OTTAWA - Dan Cocke's 26-year run as Otsego's football coach ended last night as the Knights were humbled by Ottawa-Glandorf 41-7 at Titan Stadium.
But it didn't stop him from having a smile on his face.
Otsego was beaten in the trenches as Ottawa-Glandorf muscled the Knights up and down the field for most of the game.
The Titans defense slowed down Otsego, holding it to 268 total yards compared to the 408 O-G churned out.
Ottawa-Glandorf's offense wasn't flashy, but repeatedly made timely big plays to keep drives alive and cling to momentum.
Cocke said, though, he left the field last night with no regrets about the game or his career.
"I'm just as proud as heck of my football team," Cocke said. "I told my seniors I couldn't imagine a better group to go out on. They played hard all year. They played hard tonight, but they just got beat by a better football team."
The crucial point in the contest came early. The Titans were holding a 14-7 lead, but Otsego was knocking on the door at O-G's 8 with 3:04 left in the second quarter. Instead of attempting a field goal on fourth down, Cocke went for it, but Matt Mills' pass fell incomplete.
"We went through some things and called a pass we thought would be there, but it wasn't," Cocke said.
Ottawa-Glandorf seized the opportunity with two big plays. Mitch Croy caught a 42-yard pass from quarterback Jay Laubenthal after it bounced off his shoulder pads, moving the ball to the 38.
Two plays later, Matt Fought caught a screen pass in the left flats and slipped down the sidelines for 36 yards. Fullback Justin Conn scored in between a pile of bodies on the next play, giving the Titans a two-touchdown lead with 1:23 left.
"We knew this was going to be a physical football game and those guys were going to come after us and get us and our kids really rose to the top and played a great football game," coach Ken Schriner said. "Our line picked things up tonight and our quarterack, Jay Laubenthal, had a great game."
Laubenthal completed 9 of 14 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns to wide receiver Jordan Pothast.
O-G scored on its first drive of the second half, helped by an Otsego defensive holding penalty. Five plays later, the Titans workhorse tailback Chad Ellerbrock (20-85) scored on a seven-yard run to give O-G a three-touchdown advantage, 27-7.
Otsego moved the ball to the Titans 17 on its next drive but was snuffed out on two quarterback sacks.
Conn added a fourth quarter touchdown and Pothast caught his final touchdown pass from Laubenthal with 6:18 left in the game.
Pothast's over-the-shoulder touchdown catch from Laubenthal with 5:09 left in the first quarter gave Ottawa-Glandorf a 7-0 lead.
Otsego wasted little time drawing even on a Cody Donald 72-yard run where he shook off the last tackler at about the 15. Donald finished the game with 135 yards on 14 carries.
O-G went up 14-7 when Pothast made a fingertip grab on a 30-yard Laubenthal pass in the left corner of the end zone at the 11:09 mark of the second quarter.
The play competed a 12-play drive that saw the Titans overcome two penalties.