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Physically tough
Otis-Bison challenges Jays offense
spt kp Handoff
Otis-Bison quarterback Trevor Keller, second from left, hands the ball off during practice on Tuesday in preparation for Friday nights home state playoff game against Ashland at 7. - photo by Kevin Price Great Bend Tribune

State playoffs
Eight-Man Division-II
Friday’s games

Ashland at Otis-Bison
Hanover at Baileyville B&B
Eight-Man Division-I
Friday’s games

Madison-Hamilton at Lebo
Osborne at Hill City
Class 2-1A
Friday’s games

St. Marys at
Pittsburg-St. Marys Colgan
Centralia at Olpe
Stanton Co. at Ell-Saline
Meade at LaCrosse
Class 3A
Caney Valley at Rossville
Wellsville at Silver Lake
Hutchinson Trinity at Beloit
Saturday’s game
Conway Springs at Smith Center
Class 4A
Friday’s games
DeSoto at Louisburg
Baldwin at Paola
Buhler at Topeka Hayden
Saturday’s game
Ulysses at Holton
Class 5A
Friday’s games
Shawnee Heights at Gardner-Edgerton
BV Stilwell at Topeka Seaman
McPherson at Bishop Carroll
Hutchinson at Emporia
Class 6A
Friday’s games

Shawnee Mission Northwest
at Olathe East
Olathe South at Olathe North
Wichita Heights at Junction City
Manhattan at Dodge City

OTIS — The Otis-Bison High School football team faces a two-headed offense on Friday night at 7, when it hosts Ashland in the third round of the Eight-Man Division-II state playoffs.
“They’re going to be physical,” Cougars head coach Travis Starr said. “They are going to be ready to play. Obviously they are in the same boat we are, one game away from the big show.
“It will be a fun, physical football game.”
Quarterback Austin Stebens leads the Blue Jays’ efficient passing game. He has completed 68 of 103 passes for 1,182 yards and 21 touchdowns while only throwing one interception all season.
Ashland’s defense will also put up a stiff test for Otis-Bison.
“We know what defense they’re going to run,” Otis-Bison senior running back Michael Hlavaty said. “They run the same defense as us, pretty much. They are going to try to spread it out (on offense) and throw it against us.
“They do a little bit of everything. They’re a pretty good team. It ought to be a very tough game.”
The Blue Jays’ leading rushers are Ben Fox and Ervin Swonger, who have 877 and 779 yards respectively. Fox has scored 11 touchdowns on the ground, along with 211 receiving yards and two TD receptions.
Swonger has 13 rushing touchdowns, 307 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Stebens’ most productive target is Jay Luerman, who has 391 receiving yards and nine touchdowns while averaging more than 19 yards per catch.
The Blue Jays have fumbled 12 times, losing 10 of them this season.
Starr said that he will have his defense ready.
“We look at the last few games they’ve had,” Starr said of studying film. “What they run in the last few games, that’s what they’re probably going to run. You know, they’ll probably change a few things, but for the most part, they are going to stay with what’s been working for them.”
Defensively, the Blue Jays have only allowed their opponents an average of 8.4 points per game. The Cougars are right underneath that, allowing 6.4 per game.
Ashland has four shut-out wins this season including the playoff blanking of Chase, 48-0. The Cougars also have four shut outs, including a first-round victory over Fowler, 46-0.
Otis-Bison Athletic Director Stan Ewy said that he expects this game to be tough because of the experience Ashland has in the playoffs.
“They are a good team, a power team,” Ewy said. “Their history of success is something. I coached girls’ basketball down in Protection which about eight to 12 miles from (Ashland), and year in and year out, they always made the playoffs in football.
“So they have a tradition. They have some good athletes too, but they have some tradition.”