Jess's Blog

Greatest games between North and East

August 25 2011 • 03:00:48 PM

It's North-East week. It's the biggest week on the Columbus sports calendar.

In anticipation of Friday's game, which will be nationally-televised on ESPNU, I dug through newspapers clippings from 1972 to the present, and found what are arguably the best football games ever played between the two Columbus high schools.

Here they are in chronological order. Let me know if I left some of the list.

Oct. 29, 1976 With 3,000 football fans watching, Columbus East head coach John Stafford had a decision to make: Go for the win, go for the tie. Go for the kill, or let the game live to see another play.

Down one point to rival Columbus North, Stafford went for 2.

“I remember the play,” Stafford said. “We called a trap play. It was a staple of our offense.”

Overtime, 1976, the Olympians had never beaten the Bull Dogs. Earl Young-Bey charged behind East’s center and attempted to plunge in the end zone. He fell short.

That play ended one of the greatest football games ever played between East and North. Many more have followed in the 35 years that have passed.

For Stafford, the 1976 game hurt the worst.

“Because I really thought we could win that ball game,” he said.

Stafford had reason to believe. The longtime East coach had led his team to four straight wins entering the Oct. 29 game. The Olympians were up 14-0 at halftime, but the Bull Dogs came back to tie the game at 14 and force overtime.

East chose to play defense first. North had four plays from the East 10-yard line. Quarterback Bob Pollert scored on a 1-yard run, and Scott Hamilton kicked the extra point, giving the Bull Dogs a 21-14 lead.

Young-Bey countered with a 7-yard touchdown run off the center trap. Going for the jugular, Stafford called for the play again, but North’s Tim Anderson snuck into the backfield and stuck Young-Bey. The game ended 21-20, North.

“It was one of the greatest victories ever for Columbus North High School,” North coach Bill McCaa told The Republic after the game. “Never before has the underdog won, and I think we were the underdog.”

The following year, the Olympians notched their first win against the Bull Dogs. Blair Kiel, a budding star, threw for 156 yards and two touchdowns, rushed for 34 yards, punted twice for an average of 45 yards and kicked three extra points. The Olympians won the next three meetings between their cross-town rivals and a state title in 1979.


Sept. 3 1993 — The Bull Dogs couldn’t stop East junior fullback Greg Craft all night. Or, rather, not until the end of the night.

Craft went ballistic, rushing for 183 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown with 8:33 remaining in the fourth quarter pulled the Olympians within 1.

A North penalty encouraged East to go for the 2-point conversion. The Olympians again handed the ball to their workhorse, but North senior safety Tony Nelson and lineman Josh Scruggs stopped Craft well short of the goal line.

Final score: North 14, East 13.

“We wanted the win,” Craft said after the game. “They just guessed perfectly on the spot.”

Sept. 1, 1995 — East rallied from down 10 points early in the fourth quarter to win, 28-22, knotting the series 12-12.

North’s Tony Johnson rushed for 167 yards, including a 72-yard score with 10:30 remaining, giving the Bull Dogs a 22-12 advantage. However, Chad Young threw two touchdown passes to Marcus Hunter in the final minutes to put the Olympians up for good.

Hunter rushed for 167 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 76 yards.

Sept. 6, 1996 — North came back from 10 points down to take the lead and held on, 19-17.

In the final minutes, the Olympians were driving, looking to go ahead for good. But with 1:30 remaining, North’s Jeremy Londeree batted an East pass to teammate David Steinkoenig for the game-saving interception.

Aug. 25, 2001 — The score doesn’t indicate an exciting game. North beat East 7-3. But given the circumstances and the can’t-make-this-stuff-up finish, it ranks as one of the all-time best.

On the night East’s field was named after Stafford, on the night East coach Bob Gaddis and North coach Tim Bless squared off for the first time, North junior cornerback/wide receiver Ryan Shatto etched his name in the local history books, forcing the game-changing fumble and catching the game-winning pass in a matter of minutes.

East led 3-0 midway through the fourth quarter, when quarterback Zach Wells scampered and gained 46 yards, making it all the way to North’s 3-yard line before Shatto knocked the ball loose. The ball went through the end zone to give North possession on its own 20-yard line.

With 1:44 remaining, Bull Dogs quarterback Evan Kleinhenz connected with Shatto for a 50-yard touchdown pass and the victory.

Aug. 27, 2004 — Another low-scoring game that doesn’t scream thriller. East defeated North for the first time in four years and the first time in the Gaddis Era, 13-7.

With 5:22 remaining, quarterback Jimmy Weddle threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Ross to put East up by six points.

The Bull Dogs marched from their own 25-yard line all the way to East’s 4, but on third-and-goal Weddle, also a linebacker, intercepted a pass in the end zone to seal the win.

“This was four years of working hard, 6 a.m. workouts, buying into the program,” Weddle said after the game. “Coach Gaddis came in four years ago and said we were going to turn this place around.”

Aug. 26, 2005 — Current Oakland Raider Steve Brown was the star of this game.

In front of a reported crowd of more than 4,000, Brown lifted East (No. 3 in 4A) to a 28-24 triumph over North (No. 6 in 5A).

Brown scored three touchdowns, including the go-ahead one off a screen pass from Drew Kiel with 1:22 left on the clock. After a short kickoff, North started from its 45-yard line and traveled to East’s 18. On fourth-and-17, North quarterback Mike Hladik hit Chase Halter on the left sideline near the end zone, but Brown zoomed in and halted Halter to end the game.

In just his second career varsity start, Kiel threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns. North running back Alex Turner rushed for 202 yards and three scores.

Aug. 28 and 29, 2009 — Forever known as the game it took two days to play.

North led 21-13 with 8:04 remaining in the third quarter when thunderstorms struck Columbus and delayed the game. The rivals returned to the field a day later and East ran away with a 24-21 win.

Sophomore quarterback Gunner Kiel orchestrated an eight-play, 69-yard drive, capped off by a 34-yard touchdown pass to Cole Thompson for the go-ahead score with 2:47 showing in the fourth quarter.

North was ranked No. 8 in 5A and East was ranked No. 9 in 5A.

Oct. 23, 2009 — Arguably the greatest game ever played between East and North.

In a sectional shootout, East traveled 74 yards in 1:03 to pull off the 27-26 come-from-behind victory. Junior Shane Henderson’s extra point put the finishing touches on the thriller.

Henderson also caught the game-tying pass and intercepted North quarterback Jarrett Brownfield on the final play of the game.

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East-Greenwood notebook

August 22 2011 • 10:48:22 AM

Considering the hype, many were surprised by Gunner Kiel's modest passing numbers against Greenwood Friday night. He completed 4 of 17 attempts for 47 yards and two touchdowns in the 28-7 win for the Olympians. Not numbers you would expect from one of the most highly recruited quarterbacks in the nation, but don't expect that to be the norm.

Keep in mind Kiel is playing with what is basically a brand new receiving corps (the exception being senior Luke Hampton). Timing is off, no debating it. But they've got time to fix it.

This question posed to me Friday night was a good one, and I've thought about it often since: Was it Kiel or his receivers? Who was off?

I'd have to go with a combination of both.

In the first half, Kiel seemed to be mostly overthrowing his receivers. Some might say that's on him. Others would say that's on the receivers for not finishing their routes. I do, however, remember one throw that was clearly behind the receiver, and there's no pinning that on anyone but the quarterback.

In the second half, Kiel looked sharp. He launched a beautiful ball down the left sideline for what would have been -- no doubt about it -- a 44-yard touchdown, but it was dropped. On East's next drive, Kiel threw two passes, both of which hit the receivers in the hands and were not caught. 

Turn those drops into catches, and you've got Kiel completing 7 of 17 for at least 110 yards and three touchdowns. Take into account he also rushed for about 70 yards, and that's a pretty good night.

What a night for Wichman

You hear it all the time: The team that wins the turnover battle wins the game. That held true Friday night. 

East gained fewer yards, fewer first downs and had more penalties. But the Olympians had one turnover to the Woodmen's seven. Yes, seven.

Junior safety Brian Wichman made big plays in big ways, recovering a fumble and intercepting three passes, the last of which he returned 100 yards for a touchdown. For a player making what I believe to be his varsity start -- correct me if I'm wrong (this is a blog, you know) -- not too bad.

Granted, Greenwood quarterback Ben Heller is a more of a runner than a passer, but even so, you've got to give a pat on the shoulder pads to a defensive player accounting for four turnovers. Especially considering, as coaches say, the turnover battle is what determines games.

Running the ball

Much has been said and written about Kiel and the passing game, but let's not forget about the East rushing game.

Kiel and running back Andrew Wilson combined for about 150 rushing yards. They were the only ones who got carries, according to my notebook.

I heard people talking about Wilson in the offseason, saying he was going to have a big season. I'm not arguing against it. He had a pretty good season last year, rushing for about 1,200 yards, and he's definitely gotten bigger in the offseason. Whenever Wilson found an opening Friday he made the most of it. He rushed for a 29-yard touchdown and had a 26-yard catch-and-run TD.

Not a bad 2011 debut.

Meanwhile, Kiel continues to impress me with his toughness. There's no doubting every opposing defender wants to get a good hit on what some consider to be the No. 1 quarterback in the nation, but, problem for them is, Kiel creates the contact. Whenever he takes off running, he anticipates the contact, lowers his non-throwing shoulder (IU fans, praise the Lord for that) and takes the defender down with him.

How this type of talent will translate in the Big Ten is debatable. Kiel won't ever be known as a running quarterback, but you've got to believe he'll be able to make plays with his feet when passing plays break down. He did so Friday. But those impromptu plays were against Greenwood, not Penn State.

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2011 Columbus football section

August 19 2011 • 10:50:01 AM

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Stats, stats, get your stats

October 27 2010 • 11:13:22 PM

Updated offensive stats should be posted soon. A reader wrote asking about defensive stats. Here's a few notable defensive numbers for Columbus North and East.


Caleb Maley:  The 6-foot-2, 180-pound linebacker leads Columbus East (9-1) with 78 tackles. He's blocked two punts, intercepted two passes and recorded a safety.

Tyler Shadwick: The 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior linebacker ranks second on the team with 67 tackles. He's blocked a punt and recorded two sacks.

Wes Cordier: The 6-foot. 180-poound senior linebacker ranks third on the team with 60 tackles. He also has a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Eli Schoettmer: The 6-foor-2, 205-pound senior linebacker has recorded 49 tackles, including three sacks.

David Johnson: The 5-foot-8, 170-pound sophomore leads East with five sacks. He's also forced two fumbles and recovered another.

Against East: Opponents are averaging 213.9 rushing yards, 86.9 passing yards and 14.9 points per game.


L.J. Roederer: The 5-foot-10, 205-pound senior linebacker leads Columbus North (7-3) with 70 tackles. He's also recorded three sacks and intercepted a pass.

Austin Sizemore: The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior linebacker ranks ssecond on the team with 53 tackles. He's also recovered a fumble.

Gabe Holt: The 5-foot-8, 175-pound senior defensive back has 52 tackles and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

Will Rinehart: The 6-foot-1, 220 pound linebacker has been banged up this season with a shoulder injury, but he's still managed to make 52 tackles, intercept two passes and record a sack.

Keenan Noel: The 6-foot-1, 240-pound senior defensive end/fullback has 34 tackles, four sacks and leads the team with three fumble recoveries.

Jake Reed: The 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior defensive end/tight end leads the team with eight sacks. He's also got 45 tackles.

Against North: Oppenents are averaging 182.3 rushing yards, 118.2 passing yards and 18.8 points per game.


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Decatur Central QB out

October 22 2010 • 03:07:40 PM

I'm probably not breaking anything to true blue Columbus North football fans here, but Decatur Central quarterback Brandon Ledford won't play in tonight's first-round sectional game against the Bull Dogs.

Ledford led the Hawks (6-3) with 1,118 passing yards and 884 rushing yards. That's some serious offensive production that the Bull Dogs won't have to worry about tonight. In other words, it's good news for North.

Still, you've got to feel for a kid who'd done so well in his senior season, only to have it taken away.

Winning still won't be easy for the Bull Dogs. They'll still have to deal with a trio of running backs -- Cody Turner, Sean Evans and Sean Gary -- who've combined for more than 1,000 yards and scored a grand total of 28 touchdowns. Turner is a receiving threat who has 572 yards and nine TDs.

Junior backup Jake Tillery will replace Ledford.

The Bull Dogs (6-3) are coming off a 56-14 whooping of Southport on senior night in Columbus. A North team bothered by injuries for most of the season seems to be finally healing up. The winner advances to play the winner of Martinsville (6-3)/Bloomington North (6-3).









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Storylines aplenty for East

October 20 2010 • 05:32:46 PM

It's two days before Columbus East (8-1) faces off with Center Grove (7-2) in a game that's one of the best first-round sectional matchups in the state. Going by the AP poll, Center Grove is ranked No. 5 in 5A, and East is No. 12. 

Here's some food for thought about the upcoming game:

** East lost to the Trojans, 21-14, in the second round of last year's sectional. Close game, and the Olympians led until about the 2-minute mark of the fourth quarter, when Jimmy Daggett scored on a 20-yard touchdown run. Daggett has rushed for 1,287 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. Against an East defense that has allowed more than 200 rushing yards per game, it will be interesting to see if Daggett runs wild.

** East quarterback Gunner Kiel is coming off a less-than-spectacular performance, that coming in a 35-13 victory over Bedford last week. He threw for 230 yards but was intercepted twice. Don't get me wrong, Kiel has been absolutely phenomenal in this his junior season, throwing 33 touchdown passes to just four interceptions, but I want to see how he bounces back from the slightest bit of adversity. Kiel is a big-time recruit with big-time potential. He'll be playing on Saturdays some day. Let's see how he handles the big games.

** This is just a hunch, but something tells me Center Grove coaches are planning on how they're going to stop Kiel. But not to be overlooked is East's ground game. Junior Andrew Wilson's had a huge game against Bedford last week, rushing for 150 yards and two TDs, and he caught another two TD passes. If the Center Grove linebackers and safeties drop back in coverage, Wilson will get his opportunity to shine. And all he's done this year is average 8.8 yards per carry.

** Speaking of the Center Grove defense, it has limited opponents to 13.7 points per game. East is scoring about 40 every time out. Strength against strength, which will win?

** Last but not least, Center Grove football coach Eric Moore will coach against his son, Columbus East senior lineman Tyson Moore. That's something you don't see often.




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Steve Schoettmer
Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Mon October 25, 2010, 10:17:47
I am curious about the defensive stats for the players this year. My son Eli is the Starting Middle Linebacker at East. I know in the Center Grove game he recovered the onside kick in the first quarter to help East get off to a 14-0 start, and also had two consecutive tackles for loss against CG in the second quarter. But I am curious about his and the other teams totals for this game and the the rest of the season, are those available?

The Playoff Picture

October 12 2010 • 01:24:15 AM

The IHSAA sectional football pairings were decided by lottery Sunday night, and Columbus East definitely did not hit the jackpot. The Olympians (7-1), ranked No. 12 in 5A (according to the AP Poll) will open the postseason at No. 5 Center Grove. Not exactly ideal, but then again, after talking to a few of the East players Monday, they seemed excited about the challenge.

After all, the Olympians are going to get an opportunity for revenge. The Trojans knocked them out of the playoffs in the second round of last year's sectional, 21-14.

The knock on the Olympians is they struggle to stop the run. That's no secret. North's Kobi Cook slashed and dashed for 342 yards and five touchdowns against them. Case in point.

Center Grove's got a good running back, senior Jimmy Daggett, who's rushed for more than 1,260 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lately, East's defense has looked to be improving. Can they stop Daggett, a 6-foot, 210-pounder? We'll have to wait to see.

If the Olympians win, they'll play the winner of Bloomington South/Whiteland on Oct. 29.

North (5-3) hit rock bottom last week. Without starting quarterback Kyle Kamman (concussion), the Bull Dogs turned the ball over five times and lost a 13-9 game to a pretty bad Bloomington South team. Those aren't my words. Wait, yes they are. South had won just one game entering Friday's game against North.

The Bull Dogs open the playoffs at home against a 6-2 Decatur Central team. When healthy, and when sharp, North looks like a team that could make a deep run in the postseason. The problem is the Bull Dogs haven't been healthy, and thus haven't been sharp.

The good news is Cook looked good last week against Bloomington South. He had that burst he lacked during his first few games back after suffering a sprained ankle. Still, he could only do so much with Kamman sidelined.

After Friday's game, I asked Columbus North coach Tim Bless if he expected Kamman to be back this week against Southport, and he only had three words for me, "I hope so." OK, maybe it was four, "I sure hope so."

It's not that Keenan Noel was dreadful at quarterback -- he broke off a 71-yard touchdown run and made a pass that, if caught, would have won the ball game, but he's not quarterback anymore. Yes, he played the position growing up, and even some in high school, but he's a big boy now -- literally. He's a monster blocker and tackler. No Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

If North beats Decatur Central, it will play the winner of Martinsville/Bloomington North. The Bull Dogs already beat Bloomington North (3-5) in an ESPN Classic this season, but I'm not so sure there will be a rematch. Martinsville is 5-3 approaching its season-finale against Franklin.

The dream scenario for local football fans would be North and East both winning two, and then meeting in the sectional championship. As a local sportswriter with nothing better to do with his time, that's what I'll be hoping for.

And just one more thing, really, a lottery is the way we draw up the state tournament? Talk about the BCS being a screwed up system. Can't we think of a better way to do this? I'm thinking seedings based on regular season performances seems logical. Maybe that's too much work.



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North needs a win

September 30 2010 • 12:55:49 AM

How quickly the mighty can fall. Three weeks ago, Columbus North was on top of the high school football world. Winners of their first four games, one of them being a thrilling victory over Bloomington North, the Bull Dogs appeared destined for great things.

Then a loss to Lawrence Central. Then a loss to Pike. How the hype has fizzled.

With three games remaining in the regular season, North (4-2, 2-2 Conference Indiana) needs a win to get its motor going again. That, I'm thinking, should come against Perry Meridian this week.

For anyone seeking "just the facts," you might want to click away. The Bull Dogs should win this game because they've got to be angrier than Kim Jung Il at the county fair, standing just below the bottom edge of the "Must be this tall to ride" sign. Emotion can wins ball games -- well, when its properly channeled by the seniors leading the team.  

North will have senior Chris Shillings back this week and playing on nearly every offensive down. Or, rather, North coach Tim Bless said earlier in the week that was his hope. That's a big plus for the Bull Dogs, who saw Shillings play sparingly last week.

My Friday feature this week focuses on Shillings. I enjoyed writing the story because he seems to be a hard-nosed guy, battling back from injury and leading by example. He pushes others. Really, when you're running sprints and getting beat by a guy with a knee brace, you need to rethink your workout regimen.

Looking at Perry Meridian, I don't see a gimme for the Bull Dogs. The Falcons are 2-4 overall and 2-2 in Conference Indiana. They played a pretty tough non-conference schedule, falling to Center Grove (which is now 5-1) and Decatur Central (now 4-2).

It's just I see the Falcons falling short on offense, where they're averaging 9.3 points per game. Last week, they scored just three points in a loss to Bloomington North, a team North was able to put up 27 against.

The Falcons are getting about 68 passing yards a game from quarterback Mason Deal, according to stats reported to, and about 41 rushing yards per game from running back Willie Martin, again according to the stat-reporting website stated above. If I'm a Falcon fan, I'm wanting more production from my offense.

Then again, credit to their defense for keeping them in games. We'll see if they can stop Kyle Kamman, Kobi Cook and Co.

Kamman has thrown for more 1,000 yards and Cook has rushed for more than 800. That's some offensive production.








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Challenge for East: Stop Floyd Central running back Kyle Bramble

September 23 2010 • 05:48:45 PM

The Columbus East defense did its job, containing New Albany Chris Whitehead last week, holding the dual-threat quarterback to 101 yards on the ground and just seven yards passing. OK, so maybe he wasn't so much as a dual-threat, rather a fast and athletic running QB. Still, the Olympians have struggled stopping the run and they didn't let Whitehead run all over them. Kudos.

But an even bigger test awaits the Olympians Friday at Floyd Central. That's running back Kyle Bramble, the state's leading rusher. The junior tailback rushed for 243 yards and four touchdowns last week, leading the Highlanders (4-1, 3-0 Hoosier Hills Conference) to a 59-21 thumping of Jeffersonville, a conference foe they hadn't beaten since 2003.

Bramble could spell trouble for an East defense that's allowing an average of 243 rushing yards per game. However, the Olympians held him to just 80 total yards last season en route to a 42-17 victory on Homecoming night in Columbus, a night in which Bob Gaddis won his 200th game.

One thing the Olympians definitely have going for them is junior QB Gunner Kiel and Co., better acknowledged as one of the most potent passing attack in the state. I can't say its the best, because I haven't seen them all, but I saw Kiel toss six touchdown passes last week -- and that's video-game good.

This week, the earlier Kiel and his four receivers -- Luke Hampton, Cole Thompson, Shane Henderson and Jackson Renshaw -- get going, the better. That will force the Highlanders to throw the ball instead of pass. Or one would think.

If Bramble gets his touches early, moves the chains and drains the clock, the Olympians could be in trouble. That's got to be the gameplan for Floyd Central: Keep Kiel off the field. We'll see if it works. I'm doubting it will.

That passing attack is just too much. And it's only going to get better.







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A challenge to East: Stop QB Chris Whitehead

September 15 2010 • 07:16:21 PM

If you took a quick look at Columbus East's 3-1 record and New Albany's 1-3 record, it would be easy to assume victory for the Olympians this Friday night.  But in honor of former IU football coach Lee Corso, who was recently inducted into the Hoosiers Hall of Fame, I'd offer five words: Not so fast, my friend.

New Albany looks to be better than their record indicates. The Bulldogs (spelled one word the closer you get to Kentucky), came within a touchdown and a 2-point conversion of beating Bedford North Lawrence (3-1) last Friday. They lost 41-34.

I'm revealing no secret by telling you East has struggled to stop the run this year. Opponents are averaging 239 rushing yards per game. That's something defensive coordinator Eddie Vogel said he's taking personal.

Well, East players, I present a challenge for you: Stop New Albany quarterback Chris Whitehead, a 5-foot-8 senior quarterback who ran for 377 yards in a 47-46 season-opening loss to Providence. You do that, and you win. No question.

Even if Whitehead runs wild, I'm thinking East will probably still beat the Bull Dogs, Bulldogs. Quarterback Gunner Kiel needs a snap to score. That's it.

Kiel, a highly-recruited junior QB, is averaging 279.3 passing yards and has 15 touchdowns to zero interceptions. His favorite target, senior Shane Henderson, has 667 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The WR/P/K has scored 65 points.

New Albany hasn't beaten East since 2002. So there you go. Want a score? New Albany sustains long drives and scores a few touchdowns, but East kills it with its passing attack, per usual.

East 35, New Albany 14.

Still, if East wants to make a run in the playoffs, the rush defense must improve. But, again, that's not news to anyone who knows anything about East football.

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Postgame notes: North vs. Franklin Central

September 11 2010 • 09:27:21 PM

When Kobi Cook went down, Columbus North sophomore Jesse Tompkins hopped off the Columbus North bench and started running. He kept running, and running Friday night until reaching the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown that closed the door on visiting Franklin Central.

Quarterback Kyle Kamman took the snaps throughout North's nail-in-the-coffin series, but Tompkins, a 5-foot-8, 160-pounder engineered the drive. With a 17-14 lead, with 4:41 remaining in the game, Tompkins took the ball and carried it five times for 57 yards all the way to the goal line.

The drive lasted 2:06 and put the Bull Dogs up 24-14. It petty much sealed the deal. But senior defensive back Gabe Holt intercepted a pass on Franklin Central's next drive and took it to the house, 64 yards for his first career pick-6.

What was a close game for most of the game had a lopsided final score. North 31, Franklin Central 14.

Four weeks down, four wins for the Bull Dogs. who entered the game ranked No. 6 in 5A in both polls. What's impressed me most about North is that its not allowing injuries to interfere with its success. Cook sprained his ankle against Bloomington North, but Tompkins stepped right in and did an admirable job, rushing for 114 yards on 18 carries.

North's top receiver Chris Shillings missed last week with a foot and knee injury, but Christian Williams and sophomore tight end Zak Ruehman hauled in passes for touchdowns and Matt Stott led all receivers with 71 yards.

I wrote about the North passing attack in Friday's paper, and I've got to say Stott does have some sure hands. He told me that when I talked to him last week. And Kamman told me that, too. People exaggerate, myself included, but they weren't lying.

Some other players I'm starting to notice for North's defense include sophomore Taylor Summa and senior Evan Sonderman. They were getting around the Franklin Central offensive line and making tackles. During Franklin Central's first drive, Summa absolutely drilled a wide receiver to break up a pass.

Senior defensive lineman Tyler King had a big sack in the fourth quarter. Defensive end Jake Reed played with a cast on his left arm, which was protecting a broken bone in his wrist. Keenan Noel continues to be a monster. A monster, I tell you. The fullback/defensive end could play anywhere on the field except DB.

A source with knowledge of Noel's hands tells me he's got the best ones on the team. Stott might have something to say about that, though.







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Posts: 1
Reply #2 on : Tue September 14, 2010, 18:30:37
... for calling me Mr. Huffman. I demand that kind of respect. Can I call you Gert?
Gertrude Wilson
Posts: 2
RE: Yearbook
Reply #1 on : Tue September 14, 2010, 11:53:30
Mr. Huffman,

I know Jesse Tompkins had a spectacular game but I thought I should let you know ahead of time that our yearbook crew is still fully staffed.


North injury report

September 8 2010 • 02:49:11 AM

Talked to Columbus North coach Tim Bless today, and it sounds like preparing for Friday's game against Franklin Central has been difficult. Not only did they lose a day of practice to Labor Day, but they don't know who they'll be playing with or without.

During Friday's thrilling win over Bloomington North (27-24), Kobi Cook sprained his ankle and wide receiver Chris Shillings suffered a left ankle injury and a right knee injury -- on the same play.

"He just kind of got folded like a tent," Bless said. 

Bless said they're hoping Cook can play on Friday. They're keeping him off his feet until then. Ah, if only a sprained ankle could do the same in the work force, we'd all be walking around in crutches.

Shillings is more doubtful. Bless said Shillings was scheduled to go to the doctor Wednesday, but the Bull Dogs were planning on playing without him when they host Franklin Central (2-1).

Tight end/defensive end Jake Reed broke a bone in his wrist, then played against East. He'll be out this week, but Bless sounded optimistic that they'll get him back shortly thereafter.

Reed's replacement had a monster sack during the first quarter of Friday's game against Bloomington North. He actually knocked the quarterback's helmet off. But then he got hurt in the second half. And going from bad to baffling for the Bull Dogs, senior starting defensive tackle Troy Federle also was injured.

What gives?





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A miracle? Probably not. But it was a memorable play.

September 5 2010 • 12:44:23 AM

Here's what I wrote last night after the Bloomington North/Columbus North. The game was unbelievable. Even after writing my game story, I had to write some more.

Anwyway here she is:

Words alone can’t possibly describe the game I just saw. But I’ll give it a shot.
Columbus North was bruised and battered. The Bull Dogs began the game without three defensive starters (including IU-bound tight end Jake Reed), then lost two of their best offensive players in the first half -- running back Kobi Cook and Ball State-bound wide receiver Chris Shillings.
They were down 10-0 to Bloomington North (ranked No. 20 in the AP poll), then came roaring back just before halftime, scoring two touchdowns in 21 seconds to take a 14-10 lead into halftime. 
Then, after halftime, fullback Keenan Noel, who is monster blocker, tackler, pass-catcher and runner, collided with – well, let’s say four Bloomington defenders – paused for a moment to recover his balance and sprinted straight forward 22 yards into the end zone. North is leading 21-10 early in the third.
Game’s not over, but it’s getting there. Or, so I thought.
Must have forgotten about Bloomington North tailback D’Angelo Roberts and his aggressive running style. He doesn’t get knocked down. He gets hit, slows down, finds a second gear, gets hit again and then, after taking five or six more hits, he goes down with five people on his back.
Did I mention he sprained his ankle last week? Hoosier football fans this is your future running back.
Roberts helped the Cougars bring it within 4 points, 21-17, 3:27 left in the third. Still plenty of ball game.
The fourth quarter was kind of slow with both defenses standing stingily strong.  With about five minutes left, though, the Cougars were driving, rather riding on the back of Roberts.
Stats I am currently without, but I know he had more 35 carries and more than 150 rushing yards. Give me a break. It’s late.
Anyway, Bloomington North was riding all the way to the Columbus North 7-yard line, when linebacker Austin Sizemore (I think) knocked the ball loose, out of the hands of a Cougar wide receiver. Noel recovered, and the Bull Dogs had the ball on Bloomington North’s 9 with 4:14 remaining, still leading 21-17.
North ran the ball five times, got two first downs, and all the while the clock was draining. Then, the nightmare scenario for North turned to reality when a running back fumbled, giving Bloomington North the ball at the Columbus North 39-yard line with two minutes remaining.
Four plays. Touchdown for Bloomington North:  quarterback Jake Tieken completed his first pass – yes, his first completion of the game -- for a 22-yard touchdown to Dylan Anderson.
Bloomington North 24, Columbus North 21, with 1:19 remaining.
Game over? At that point, I’m thinking probably. I mean, really, what’s the likelihood of a first-year starting quarterback traveling 65 yards in 1:09 with his best wide receiver sidelined? I’m thinking I’ve got a better chance of finding a date at McNutt after the game.
When Kamman completed his first pass, I’m like, ‘OK, young fella, good start.’
Second pass for 4 yards, another for 6, ‘OK, you’re at Bloomington North’s 40, but I have no idea how many timeouts are left and there’s only about a minute left. Sorry Kamman. Sorry Bull Dog fans.’
Then the long bomb came to Christian Williams in the end zone. Kamman had to scramble out of the pocket to fire to a wide open Williams. Would it get there was the only question. Touch…
Dropped. The words that came out of my mouth:  That poor kid.
High school kids are cruel. When the name of the game is popularity, which most teenagers strive for, there’s no out of bounds. Sticks and stones break bones, but words pulverize souls.
So, with that in mind, imagine Williams walking the halls of Columbus North Tuesday. What would have been.
Fortunately, every so often, you get second chances. And when they come your way don’t let them slip away.
Williams didn’t Friday.
Three plays after dropping a pass in the end zone, Williams hauled in the game-winner as time expired. There was just a second on the clock when Kamman released the ball from 38 yards out. Then the miracle happened.
Well, maybe it wasn’t a miracle. It was just one of those moments that qualified as great. And those don’t come around too often.

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Bull Dog
Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Sun September 05, 2010, 10:25:21
ESPN Classic.

North vs. North, Bless vs. Bless

September 3 2010 • 01:33:45 PM

Tonight's game between Bloomington North and Columbus North should be a good one, and there are storylines aplenty.

Bloomington North is ranked No. 20 in the AP poll, and Columbus North hopped up to No. 7 after beating rival Columbus East last Friday night, 42-21.

Bloomington North's D'Angelo Roberts, a senior tailback headed to IU, is expected to play in tonight's game, despite spraining an ankle against Bedford North Lawrence last week. Although that's not-so-good news for Columbus North fans, it's hard to imagine Roberts will be at full-strength.

One storyline that's surely been beaten to death over the last six years is that Columbus North coach Tim Bless will be coaching against his brother Scott Bless, a former assistant of Tim's at North. Scott is 27-29 in six seasons at Bloomington. Another Bless brother, Mark Bless, is in his first season at Avon. They're all over the place. Can you imagine Thanksgiving at the Bless family, watching football, talking football. It's got to be hard to find anything else to talk about.

Will Kobe Cook have another monster performance tonight? He's averaging 298 rushing yards per game. One would think that's an impossible pace to maintain, but one's also got to think there will be a few college coaches in Bloomington, checking out Roberts and another future IU player, North tight end Jake Reed. If that's not motivation for Cook and his big offensive line, I don't know what is.

So far, so good for the Bull Dogs, who are pouring in points -- 49 against Seymour, 47 against East. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up the scoring against what appears to be a strong Bloomington North defense. The Cougars (which just happens to be my favorite nickname because it's a 21st century double entendre) shut out Jeffersonville in the season opener and held Bedford North Lawrence to 7 last week.

Go out and watch some football tonight. There should be a good one in Bloomington.







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Worth the wait

September 1 2010 • 12:16:08 AM

Well, it was certainly worth the price of admission. North defeated East Friday night in the most competitive 42-21 game I've ever seen. It was Gunner Kiel and the East passing attack versus Kobi Cook and the North rushing attack.

Kiel had more than 300 yards passing, while Cook set a new school record with 342 yards rushing -- not to mention five touchdowns. Al Bundy of Polk High would have been proud of the performance. Too young for that reference? Eh, google it.

Through two weeks, Cook, a senior, 5-foot-8, 185-pounder (or so says the North roster), has 596 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. He's averaging nearly 300 rushing yards a game for the 2-0 Bull Dogs.

Kiel, a 6-foot-4 junior, has thrown for 533 yards and seven touchdowns in two games. East senior slot receiver Shane Henderson has 14 receptions for 381 yards for the 1-1 Olympinas.

Those are the big-time numbers. Within a few days, stats for East and North will be available on the Web site, and they'll be updated every week. Hope you numbers junkies enjoy them.

East is hosting Seymour this Friday, while North travels to Bloomington North.

Coming in The Republic this Friday, I'll have a feature on the North offensive line. The starting group consists of five seniors -- Josh McCoy, Jacob Howarth, Christian Miller, Justin Schulz and Zach Schroer. The big boys up front are often overlooked and seldom celebrated.


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Countdown to kickoff

August 27 2010 • 01:15:02 AM

The wait is almost over. Columbus North and Columbus East will meet on the North football field at 7 p.m. tonight. The game will be the 39th of the storied rivalry. The series stands at 19-19.

I've heard offenses sell the tickets, and this is the hottest ticket in town. Tonight, those in attendance will see junior quarterback Gunner Kiel and East's passing attack versus the smashmouth North offense, featuring senior Kobi Cook running behind an all-senior offensive line.

Kiel threw for 316 yards and four touchdowns in East's 48-13 season-opening victory over East last week. Cook rushed for 254 yards and three TDs.

Last season, led by Kiel, the Olympians marched 74 yards in the final 1:03 to pull off a knock-your-boots-off 27-26 win over the Bull Dogs in the first round of the sectional. Kiel founded Shane Henderson, then a junior, in the corner of the end zone for the game's final TD.

Kiel, who comes from a long line of football players, said he remembers East coach Bob Gaddis calling the play, then pulling his quarterback over and saying, "Throw it to Shane because he's on fire."

Sure enough, Henderson caught the pass over two North defenders. I know that not because I was at the game, but because I watched the highlight on YouTube. Yeah, I've got nothing better to do.

On a side note, Kiel is becoming a big-time recruit. He said he's received offers from these eight schools: Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Colorado, Cincinnati, Wisconsin, Missouri and Tennessee.

Purdue was the first to offer the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder a scholarship. His older brother, Dusty, plays at Indiana, so you've got to think the Hoosiers are in the running, too. Tennessee is the most storied program on the list, but the Volunteers are on their third coach in three years.

Something tells me more offers are in the mail.

It's late -- around 1 a.m. -- and I've got to believe I'm not the only one awake thinking about this kind of stuff.

Last year's games between North and East were decided by a total of four points. That's enough to satisfy football fans with the highest of standards. We can only hope something similar happens tonight.

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Bull Dog
Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Tue August 31, 2010, 13:02:38
another step closer to state! let's go Dogs!

In case you missed it

August 23 2010 • 08:10:17 PM

It was supposed to be strength on strength, but it sure didn't look that way. North's big offensive line dominated an experienced Seymour front Friday night, paving the way to a 49-0 victory for the Bull Dogs. In case the score doesn't tell you all you need to know, just know that it wasn't a good game.

Then again, I'm sure North loved it. Senior Kobi Cook ran wild for 256 rushing yards on 27 carries, according to the stats I kept. Pat McKee, a longtime sportswriter for the Indy Star, is now the official "stat keeper" for the Bull Dogs, and he had Cook for 254. Eh, what's 2 yards? The point is the performance was one to remember. Let's put it this way:  He'll make the yearbook for it.

Perhaps just as impressive was North's defensive front -- led by the senior ends Keenan Noel and Jake Reed. The Bull Dogs absolutely hounded Seymour quarterback Chris McIntire. Noel blasted McIntire early in the second quarter, forcing the Owls' fourth punt and setting up North's fourth touchdown. He's verbally commited to Ball State with intentions of playing fullback, but I'm not so sure he wouldn't make a better defensive lineman in college. He's 6-foot-1, 240 pounds and fast.

Toward the end of the third quarter, the North reserves entered on offense, and backup running back Jamaal Halliburton, a sophomore, got an opportunity to show off his skills. He rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries and would've gained even more if a 78-yard touchdown run hadn't been called back. North's running game looks like it will be in good hands after Cook is gone.

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention junior quarterback Kyle Kamman's 9-for-11, 189-yard, two-touchdown performance. How are those numbers for a kid making his first career varsity start? Well, nearly perfect.

Yes, all is well on the North side of town, but that's subject to change. We'll see how the Bull Dogs do against rival Columbus East Friday night. This will be my first North/East game. Looking forward to it.

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Gertrude Wilson
Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Thu August 26, 2010, 17:31:59
I just wanted you to know that while Kobi had an outstanding game Friday he will not make the yearbook. We have a staff in place for that.

It's back...

August 19 2010 • 05:40:14 PM

.... Friday night football, that is. Local high schools throughout the state, and throughout most the country, start playing football Friday night, and that's good news for gridiron junkies. If you're reading this then, chances are, you are one of them. You love the crashing sound of helmets hitting pads and the jing-a-ling of cow bells. No overused "Saturday Night Live" reference needed.   

Throughout the season, we'll be updating Columbus East and Columbus North fans about the happenings. We'll do our best to keep you in the loop. East, the No. 4 ranked team in 5A, hosts Greenwood Friday, while North, which got 12 votes in the AP polls, plays at Seymour. Both games start at 7 p.m.

That much you already know if you're a local football fan.

Our season preview and our special section hits driveways and front porches Friday, so I don't want to reveal too much, but one thing you should about both North and East is that they shouldn't have any problem winning games. They've got the talent to match the hype.

East will be led by 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback Gunner Kiel, a junior who's receiving interest from Division programs such as Indiana, Iowa and Tennessee, according to His big brother, Dusty, is entering his second season at IU, where he redshirted last year.

Kiel's got the luxury of throwing to The Republic's 2009-10 Athlete of the Year Shane Henderson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound slot receiver who earned all-state recognition as a junior last year. Don't be surprised if you see Henderson taking snaps out of the Wildcat Friday. The Olympians used the snap-and-run formation last year against Greenwood, and they were practicing it during their scrimmage against Bloomington North last week.

After practice Wednesday, coach Bob Gaddis sounded like he was most concerned with defending Greenwood's triple-option attack. He said they'd attempted to mimic the offense in practice, but nothing's quite like facing it during games.

North's got three Division I-bound players -- fullback/defensive end Keenan Noel (Ball State), tight end/defensive end Jake Reed (Indiana) and wide receiver/safety Chris Shillings (Ball State).  All three will play both ways for the Bull Dogs. They return nine starters from a team that finished 5-5 last season.

Kobi Cook, a 5-foot-7 senior running back whom North players are trumpeting as the one to watch, will be running behind an offensive line that returns four starters.

Looking ahead to the Seymour game, as coach Tim Bless said earlier this week, it looks to be strength on strength. Seymour returns most of its defense back, most notably a defensive line that Seymour coach Jeff Richey said is probably the strongest of the strong on defense.

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Cody Crawford
Posts: 3
RE: Cowbells
Reply #2 on : Thu August 26, 2010, 17:35:25
C'mon Jess and Jim ... cowbell is one word.
Jim Huckernelly
Posts: 3
Cow Bells
Reply #1 on : Fri August 20, 2010, 15:09:45
Cow bells make my hearing aid act up. They need to be outlawed.
Friday Night Scores