OTTAWA — Ottawa-Glandorf’s defense bent a little bit, but did not break.
In Friday night’s Western Buckeye League football game with visiting Shawnee, O-G’s defense stepped up when it really needed to.
O-G claimed the early lead and then its defense kept the Shawnee offensive unit in check, en route to a 23-7 victory at O-G.
With the win, the Titans remain unbeaten in the WBL at 6-0 and are 6-1 overall. Shawnee slips to 3-4 overall and 2-4 in league play.
For the game, Shawnee recorded 250 total yards of offense. However, time and time again on Friday, O-G’s defensive unit came up big.
“It’s been our MO all year,” longtime O-G head coach Ken Schriner said. “Our defense has done a good job of keeping opponents out of the end zone, for the most part. (Tonight) we only gave up one scoring drive, in the third quarter.”
On the night, O-G’s offensive unit rolled up 176 yards on the ground and 111 more yards in the air.
“Offensively, we have to quit making those mistakes,” Schriner said. “When we get down to the red zone, we have to find a way to put points on the board.”
Senior running back Eric Heebsh led O-G and all rushers with 128 yards on 24 carries Friday night. Heebsh ran for one touchdown.
“With (Clayton) Recker (running back) being out (with an injury), we needed him (Heebsh) to step up and he did,” Schriner said.
On its first drive of the game, Shawnee quarterback John Barker threw an interception. O-G’s Brennan Blevins got the pick around Shawnee’s 35-yard line and ran it back to Shawnee’s 20-yard line. However, Shawnee’s defensive unit eventually forced O-G to turn it back over on downs.
On its second possession of the game, Shawnee was forced to punt.
On O-G’s second possession of the game, the Titans marched 70 yards on 10 plays to get on the scoreboard.
The Titans capped off the scoring drive with a 1-yard run by quarterback Jacob Balbaugh. With the extra point by Ethan Alt, the Titans led 7-0 with 2:39 left to play in the opening quarter.
On that scoring drive for O-G, Balbaugh was 2-for-2 passing for 51 yards, including a 37-yard pass completion to Jarrod Beach.
The 7-point lead for O-G held up until the end of the first quarter.
O-G scored again before the half.
The Titans marched down the field, setting Alt up for a 29-yard field goal. The senior kicker split the uprights to give O-G the 10-0 lead with a little more than two minutes left to play in the half. That lead held up to the halftime break.
Shawnee mounted a long drive in the final two minutes of the first half, but came up empty, as Jacob Vorhees attempted a 42-yard field goal for the Indians, which sailed to the right.
In the first half, Balbaugh was 8-of-11 passing for 91 yards. For the game, Balbaugh was 10-of-14 for 111 yards.
For Shawnee, Barker was 8-of-17 passing for 110 yards in the first half. Jacob Vorhees was Barker’s favorite receiver, as he hauled in six passes for 83 yards.
O-G started the second half with great field position. On the night, Barker was 14-of-26 passing for 151 yards.
After Beach ran the opening kick-off of the second half to Shawnee’s 48-yard line, the Titans were on the move.
O-G’s offense traveled down to the 2-yard line. However, the Titans were eventually backed up because of a penalty and was forced to settle for a field goal. Alt booted a 24-yarder to give the Titans a 13-0 lead with 5:33 left in the third quarter.
The Indians were not done.
Shawnee marched 75 yards on 17 plays to finally get on the scoreboard. William Roberson ran it in from five yards out to cap off the long scoring drive for the Indians. With the point after by Vorhees, the O-G lead was cut to 6, 13-7.
The kicking game of O-G came through once more.
With 7:46 left to play in the game, Alt booted a 36-yard field goal to stretch the O-G lead to 16-7.
The Titans put the exclamation point on the game, as they scored one more time.
With 3:12 left to play in the contest, Heebsh ran it in from eight yards out to push the lead to 22-7. Alt’s extra point capped off the scoring.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.