Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Sterling always tough on Braves

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 10/18/2013

No matter what year, Sterling College has the attention of the Ottawa University football staff. Especially when the Braves have to play out west.

No. 8 Ottawa (5-1, 4-0) plays 1:30 p.m. today at Sterling against the Warriors (4-2, 3-1), who have won three straight games.

No matter what year, Sterling College has the attention of the Ottawa University football staff. Especially when the Braves have to play out west.

No. 8 Ottawa (5-1, 4-0) plays 1:30 p.m. today at Sterling against the Warriors (4-2, 3-1), who have won three straight games.

“They are one of the hardest teams for us to prepare for when it comes to offense,” Ottawa coach Kent Kessinger said.

“This year, they will be tough to prepare for defensively because the offense is really rolling. They have three really good guys in the backfield.

“Our guys will have to play a full four quarters.”

Sterling is an old-fashioned team with a tough mindset.

“They don’t have ever give up,” Kessinger said. “I really admire what coach [Andy] Lambert does with them year in and year out. They are tough.”

Sterling provides matchup problems for Ottawa.

The Warriors defense is traditionally one of the best in the conference.

“Their defense has always been strong,” Kessinger said. “They have been a thorn in our side for the past several years. I don’t expect anything less.

“They have given up some yards, but they do a good job of creating turnovers. They bring some pressure. It gives them the opportunity to give the ball back to their offense.”

The Sterling offense is much better than the past couple of years. Sterling averages 34 points per game.

“They are a more complete team than we have played the last couple of years,” Kessinger said. “They have more talent, particularly at quarterback.

“He is much more balanced. He runs the ball extremely well. This year, they can balance it out. They cause a lot of problems.

“There will be a lot of play-action. That is what got us in the past with Sterling. We need our secondary in watching their run-pass game.”

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