NORTH VERNON — Columbus East has built its reputation on running the football.
On Friday night, the Olympians showed they could throw the ball a little bit, as well.
Josh Major and Cole Gilley combined to throw for 261 yards and four touchdowns, and Class 5A No. 4 East rolled to a 62-7 Hoosier Hills Conference win at Jennings County.
“We know we can run the football, but we’ve worked really hard on our passing game the last two weeks, and we wanted to come out and use it a little bit tonight,” East coach Bob Gaddis said.
The Olympians (3-1, 2-0) used the running game on their first two offensive series. Major ran four yards for the first score of the night.
Then, after an interception by linebacker Charlie Burton, Jamon Hogan ran 37 yards for a touchdown. After East stopped the Panthers (1-3, 0-2) on downs, Hogan ran 17 yards for another score, and the Olympians led 21-0 after one quarter.
East’s passing game took over in the second quarter. Major hit Klayton Brummett for a 39-yard touchdown. After Jaiden Miller ran 13 yards for a score, Major found Ethan Summa for a 57-yard scoring strike and a 41-0 halftime lead.
Major finished 5 of 7 for 142 yards passing. Both of his TD tosses came on one-play drives.
“I thought we were able to get behind them a little bit, and the offensive line blocked up front, and we executed in the passing game tonight,” Major said. “We always talk about setting the tone, and I thought we really came out and did that today.”
Gaddis sent his JV offense on the field to start the second half, but the scoring didn’t stop. Gilley hit Cody Horner for a 45-yard score. Then on the second series of the second half, Gilley hit Horner with a short pass, and Horner broke a couple of tackles on his way to a 51-yard touchdown and a 55-0 lead.
Jennings then got on the board with a one-play drive of its own. Justin Rennemeier hit Zane Beineke for a 63-yard score.
“Coach Zimmerman does a good job with that offense,” Gaddis said. “They went to that Wing-T last year, and we don’t see that out of many people. I thought they did a nice job executing, and our kids adjusted to it pretty well as the night went on.”
East’s Lance Greiwe finished off the scoring with a 31-yard run midway through the fourth quarter.
The Panthers played without a pair of injured starters — running back James Colina and linebacker Blaich Blanton.
“We got totally dominated physically up front on both sides of the ball,” Jennings coach Rick Zimmerman said. “When you do that, it’s hard to stop them because they had huge holes, and they have great backs and they had all the time in the world to throw. We felt like last year, we were able to hit with them, but this year, we got physically beat up. It was kind of men against boys tonight.”
Rennemeier finished 12 of 20 for 131 yards passing. Beineke caught six passes for 104 yards.
Gilley went 4 of 6 for 119 yards through the air. Hogan carried five times for 106 yards, and Horner caught two passes for 96 yards.
“I was happy with the way the kids performed,” Gaddis said. “In a game like this, I thought they came out kept their edge the whole night.”