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COLUMBUS North, a team that has struggled against some of the top tailbacks on its schedule, might not have been too worried going into Friday’s home game against Bloomington South.
Panthers running back Tabin Breedlove had rushed for 648 yards, solid but not spectacular.
After Breedlove suffered an injury, spectacular entered the Bloomington South lineup on Friday in a 51-47 loss to Terre Haute North.
Bloomington South senior Eli Eads, who had 151 yards entering the game because he spent more time at middle linebacker, set a school rushing record with 347 yards on 32 carries against Terre Haute North.
Columbus North coach Tim Bless noted that Eads won’t be his team’s only worry.
“We are facing another big quarterback (Bryce Stancombe, 1,574 yards passing, 19 touchdowns) and another big arm.”
Although Bloomington South is 2-5 overall and 1-4 in Conference Indiana play, all four of its conference losses have been by eight points or less.
The Bull Dogs, meanwhile, have won three of their past four games and are coming off a 49-42 victory against Perry Meridian in which tailback Josh Holt rushed for 298 yards and five touchdowns.
Bless expects another close game.
“They have an experienced team,” he said. “These are names we’ve been seeing the past three years.”
Columbus East, meanwhile, travels to Jeffersonville with a chance to clinch at least a tie for the Hoosier Hills Conference title.
At 7-0 overall and 5-0 in conference play, East would move to 6-0 in the conference with a victory and would have only one game remaining, against a Bedford North Lawrence team that is 1-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play. Floyd Central and New Albany, which play each other the final week of the regular season, are both 4-1 in conference play. East has beaten both.
The Red Devils, 4-3 overall and 3-2 in conference play, are interesting in that they started the season with a 60-48 win against Evansville Bosse, a 61-7 victory over Seymour and a 60-0 triumph over Bedford North Lawrence. Jeffersonville went 4-0 with a 34-11 stomping of Madison and appeared to be East’s main competition for the HHC title.
However, three loses have followed against Floyd Central, Providence and New Albany.
“They’ve turned the ball over,” said East coach Bob Gaddis about the Red Devils’ woes. “But this is always a game that we look forward to preparing for. It’s always a physical game.
“They have some very good athletes.”
Jeffersonville’s main offensive threat is senior tailback Austin Hines, who has gained 812 yards and averages nine yards per carry. Red Devils’ all-state tight end Dionte Allen is 6-foot-4, 275 pounds.
Gaddis said his team came out sluggish in a win over Madison last Friday but he is confident his players learned a lesson from that slow start.
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