SEYMOUR — Columbus East’s path to the sectional football title will consist of three teams who the Olympians beat handily during the regular season.
That caused a slight concern for East coach Bob Gaddis. But the Class 5A No. 2 Olympians put his fears to rest Friday night with a 63-0 opening-round rout of Seymour.
“You’re always concerned when you play somebody again,” Gaddis said. “It kind of gives the underdog the advantage because they have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”
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East (9-1), which beat Seymour 44-6 the third week of the season, was even more dominating this time. The Olympians scored four touchdowns in the first eight minutes and never looked back.
Led by Jamon Hogan’s 152 yards and freshman Mark McDonald’s 139 yards with the JV offense in the second half, East amassed 405 yards on the ground. The Olympians also threw for 175.
“We were very balanced, so that just helps out our entire offense,” said quarterback Josh Major, who completed 6 of 9 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. “We were able to run and throw the ball, and I thought we executed very well tonight.”
Defense and special teams also were stellar. Sam Thomasson was 9 for 9 on extra points.
And, of course, the defense pitched the shutout.
“Our defense came out, and we set the tone,” junior cornerback Jonah Wichman said. “Our D-line did a great job. Our linebackers did a great job getting their hands up and getting a pass rush. Our offense came out great too and scored some points.”
East wasted little time getting on the board. On its first possession, a 30-yard pass from Major to Ethan Summa set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Hogan.
Then on the Owls’ next series, Wichman stepped in front of a pass into the flat and returned the interception 35 yards for a score.
“In practice all week, our scout team does a good job of replicating the plays that they run,” Wichman said. “I just read (Perry’s) eyes, and went for the ball.”
After forcing a Seymour three-and-out, Hogan went 52 yards for a touchdown on the first play. After another three-and-out, Major hit Summa for 45 yards to the 1-yard line, where Jaedin Miller took it in for a 28-0 lead with 4:11 still left in the first quarter. Miller added another 1-yard scoring run midway through the second period.
East got the ball back again at its own 21 with 1:03 left in the first half and went 79 yards in six plays. Major hit Klayton Brummett, who made a diving catch in the corner of the end zone, for a 33-yard touchdown with 7 seconds left in the half for a 42-0 lead.
The Olympians scored all three times they had the ball in the third quarter. Major scored on a 12-yard run for a 49-0 lead, bringing the night to an end for the starters. McDonald added touchdown runs of 37 and 76 yards.
Besides Wichman’s interception, East also recovered two fumbles in the second half, one of which stopped one of the few Seymour scoring threats.
“They kind of did what they thought they were going to do,” Gaddis said. “They featured their quarterback offensively and did some things on defense, but I thought our kids came out and got after them really early and then played a good, consistent football game.”