BURLINGTON — The craziness of the opening minute was quickly subdued by the calm and confidence of the the Ottumwa High School football team.
In the end, it looked like what coach Brian Goodvin hoped it would.
After an exchange of turnovers, the Bulldogs scored on their next two possessions and asserted their will on both sides of the ball in a season-opening 47-21 win over Burlington on Friday at Bracewell Stadium. It was the most points for the Bulldogs since a Week 8 win over Des Moines Hoover in Oct. 19, 2012.
"I think there were a little nerves out there, but once we got our first touchdown, things started to roll for us," said Goodvin, who is leading the Bulldogs for the first time. "We've been pushing that sled in practice, and this is the result of that hard work."
The Bulldogs had almost 500 yards of offense, but it was the timely plays out of a new wing-T-based, multiple-look offense that was the difference. Quarterback Adam Denniston threw three touchdown passes, including one on a deflected ball.
Yet, the running game opened up the possibilities for the passing game. Kie Glosser ran for 145 yards, and fullback Gage Cole added 101 as the Bulldogs as they pounded away at a big Grayhound defensive line.
"What we're doing on offense is way different than before," Glosser said. "We've been practicing really hard. We all played well tonight. The defense was tough. We executed tonight in all facets."
That was accurate. After Denniston connected with Trae Swartz for a 27-yard touchdown on a tipped pass on fourth down, and a wide-open 31-yard TD to Colton McKinnon, the special teams did its part.
Quentin Bishop burst through the Burlington line on a low punt snap. The kick was blocked, and Bishop ran it in for a 42-yard touchdown to make it 27-7 with 2:11 left in the opening half.
"That was huge. We knew Burlington had a couple different formations on their punts, so if we had a chance to get in there, we were going to go after it," Goodvin said. "Fortunately it was a low snap, but it was a heads-up play by Bishop."
The Grayhounds got within two scores on the opening drive of the first half by driving 65 yards, capping off by Brock Dengler's 14-yard touchdown pass to Jackson Carlson.
The Bulldogs were then stopped at the goal line on their next series, but regrouped when McKinnon hauled in a 34-yard touchdown catch from Denniston. The Grayhounds fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Glosser scored from a yard out to make it 40-14.
KT Thompson, who rushed for 151 yards for Burlington, added the Grayhounds' final score, before Cole scored from a yard with 1:31 left, his second touchdown of the game.
"Our goal was to get downhill and run with power," Glosser said. "That allowed our receivers to get open."
"You have to give Burlington credit. They have some big, physical kids, but our kids did a nice job to stay in there with them just long enough to open some holes," Goodvin said. "The Thompson kid runs the ball hard. He's a good back, and our defensive backs are undersized."
Denniston completed 11 of 20 passes for 193 yards. Dengler was 17 of 30 for 209 yards. The Grayhounds, outside of Thompson, had minus-13 rushing yards.
"Our whole defense had an outstanding game," Goodvin said.
The key for the Bulldogs will be to build on the win. Last year, the win over the Grayhounds was the high-point until a season-ending win.
"We want to be 1-0 each week," Goodvin said. "We can enjoy this tonight, but we'll be at practice Monday at 3:30 p.m. There's no holiday for these guys."
Ottumwa 20 7 0 20 — 47
Burlington 0 7 7 7 — 21
O—Trae Swartz 24 pass from Adam Denniston (Jose Yepez kick)
O—Colton McKinnon 31 pass from Denniston (Bryan Carapia kick)
O—Gage Cole 1 run (kick failed)
B—KT Thompson 24 pass from Brock Dengler (Dengler kick)
O—Quentin Bishop 42 punt block return (Carapia kick)
B—Jackson Carlson 14 pass from Dengler (Dengler kick)
O—McKinnon 34 pass from Denniston (kick failed)
O—Kie Glosser 1 run (Carapia kick)
B—Thompson 37 pass from Dengler (Dengler kick)
O—Cole 1 run (Yepez kick)
First downs 19 18
Rushing-yards 45-263 32-138
Passing yards 193 209
Comp-Att-Int 11-19-1 17-30-0
Total offense 456 347
Fumbles-lost 5-2 3-2
Punts-avg. 1-31 5-31.4
Rushing—Ottumwa: Gage Cole 18-101, Kie Glosser 16-145, Colton McKinnon 4-5, Adam Denniston 1-3, Kelvin Howard 2-13, Team 4-(minus 14). Burlington: KT Thompson 20-151, Brock Dengler 2-(minus 18), Bryant Williams 4-12, Trey-King Tempest Jr. 3-6, Team 3-(minus 13).
Passing—Ottumwa: Denniston 11-20-1-193. Burlington: Dengler 17-30-0-209.
Receiving—Ottumwa: Swartz 4-65, McKinnon 2-65, Blaze Rominger 2-32, G.Cole 2-16, Glosser 1-15. Burlington: Tempest Jr. 1-11, Thompson 3-70, Ryne Bowman 5-36, Williams 6-68, Mason Fort 1-10, Jackson Carlson 1-14.