OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa football team will try to bounce back from a disappointing loss last week when the boys face a winless Marshalltown squad in its Class 4A, Division 3 opener today on homecoming night at Schafer Stadium.
The Bulldogs will try to re-establish a running attack that — aside from a few obscure drives — was rendered ineffective by an impressive Indianola squad last Friday.
Look for Isaiah Cox, who has ran for over 100 yards and at least one touchdown in three of Ottumwa’s four games, to come back strong after being neutralized by the Indians’ defense last season. Even with the inauspicious outing, Cox is having a whale of a season with 533 yards rushing and six touchdowns on 70 carries. The talented sophomore running back averages about eight yards per carry.
Isaiah Hutchinson, who played a major role in Ottumwa’s only scoring drive last week, will try to complement Cox’s physical running game with his lightning quick speed. Hutchinson’s 29-yard run against the Indians last week set the stage for Andrew Altfillisch’s 9-yard touchdown run in the final minutes of the contest.
Ottumwa quarterback Shane Frazier will try to bounce back after a stormy outing last week. Frazier tossed two interceptions and failed to lead the Bullldogs on a single scoring drive. Frazier, however, had played extremely well in the previous three games, so hopefully he will be able to respond to his first bout of adversity in positive fashion tonight. Frazier has shown the capacity to be a dual threat, as he can run the ball and pass for solid gains.
The Bulldogs also will try to reignite their passing attack after a subpar outing against the Indians. Frazier has a number of receiving options to choose from including Titus Weller, Corey Ridgway, Sam Kramer and his No. 1 option Zach Bowling. The Bulldogs best passing performance thus far was against Mount Pleasant, where Frazier completed 12 of 17 passes for 163 yards and Bowling made seven catches for 119 yards. If Ottumwa can replicate that performance against the Bobcats, it should help the boys notch that all-important first league victory.