Coming off its first loss of the season, Columbus North was looking for a solid outing Friday when it hosted Terre Haute South on senior night.
The Bull Dogs did just that. They jumped out to a 27-7 halftime lead and went on to post a 37-13 Conference Indiana win.
“They absolutely needed a bounce-back game,” North coach Tim Bless said. “I was pleased with our kids with their preparation this week. There was no woe-is-me or self pity. We just came back and got to work and had a great week of preparation that ultimately became a great Friday night win.”
The score would have been worse, but the Braves (1-4, 1-2) scored a touchdown against the Bull Dogs JV defense with 6 seconds left in the game.
North’s Cortez Bandy celebrated senior night by rushing 20 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Another senior, Jaylen Flemmons, caught four passes for 138 yards and a score.
“I love that we play great football on senior night,” Bless said. “We talked as a team during the week and reminded them tonight that Bull Dog football has a history of playing great ball on senior night. That’s a tribute to the 20 seniors on our roster that mean so much to our success, so I’m very pleased for those young men.”
The Bull Dogs had to go only 17 yards for their first score of the night. After tackling the Braves’ punter at the 17, North needed four plays, with Bandy taking it the final yard.
Bandy’s second touchdown came on the first play of the second quarter, this one from 5 yards. Terre Haute South then got on the board with a 31-yard scoring pass from Collins Turner to KC Bender to cut the lead to 14-7.
North answered on the next play from scrimmage. Trenton Kelley hit Flemmons with a short pass, and Flemmons broke a tackle and took it the rest of the way for an 80-yard touchdown.
Bandy added his third touchdown of the half on a 9-yard run with 3:53 left, and the Bull Dogs led 27-7 at the break.
If Terre Haute South had any hopes of getting back in the game, North erased those on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. Kelley hit D’Andre Scruggs over the middle on a crossing route, and Scruggs took it for a 57-yard score and a 34-7 lead.
On the Bull Dogs’ next series, they settled for a 25-yard field goal from Spencer Rivera.
Kelley finished 14-of-22 passing for 293 yards and two touchdowns.
“I think both sides of the ball were solid,” Bless said. “They’re going to look at film and see missed opportunities. We probably could have scored more than what we did, but we’ll take the victory.”