Boys Varsity Football
INDIANAPOLIS – The Columbus North football team played well for much of its Class 6A Sectional 8 encounter at Franklin Central, but a few too many mistakes proved costly as the Bull Dogs dropped a 14-11 decision on Friday evening (Nov. 1) at Chuck Stephens Field.
Columbus North limited the hosts to just 156 yards of offense for the game, but Luca Hodge’s 58-yard interception for a touchdown late in the second quarter gave the Flashes a lead they never relinquished while improving to 5-5 for the season.
Franklin Central also blocked a CN field-goal attempt earlier in the half that could have given the visitors an edge, and the Bull Dogs lost a fumble on an attempted fair catch in the fourth quarter that cost them about two minutes of time and 30 yards in field position.
In addition, Flashes junior Peyton Viewegh exploited a pair of fourth-quarter breakdowns in the Columbus North secondary for a 40-yard connection to senior Peyton McClendon that set up a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior Jacob Whitney on a fourth-and-9 play.
That score gave Franklin Central a 14-3 advantage, but the Bull Dogs did not quit. Rather, they countered with a nine-play, 76-yard drive where sophomore quarterback Luke Hammons scrambled 3 yards for a touchdown. Hammons then followed with a two-point conversion run to make it a three-point margin with 7:01 to go.
The Bull Dogs’ defense forced a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, but junior Blake Huffman was unable to cleanly field a line-drive punt by Flashes senior Gabe Crutchfield. So instead of CN ball near midfield, the Flashes retained possession and chewed up another two minutes before punting again. This time, Huffman called a fair catch at his own 20.
The Bull Dogs were unable to move the ball and had to punt, but the defense got the ball back one more time with another three-and-out. This time, Crutchfield’s punt was downed at the CN 5 with just 2:37 remaining.
Hammons scrambled 17 yards for one first down, but a spike to stop the clock was followed by two incomplete passes and a scramble for no gain. That gave Franklin Central the ball on the CN 27 with 2:04 to go, and with the Bull Dogs out of timeouts, the hosts ran three plays to end the game.
Huffman finished with 80 yards on 21 carries, while Hammons ran 15 times for 41 yards and a touchdown as Columbus North finished its season a 5-5. Hammons also completed 10-of-22 passes for 106 yards. Senior Mitchel Collier collected seven receptions for 83 yards, while senior Giovani Alejandro had three catches for 23 yards.
Viewegh completed 5-of-12 aerials for 120 yards for Franklin Central, while McClendon made two receptions for 79 yards and Whitney had two catches for 32 yards. Sophomore Aataeveon Jordan paced the Flashes’ ground game with 29 yards on 17 carries. Junior Josh Ruley added 23 yards on nine attempts.
Franklin Central advance to the sectional final at 7 p.m. next Friday (Nov. 8) at Center Grove (5-5), which defeated Columbus East 31-7 in the other first-round game. The Olympians finished their season at 7-3.
AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL
Sectional 8: First Round
Columbus North ………… 0 0 3 8 – 11
Franklin Central …………. 0 7 0 7 – 14
FC – Luca Hodge 58 interception return (Gabe Crutchfield kick), 2:32 2Q
CN – FG Carter Ward 24, 0:31 3Q
FC – Jacob Whitney 25 pass from Peyton Viewegh (Gabe Crutchfield kick), 9:06 4Q
CN – Luke Hammons 3 run (Luke Hammons run), 7:01 4Q
TEAM STATISTICS CN FC
First downs ………………… 14 7
Rushes-Yards ……………… 46-150 33-36
Passing Yards ……….…….. 106 120
Comp-Att-Int …………..…… 7-23-2 5-12-0
Total Yards …………………. 256 156
Fumbles-Lost ………….…... 1-1 1-0
Punts-Average …………..… 2-26.5 6-33.2
Penalties-Yards ……..…….. 2-20 4-49
Time of possession …...….. 28:41 19:19
RUSHING – Columbus North: Blake Huffman 21-80, Luke Hammons 15-41, Daveed Jolley 5-23, Landon Robbins 1-6, Royce Lofton 2-0, Hunter Huser 1-0, Giovani Alejandro 1-0. Franklin Central: Aataeveon Jordan 17-29, Josh Ruley 9-23, Peyton McClendon 1-0, Peyton Viewegh 6-(-16).
PASSING – Columbus North: Luke Hammons, 10-22-2, 106 yards; Giovani Alejandro, 0-1-0, 0 yards. Franklin Central: Peyton Viewegh, 5-12-0, 120 yards.
RECEIVING – Columbus North: Mitchel Collier 7-83, Giovani Alejandro 3-23. Franklin Central: Peyton McClendon 2-79, Jacob Whitney 2-32, Tyler Robinson 1-9.
MISSED FIELD GOALS – Columbus North: Carter Ward, 36 (blocked). Franklin Central: None.
PHOTO: Sophomore Luke Hammons (14) is congratulated by several teammates after scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown against Franklin Central on Nov. 1, 2019.