Written by The Herald Staff
Ottawa University is home to a national champion.
The Ottawa women’s flag football team captured the first NAIA National championship Saturday in Atlanta, Georgia. Ottawa nipped Keiser University, 7-6, in the championship game.
Ottawa advanced to the title game with a 27-12 win over Webber University in the semifinals.
Ottawa avenged its only loss of the season — a one point loss — to Keiser.
It was quite an inaugural season for the flag football team. Ottawa went 14-1, including 6-0 in the KCAC. Ottawa also captured the KCAC Tournament title.
Ottawa coach Liz Sowers is a pioneer of the sport. She is a member of the national team and coach of the national champions.
Sowers took the program from nothing to a championship in less than a year.
Sowers first recruit was signed this past June. It was quarterback Madysen Carrera.
“”I am extremely excited to have Madysen join the Ottawa family,” Sowers said after her signing. “Not only is she an extremely talented football player, she is an even better person. Madysen has the ability to play multiple positions, a dual threat quarterback, a naturally talented receiver with great hands, and Loves to play defense. In my opinion, she could easily have a dominant impact in any of those positions.”
She was a dominating force at quarterback this season earning all-conference and was the offensive player of the year.
She played a key role in the title game, tossing a 28-yard touchdown pass to Alyssa Linkout to give Ottawa an early 7-0 lead.
On the pass, the Keyser defensive back tipped the ball, but Linkous made the catch off the deflection. Carrera threw a one-yard pass to Clara Beaudoin to convert the extra point.
Keiser scored in the third quarter, but the Ottawa defense thwarted the extra point to mainatain the 7-6 lead.
The Ottawa defense came up with a big play late in the game to seal the victory.
Keiser drove the ball to the Ottawa 23-yard line with 33 seconds remaining. The Seahawk quarterback tried to hit the receiver in the slot, throwing over the OU linebacker. The pass was high and Beaudoin intercepted the ball to clinch the title.