Friday night’s final score of 49-18 doesn’t come close to showing how much Columbus East dominated Terre Haute North in the regional matchup.
Josh Major ran 65 yards for a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, and the Olympians never looked back. They led 49-3 at halftime before playing their reserves in the second half.
“It felt great,” Major said. “We wanted to get off to a quick start, and I thought we did that. We wanted to dominate the game, and I thought the entire offense did a great job tonight.”
The Class 5A No. 2 Olympians (12-1), who won their sixth regional title in the past seven years, will play No. 5 Cathedral on the road in Friday’s semistate. Cathedral does not have a home field, so the game will be at Indianapolis Tech.
The outcome of the regional game was determined early. East scored on all seven of its first-half possessions in building the big lead.
“I thought we came out and really played well offensively,” Gaddis said. “We were able to run the ball a little bit, and we were able to throw the ball a little bit. With us playing up-tempo, I’m not sure they’ve played a team that plays maybe as up-tempo as we do, and I thought that maybe caught them back on their heels a little bit.”
The Olympians outgained the Patriots (6-6) 414-72 in the first half. Major carried seven times for 124 yards and three touchdowns and completed 6 of 7 passes for 118 yards and a score before exiting the game on the final drive of the first half.
Jamon Hogan carried 10 times for 134 yards and two scores. East ran for 296 yards in the first half.
“I thought our offensive line did a nice job of controlling their front,” Gaddis said. “We thought coming in, they were going to be a physical football team, and I thought our kids matched that.”
Terre Haute North put together its only sustained drive of the first half on its first possession, but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Nic Guevara to cut the lead to 7-3. After that, it was all Olympians the rest of the half.
Hogan ran 35 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 lead. East had another one-play drive on its next series, with Major hitting Back for a 57-yard score.
Major added scoring runs of 8 and 37 yards the next two times the Olympians had the ball. Hogan went 55 yards for his second touchdown, and a 42-3 lead.
It looked like that would be the score going into halftime when East sent in the JV offense with a little more than 3 minutes left in the first half. But freshman Mark McDonald scored on a 9-yard run with 3 seconds left in the half.
With East’s JV in the game the second half, it was outscored 15-0. The final three points came on a field goal on the game’s final play.
Now, it’s on to Indianapolis, where the Olympians will try to knock off a team that has beaten East in the semistate before, including in 2011 and 2012.
“It’s one game (to go to) the state championship,” Gaddis said. “It will be good for our kids to have a chance to take a look at them. These guys have never played Cathederal, so it will be good for us to play them.”