COLUMBIA CITY — After pummeling Norwell last Friday, Columbia City’s football team finished the regular season with a winning record — only the sixth time in the past 24 years.
The Eagles made their 40-7 win over their Northeast 8 Conference foe look easy, pulling down three interceptions and recovering three Norwell fumbles.
The Knights scored on their first possession of the game, but that touchdown was quickly answered by a 25-yard touchdown run by Eagle Jacob Wigent.
Columbia City didn’t give the ball back to Norwell for long, as Tanner Martz stripped the ball from Norwell on the kickoff, giving Columbia City the ball back, just 29 yards from the end zone.
Quarterback Jacob Bolt punched the ball through the line to score, making it 14-7 with 4:27 left in the quarter.
The Eagles weren’t done with their first-quarter scoring yet, forcing Norwell to punt after four plays.
A pass to Ethan Christen put the Eagles in scoring position, and Wigent earned his second goal of the night with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Michael Sievers intercepted the first Norwell play from scrimmage to give Columbia City the ball right back, but the Eagles were forced to punt.
It wasn’t long before Columbia City had the ball back again, as the defense recovered a Norwell fumble 24-yards away from the end zone.
The Eagles finished the drive 35 seconds into the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run to put Columbia City ahead 26-7.
In the first half alone, the Eagles’ offense already tallied 170 rushing yards. Head Coach Brett Fox attributes many of those yards to the work of offensive lineman Zach Vandeputte.
“We changed his position from defense to offense and we’re running the ball behind him,” Fox said.
The defense continued its dominance in the second quarter, with Sievers intercepting another pass and the defense blocking a punt in the following Norwell possession to put the Eagles in scoring position.
Tanner Martz carried the ball eight yards for a touchdown 47 seconds before halftime to put Columbia City ahead 33-7.
Sievers took a turn on the offensive side of the ball in the second half, scoring Columbia City’s final touchdown on an 88-yard carry just 50 seconds into the half.
The Eagles had 362 total yards of offense, including 281 rushing yards led by Sievers with 107. Sievers also recorded two receptions for a total of 40 yards.
Drew Rethlake led the defense with eight solo tackles and one sack.