PITTSBURG — Columbus played the role of spoilers on Friday against the St. Mary’s-Colgan football team, as the Titans came out with a 23-8 win in front of a full house at Hutchinson Field on homecoming night.
Defense was the name of the game for the Titans, who came up with two stops in the red zone to protect an eight-point lead, before icing the win with a touchdown in the final minute of the contest.
“We have a lot of competitors,” SMC head coach Shawn Seematter said. “They had a few chances to break the game open, but we continued to battle. It was a tough game, but I’d rather get a rough loss like that one out of the way now rather than have it happen in the playoffs. There was a lot to take away from and I saw a lot of good things, but we’ll have to get better from here.”
The Panthers took over on downs after holding Columbus short on fourth down in the red zone to begin the contest, but a fumble gave the momentum right back to the Titans, as they scooped up the ball and ran it 11 yards into the end zone for a touchdown and converted the two-point conversion to go up 8-0.
Momentum changed hands again, after Cal Marquardt intercepted a pass and ran it 31-yards for six points before running it in on the two-point conversion to tie the score at 8-all with 22 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Columbus answered with a touchdown at the three-minute mark of the second quarter to take the lead at 15-8, scoring on a one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal and converting the point after to cap off a 10-play, 53-yard drive.
The Panthers took the ball into the red zone in five plays with under a minute remaining in the first half and lined up for a 24-yard field goal with the clock winding down, but the kick missed wide right to end the half.
Colgan’s offense advanced the ball into the red zone again in the early going of the fourth quarter, as Cade Simmons broke loose for a 30-yard run before being brought down on the Titans’ eight-yard line.
The Panthers inched the ball down to the one-yard line, but was held short of a touchdown on fourth-and-goal, giving the ball back to the Titans.
Columbus sealed the victory by marching 99 yards down the field in 16 plays and scoring on a five-yard touchdown run with under two minutes remaining in regulation.
Colgan will host Girard at 7 p.m. on Friday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.