With wins in both of his Indiana Conference football games so far this season, Columbus North is exactly where he wants to head into tonight’s clash with Bloomington South.
The No. 3 Class 5A Panthers (6-0, 4-0) have already played and won their other four conference games and will complete their conference program tonight. The Bull Dogs (3-3, 2-0) need a win tonight and then next week at Bloomington North or the following week at home against Terre Haute South to defend their title.
Columbus North prepared for tonight’s game with a 24-0 win last week at Terre Haute North.
“It was a big win on the road and to be able to bounce back after two tough weeks against incredible opposition,” said Columbus North coach Tim Bless. “We have never lost trust in each other and our work ethic. We had a good week of training and it turned into a very good game on the road after a very long trip when our opponent returned.
Bloomington South quarterback Zach David completed 69 of 114 passes for 1,031 yards and 11 touchdowns. Che Hogue carried 142 times for 885 yards and nine scores and Cooper Fox has 32 catches for 406 yards and two touchdowns.
“Their running back is a very good football player,” said Bless. “Their quarterback is more of a pitcher than a runner, but he runs enough and he’s an athletic kid.”
For the Bull Dogs, Luke Hammons completed 62 of 97 passes for 684 yards and nine touchdowns and carried 69 times for 281 yards and six scores. Dyllan Redmon has 80 carries for 436 yards and two touchdowns, and Keegan Castetter has 22 catches for 300 yards and two scores.
They will face a defense led by rookies from Indiana University, Dason and Daeh McCullough. The McCulloughs moved from the Kansas City area when their father, former Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough, held a similar position at Indiana University. Dasan had enlisted in the state of Ohio before moving on to the Hoosiers.
“It’s a whole different aspect of their defense, as far as the personnel is concerned,” Bless said. “But it’s the same pattern. They’ve always run their 3-4 program very well, and this year is no different. We have to run offensively.
Meanwhile, Columbus East (2-4) will have his hands full when he travels to 4A No. 9 Bishop Chatard. The Trojans are only 2-4, but have lost their first four games to 3A No. 2 Brebeuf Jesuit, 6A No. 5 Warren Central, 4A No. 1 Roncalli and 5A No. 1 Cathedral.
“We’ve been talking all week about ‘This is a great opportunity to play one of the state’s most famous football traditions,” said East coach Eddie Vogel. “Chatard has a great footballing tradition. We think it’s a good test for us for the tournament because in the tournament, you have to go on the road to get off the bus and go to compete. We just want a chance to get into the fourth quarter with a chance to win.
Ethan Duncan of the Olympians completed 31 of 58 passes for 372 yards and two touchdowns and carried 98 times for 430 yards and four scores. Tryce Villarreal has 118 carries for 539 yards and six touchdowns, and Logan Christophel has seven catches for 134 yards.
East took two of the three wins after a 0-3 start. The Olympians beat Floyd Central 28-14 last week.
“I think we played a good whole team game,” said Vogel. “Our special teams were pretty strong, but offensively and defensively I thought we were playing good complementary football.”