East controls ground, air in rout of New Albany

On paper, it looked like Friday’s Hoosier Hills Conference football game between New Albany and Columbus East would be close.

The Olympians made sure early on that was not the case.

Jamon Hogan and Jaedin Miller each had over 100 yards rushing in the first half as they went on the rout New Albany 56-15.

“It was our best first half we played this year,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “We had a really tough week of practice and we challenged our guys to come down here and face a great team in New Albany. We knew they would be ready for us and I thought our kids came out physical early and played a great first half.”

The offensive line of Columbus East gave the running backs plenty of space to run around the field and once they found the open space, they were off to the races. Hogan finished with 170 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns. He also added a 59 yard receiving touchdown. Miller finished with 110 yards rushing and two rushing touchdowns.

“It all starts up front and we said coming into the game that we had to win up front,” Gaddis said. “Their defensive line was very athletic and their linebackers were very active, but I thought our offensive line handled that very well.”

After the defense for East forced a fumble, the first offensive play from scrimmage for the Olympians (4-1, 3-0) was a Hogan 38 yard touchdown run.

Quarterback Josh Major was back in action for East after missing the last two games due to a concussion. Major didn’t miss a beat as his first throw of the game was an 80 yard strike to Caleb Voelker to extend the lead 14-0.

With East leading 35-0 and the outcome all but decided, Major exited the game on the Olympians’ final possession of the first half. He finished with four completions for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

East’s depth got plenty of reps in for the second half, Brayden Smith had a great 15 yard run that set up a 28 yard touchdown run for Voelker, who relieved Major at quarterback to extend the lead 49-7.

The Bulldogs (3-2, 2-1) did show a little bit of life in the third quarter. Darquan Richardson, the Bulldogs top running back, had his biggest run of the night with a 27 yard scamper and a two point conversion cut the lead 49-15.

In the fourth quarter, East freshman Ethan Rogers came in at running back in the fourth quarter and had a big burst through the middle for a 52 yard touchdown.

“We have a lot of good and young, talented kids on our team,” Gaddis said. “A lot of guys got in tonight and it was a great team effort.”