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Hard lessons learned for Columbus football

September 25, 2018

Columbus High football enters a second straight week on the road against a tough opponent when the Discoverers travel Friday to Omaha to face the 3-2 Creighton Prep Junior Jays.

Things didn’t turn out so well last week in a game at No. 9 Elkhorn South. Columbus led 14-7 but allowed the next 55 straight points while falling to 2-3 on the season.

Despite the blowout loss, a third by more than 21 points this season, coach Craig Williams said after the game it was an experience he believes his team can use right away and in the long run.

“They’re that good. They’re No. 9 and they’re underrated,” he said. “They lost last week to Bellevue West, I think 30-3, and they’re a lot better than that. That’s a top-five team in the state. They were fired up. We came out and played well, and they just stepped it up. Our kids played hard for the rest of that first half. We just couldn’t slow them down.”

After Joey Braasch ran for an 80-yard touchdown to take a 14-7 Columbus lead, Elkhorn South responded quickly and built a 35-14 lead by halftime.

Although the Discoverers were unable to respond and climb out of the hole, Williams said the beating was a valuable teaching tool.

“We talked to the guys about when somebody’s kind of punching you in the mouth, you have to do something about it. You can’t keep taking the shots,” he said. “But it also comes down to them physically outmatching us in some places, and they exploited those things.

“Sometimes the laws of physics win out, and I think that happened a number of times tonight. The bigger team was winning the battles.”

And as out of hand as the game was, there are more positives than just the first 10 minutes when Columbus was in the game.

“I think the whole experience, besides the score, of seeing a team of that caliber, our guys, the next time we’re in that situation, I’m confident we’ll give ourselves a lead and give ourselves a chance against a really good football team,” Williams said. “Maybe we can step up and learn from it.”

The coaching staff won’t have to wait long to see what kind of impact the loss had on the team.

Elkhorn South was a motivated bunch coming off an embarrassing loss. Creighton Prep is in the same situation on Friday after being blown out 37-2 by its rival, Omaha Westside.

“We’ve got to take it one game at a time and build as much as we can day by day to try and get these guys as good as we can,” Williams said. “They’re disappointed after tonight, but how we handle it and how we react to it is going to say a lot about our character, and I know we’ve got a lot of high-character guys in here.”

Football Friday Rewind

Humphrey St. Francis 56, Osmond 6

The highest ranked team in Telegram area football improved to 4-0 on the season with another win by a margin of 30 points or more. Friday’s victory at 2-2 Osmond is the largest of the year.

The Flyers had previously defeated Wynot 80-36 to open the season, took down Clarkson/Leigh 46-6 in Week 2 then moved to 3-0 with a 76-40 win over Giltner.

Unbeaten at 4-0, HSF remains No. 4 in the latest Journal Star Class D-2 ratings ahead of another road contest this week at 0-4 Winside.

Clarkson/Leigh 68, Pender 14

The Patriots evened up their record at 2-2 with a dominant road performance that included a 26-0 lead before the host Pendragons finally found the end zone.

Clarkson/Leigh amassed 460 total yards to Pender’s 102, picked up 443 of that total on the ground and averaged over nine yards per play.

Tommy McEvoy piled up 328 yards on the ground with a long of 69 and scored seven touchdowns. Lance Paprocki led defensively with five tackles and two sacks.

Boone Central/Newman Grove 45, Logan View/Scribner-Snyder 14

The Cardinals made it two in a row and moved above. 500 with their largest win of the season. Next up is a test Friday at Class C-1 No. 8 West Point-Beemer.

Cross County 52, Osceola/High Plains 50, OT

Cross County trailed 36-14 at halftime but came all the way back to force overtime with 22 fourth-quarter points.

Both teams scored eight points in the third quarter before the Cross County defense stepped up in the fourth holding OHP scoreless while the offense tied the game.

The Cougars then scored in OT and converted the two-point conversion for the win and a 2-2 record.

St. Edward 59, Elba 13

St. Ed put its first notch in the victory column dismantling Elba after taking a 43-0 lead at halftime.

Beaver senior Lucien Ruby carried the ball eight times for 196 yards and five touchdowns for an impressive 24.5 yards-per-carry average. Trevor Rasmussen was the defensive leader with 18 total tackles.

Spalding Academy 61, Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family 46

Spalding Academy held a 20-7 lead after the first quarter and held off HLHF the rest of the way to drop the Bulldogs to 2-2.

North Bend 43, Twin River 6

North Bend led 27-0 before Twin River reached the end zone in the second quarter then shut out the Titans the rest of the way.

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Nate Tenopir is the sports editor for the Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com

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