FLOYDS KNOBS — Floyd Central limited Columbus East to as little time on the field as possible by using a strong running game to chew up as much of the clock as possible.
It was no use, as the Olympians proved why they are the team to beat in the Hoosier Hills Conference. The Olympians’ offense erupted in the third quarter to put the game on ice as they spoiled the Highlanders’ homecoming by cruising to a 49-14 win in Friday night’s conference battle.
“Floyd Central did a great job preparing and played very hard in the first half,” East coach Bob Gaddis said. “They did what I thought they were going to do, and that was ball control. We were fortunate to score a couple times in the first half.”
The Olympians (5-1, 4-0) struck first on their second possession of the game. Faced with a fourth-and-1 on the Highlanders’ 41-yard line, Major delivered a play-action pass to Cam Wilson for 36 yards to extend the drive. Jaedin Miller punched it in from one yard away to put the Olympians ahead 7-0.
The Highlanders fought back on the ensuing possession. They used a 15 play, 80 yard drive that chewed up over seven and a half minutes off the clock in the second quarter. Dylan McRae ran it in from 16 yards to tie the game.
East scored right before the first half, with Major delivering a 48-yard strike to Caleb Voelker to go ahead 14-7 at the half.
Major finished with 221 yards through the air and a touchdown. He also rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown. This is his second game back from a concussion that sidelined him for two games earlier this season.
“I feel much better, and it felt great getting a good week of practice in,” Major said. “(Voelker and Wilson) are phenomenal wide receivers. I just know I can throw the ball up there and they are going to go make a play. The offensive line gave me plenty of time, too.”
Jamon Hogan, who was quiet in the first half, made his presence felt in the second half as he would score his first touchdown three yards out to extend the lead 21-7.
On the kickoff, a huge turning point in the game occurred when the Olympians forced a fumble and Charlie Burton recovered the ball for East. The Olympians converted off the turnover when Hogan capped the drive off from eight yards out to make it 28-7.
Hogan got his third rushing touchdown just before the end of the third quarter with a 1-yard run that was set up by a 34-yard pass play to Voelker.
The defense did its job to make sure the Highlanders had no comeback.
“Our key was to stop their run and make them get off schedule on first down and make them not do what they want to do,” said East defensive back Ethan Summa. “It was a long bus ride, so we had to play intense from the get-go, and I was trying to get my team fired up.”
The Olympians are now the frontrunners to capture another HHC title.
“Our kids responded in the second half, but I don’t think this team has put together our best four quarters of football, and that is something we got to figure out,” Gaddis said. “Our focus is to work on our fundamentals and improving and to keep ourselves atop the conference.”