After Columbus East’s 61-0 victory at Seymour on Friday night, the Hoosier Hills Conference held an emergency meeting to consider what they will call “The Markell Jones rule.”
Section 15, Article 28, B reads “That huge beast in the Columbus East backfield will heretofore be forced to carry one opposing defender (not over 190 pounds) on his back in all contests until the time he graduates.”
Jones, the Olympians’ junior tailback, was ridiculous against the Owls, carrying four times for 184 yards and, yes, four touchdowns. The only thing that stopped him from gaining more yards was that pesky end zone.
The runs were 80, 21, 38 and 45 yards.
Oh, by the way, all his runs came in the first quarter.
Although there were rumors that East quarterback Alex Cowan would not hand him the ball after his fourth touchdown, that might not be true. Then again, Cowan was overheard whispering, “He won’t let the rest of us play.”
I would imagine Jones’ response would be something like, “I didn’t know there was a second half.”
If you are doing the math at home, that’s 547 yards and 11 touchdowns this season in basically five quarters of actual playing time (three games overall). Thus, the emergency meeting.
In reacting to the situation, the HHC board also considered some of the following solutions:
- Make Jones run with his shoelaces tied together.
- Wear blindfold and spin him around three times before getting ball.
- Limit him to two carries a game.
- Insert his legs into a burlap bag.
They went with the “must carry opponent” rule because, let’s face it, those guys already are riding him down the field. What’s one more guy?
The only unfortunate part of all this is that Jones will be very limited with his carries and therefore not allowed to set any state records.
Sheridan’s Brett Law scored a record 66 touchdowns in 1988. In 2012, North Central (Farmersburg) running back Chase Van Schoyck gained 511 yards for the single game record. New Haven’s Cory Jacquay rushed for a season-record 3,366 yards in 2001.
Jones certainly could hold all those records if East head coach Bob Gaddis so desired, but Gaddis isn’t about trying to win a plaque by decimating kids from other teams.
The effort didn’t translate to a win, but Columbus North took a solid step forward in its 19-14 loss to Bloomington North on Friday.
If the defense can continue to rally to the ball, good things are bound to happen. What a difference from the first week of the season.
Sure, the Bull Dogs gave up three long touchdown plays, but more often than not, when a runner broke a Columbus North tackle, he was surrounded by three or four other defensive players.
That North staff has the players pushing hard from snap to whistle and eventually it will pay dividends.
Jay Heater is The Republic sports editor. He can be reached at email@example.com or 379-5632.