Friday night’s homecoming game at Columbus North had to be delayed 20 minutes after Terre Haute North was stuck in traffic on I-65.
The Patriots might be wishing they had turned around and gone home.
The Class 6A No. 5 Bull Dogs turned two turnovers into two touchdowns in the game’s first 22 seconds and went on to post a 59-13 Conference Indiana win.
Mitchell Burton, who was named Homecoming King earlier in the day, ran for 207 yards and four touchdowns, and Columbus North intercepted four passes in the rout.
The Bull Dogs (6-0, 4-0) set the tone for the game on the first play. The Patriots’ Shawn Hapenny tried to field the kickoff at his own 4, but fumbled. He tried to pick it up at the 1, but a hit by Cortez Bandy jarred the ball loose again, and Brigham Kleinhenz fell on it in the end zone.
Then, on the first play after a touchback, Damon Hunter Jr. intercepted a Nick Barrett pass at the 29 and returned it to the 1. Mitchell Burton took it in from there, and the Bull Dogs led 14-0 just four plays into the game.
Columbus North didn’t score on its next two drives, but then after a Terre Haute North field goal, Burton took it 77 yards on the first play. The Bull Dogs then broke it open when Harley Huser returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown and a 28-3 lead.
The Patriots (2-4, 2-2) didn’t go away quietly, however. They drove for an 8-yard Nick Barrett-to-Nathan Barrett touchdown pass.
Columbus North answered with an 11-yard scoring run by Burton. Terre Haute North used a second Nic Guevara field goal to cut the lead to 35-13 at halftime.
The Bull Dogs added to the lead in the third quarter with a 30-yard field goal by Mark Salle-Tabor and a 6-yard touchdown run by Burton.
In the fourth quarter, Triston Perry hit James Garrett for a 38-yard touchdown. Then, with the backups in the game, Cortez Bandy ran twice for 47 yards, capping the scoring with a 21-yard run.
J.D. Harris had two interceptions for the Bull Dogs. Noah King had the other interception.