Boys Varsity Football
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Balance was the buzzword for the Columbus North football team Friday night (Sept. 22) at Terre Haute North’s Gene Shike Field at Carl S. Riddle Stadium.
With junior Trenton Kelley throwing for 211 yards and three touchdowns and senior Cortez Bandy running for 177 yards and two scores, the visiting Bull Dogs posted a 38-14 decision over the host Patriots to improve to 5-1 overall, 3-1 in Conference Indiana and give coach Tim Bless a record-tying victory.
In a game delayed for 46 minutes late in the first quarter because of lightning, Bless’ career mark at Columbus North moved to 118-80 in 17-plus seasons with the Bull Dogs. That matched the win total of Max Andress, who was 118-79-10 in 21 seasons with Columbus High.
For the game, Columbus North finished with 421 yards of offense – Kelley’s 221 yards passing and 220 team rushing – and 22 first down in a near-perfect display of balance. Terre Haute North (4-2, 2-2) managed seven first downs and 226 yards of offense, 173 rushing and 53 passing, but that figure did not include an 88-yard kickoff return by senior Kane Barrett.
Kelley and senior Jaylen Flemmons provided the early highlights for the Bull Dogs, combining for a pair of first-quarter touchdown passes that covered 10 and 14 yards. Sophomore Montez Mitchell and senior Damon Hunter Jr. helped set up the second score, Montez forcing a fumble by THN senior Evan Funkhouser and Hunter recovering the ball at the Patriots’ 39.
The hosts cut their deficit to 14-7 late in the first quarter after Funkhouser ran 63 yards to the CN 9 on the final play before lightning was spotted. After the delay, junior QB Tristan Elder sneaked in from the 1 on a fourth-and-goal play.
Columbus North made it 17-7 at the half when senior Drew Wilson converted a 23-yard field goal midway through the second quarter. The scoring opportunity was set up when Kelley connected with senior Tristan Bailey for a 26-yard pass and run on a fourth-and-18 situation from the THN 32.
Barrett opened the second half with his 88-yard touchdown return to make it 17-14, but the Bull Dogs responded immediately. They marched 67 yards in five plays, Kelley hitting Bailey on a quick slant to the left for an 18-yard touchdown.
After forcing a punt on the Patriots’ next possession, Bandy – who ran for 139 yards after intermission – found pay dirt on a 42-yard touchdown where he ran into the pile and emerged on the other side and burst for the score. The play was the first play after a roughing-the-kicker call on Terre Haute North on what would have been a CN punt.
Bandy added a 1-yard TD in the final period when he capped a 11-play, 56-yard drive that consumed 6 minutes, 50 seconds. Ten of the 11 plays were running plays, Kelley passing to sophomore Landon Robbins for 10 yards on a second-and-9 situation and junior Michael Johnson running for 12 yards to key the possession.
Columbus North returns to action at 7 p.m. next Friday (Sept. 29) when it hosts Perry Meridian (0-6, 0-4) in its homecoming game, a contest in which Bless could supplant Andress as the all-time victory leader at Columbus North/Columbus High. Terre Haute North is back to the field at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Bloomington South (2-4, 1-3).
At Terre Haute North
Columbus North …………… 14 3 14 7 – 38
Terre Haute North ………… 7 0 7 0 – 14
CN – Jaylen Flemmons 10 pass from Trenton Kelley (Drew Wilson kick), 8:36 1Q
CN – Jaylen Flemmons 14 pass from Trenton Kelley (Drew Wilson kick), 4:21 1Q
THN – Tristan Elder 1 run (Nic Guevara kick), 1:27 1Q
CN – FG Drew Wilson 23, 6:49 2Q
THN – Kane Barrett 88 kickoff return (Nic Guevara kick), 11:47 3Q
CN – Tristan Bailey 18 pass from Trenton Kelley (Drew Wilson kick), 9:51 3Q
CN – Cortez Bandy 42 run (Drew Wilson kick), 5:32 3Q
CN – Cortez Bandy 1 run (Drew Wilson kick), 1:45 4Q
TEAM STATISTICS CN THN
First downs ....................... 22 7
Rushes-yards ................41-210 26-173
Passing yards ................... 211 53
Comp-Att-Int ................. 21-29-0 7-17-0
Total yards ....................... 421 226
Fumbles-Lost .................... 1-1 3-1
Punts-average ............... 3-35.7 4-36.8
Penalties-yards ............... 5-66 5-45
Time of possession ........ 29:11 18:49
RUSHING – Columbus North: Cortez Bandy 27-177, Michael Johnson 6-22, Trenton Kelley 8-11. Terre Haute North: Evan Funkhouser 8-118, Shawn Hapenny 13-46, Jonathan Wyrick 4-8, Tristan Elder 1-1.
PASSING – Columbus North: Trenton Kelley, 21-29-0, 211 yards. Terre Haute North: Tristan Elder 7-17-0, 53 yards.
RECEIVING – Columbus North: Jaylen Flemmons 7-74, Tristan Bailey 5-71, Preston Terrell 3-31, Landon Robbins 2-13, Mitchel Collier 2-10, Cortez Bandy 1-6, J.D. Harris 1-6. Terre Haute North: Nathan Barrett 3-38, Evan Funkhouser 2-13, Kane Barrett 1-4, Shawn Hapenny 1-(-2).
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Columbus North: None. Terre Haute North: None.