COLUMBIA CITY – Columbia City’s football team is bumped out of the running of becoming Northeast 8 champions as the Eagles dropped to East Noble 42-0 Friday night.
Columbia City (5-3) had the opportunity to get on the board first, as the Eagles started with the ball, but were forced to punt. East Noble (4-1) started its first drive at midfield. The Eagles stuffed the Knights run play on fourth for a turnover. Columbia City once again could not drive the ball down the field and was forced to punt once again on the next drive.
East Noble quarterback Andrew McCormick sparked the Knights’ momentum, leading to East Noble’s first touchdown of the game. On third down, McCormick kept the ball for seven yards to lead the team to a first down. Then, Hayden Jones caught a 20-yard pass from McCormick, and Harshbarger finished the drive with a 4-yard touchdown run, late in the first quarter, the Knights led 7-0.
The Eagles connected on a long pass on third down, but the receiver fumbled the ball to a Knights defender. East Noble recovered the ball and started a drive of their own. The Knights scored with a 35-yard post route catch by Jones, East Noble led 14-0. East Noble’s staunch defense once again forced Columbia City to punt on its next possession.
Columbia City’s defense put the Knights in a difficult 3rd-and-21, but McCormick completed a 16-yard pass to Chevy Wright, then kept the ball on the next play to convert the fourth down. Dane Hile scored on a five-yard run to put the Knights ahead 21-0 in the second quarter.
Columbia City fumbled on the following kickoff, and the East Noble offense had the ball in excellent field position at the Columbia City 28-yard line. The Knights converted on fourth down with a pass to Harshberger. Jones caught the ball for a 12-yard score. The Knights led 28-0.
Columbia City’s next possession was intercepted by Bailey Parker. No harm was done as East Nobles’ pass was intercepted shortly after by Tanner Martz.
The Eagles had great field position by starting their next drive on the Knights’ 15-yardline. Jacob Wigent ran the ball for an eight-yard gain. The Eagles had the ball inches from the goal line, but the center-to-quarterback snap was fumbled and the Knights took away Columbia City’s scoring opportunity once again.
East Noble drove the ball 82 yards with minutes left in the first half. McCormick kept the ball for a first down. A quarterback scramble led to another first down the next play. The play following was first down catch made by Donley Durbin. Drew Devers caught a nine-yard pass, and Griffen Dafford-Koebler caught an 18-yard pass a couple plays later. Dafford-Koebler ran the ball from the one-yard line for a score with 18 seconds left and the Knights led 35-0 at the end of the half.
The Eagles were able to shut out East Noble in the third quarter, but could not score anything of their own either.The Eagles defense swarmed to the ball for a turnover. Columbia City’s Noah Judd caught an interception to open the second half.
The Columbia City coaches wanted back-up Max Bedwell to play quarterback for the Eagles in their next possession, to gain experience.
Bailey Parker came in to play quarterback for the Knights. Parker started by running the ball for a 24-yard gain to the goal line. Durbin scored a one-yard touchdown to up the score 42-0. Parker wasn’t done, as he picked off an Eagles’ pass. The Knights cruised to a victory from there.
Jacob Bolt completed eight of 17 passes for 69 yards. Bedwell completed a pair of passes for nine yards. Wigent led the rushing attack with 47 yards on the ground. Garrett Roehling led the Eagles with three receptions for 27 yards. Noah Judd and Michael Sievers both had a pair of catches for 20 yards.
Austin Bolt led the Eagle defense with nine solo tackles. Klayton Parker and Tanner Martz followed with seven.
Jacob Bolt punted four times and averaged 33 yards per kick. Judd returned East Noble’s lone punt for six yards. Doug Hill returned a kickoff for 30 yards. Austin Bolt returned a pair of kickoffs for 30 yards as well.