
Defensively, the Titans are fourth in total team defense, giving up an average of 282.5 yards a game.
Schriner understands there is still a long way to go in the season and he knows the schedule does not get easier especially when teams are even more motivated to bump you off the top of the hill.
Beginning with Shawnee this Friday, O-G will face Defiance and then Kenton and Wapakoneta to end the season.
“From A-Z,” Schriner joked when he talked about area is team needs to improve. “There is plenty of room for improvement. Defensively, our tackling could be better and I think teams are starting to see things that we do defensively and we have to be a little more flexible.”
Schriner added that to continue to win down the stretch, the team has to be coachable and do the things they are asked to do as a team.
“We need to continue to work hard,” Schriner said. “We get together on Saturday and watch the film and even though we win the game we are very critical of what we do because we realize we can get better so every time we are out on the field our goal is to improve.”