Bull Dogs clinch share of title

BLOOMINGTON — Columbus North went to Bloomington North Friday night with a chance to clinch at least a share of the Conference Indiana football title.

The Bull Dogs were not to be denied.

Columbus North scored touchdowns on its first six possessions and racked up 556 yards of total offense in rolling to a 55-19 victory.

“That was the mission during the week,” Bull Dogs coach Tim Bless said. “We set ourselves up with a big victory last week against Bloomington South to be able to play for at least a share of the conference here tonight. Mission accomplished on the road against a very worthy opponent in Bloomington North. Obviously now, we’re excited about trying to seize the outright conference next week.”

Columbus North (5-3, 4-0) can win the title outright and finish unbeaten in the conference with a win against Terre Haute South on Friday.

“It feels great, back-to-back defending our title, but we have to beat Terre Haute (South) at our place next week and go 5-0,” senior quarterback Luke Hammons said.

Hammons completed 11 of 14 passes for 218 yards and three touchdowns and ran 10 times for 111 yards and a score. Dyllan Redmon carried 19 times for 112 yards and three touchdowns. Keegan Castetter had five catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

The Bull Dogs used a balanced offense. They ran for 259 yards and threw for 297.

“Our O-line was doing great all night,” Redmon said. “Our passing game, rushing, they were just opening up the holes. It was a good win. Both sides of the ball played good. We just have to come out next week and win it all.”

Columbus North broke this one open early. Hammons hit Castetter for a 15-yard touchdown on their first possession and Cooper Horn for a 14-yard score on the second.

“We knew the first drive was going to be a great one for our offense,” Hammons said. “We went right down the script, and we executed every play perfectly. Once we got that one touchdown under our belts, it was going to be a fun night after that.”

Then after Jaxson Scruggs returned a punt to the Cougars 5-yard line, Redmon took it in from the 4 on the second play, and the Bull Dogs led 21-0.

Redmon scored again from the 3 on the first play of the second quarter, and it was 28-0. Bloomington North’s Cody Mikulich returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, but Columbus North answered on the second play of its next series when Horn took a pitch on an end around and hit a wide open Castetter behind the defense for a 79-yard touchdown.

Redmon ran 51 yards for his third score of the night to push the lead to 41-7. Muikulic then had two touchdown runs in the final 4:30 of the first half to cut the lead to 41-19.

Whatever momentum the Cougars (5-3, 3-2) may have had, the Bull Dogs erased it with touchdowns on its first two drives of the second half. Hammons hit Horn for a 5-yard score, and Hammons kept it himself for a 6-yard touchdown. That made it 55-19 and triggered a running clock for the rest of the game.

“Offense was great all night from the opening snap,” Bless said. “Special teams contributed. Our offense had short fields pretty much the whole first half. “Other than the defense falling asleep there in the second quarter, I thought we played a pretty good football game.”