Titans overpower Mustangs

Register Sports Editor

Register/Jocelyn Sheets
No room to run was what Iola High’s Marcus Sullivan (22) and Charles Apt (13) found as they tried to move the Mustang offense Friday night against the Columbus High Titans. The Titans controlled the line of scrimmage and posted a 34-10 win over the visiting Mustangs in Southeast Kansas League play.

COLUMBUS — Size won out Friday night.
Iola High’s Mustangs were no match on the line of scrimmage for the bigger Columbus High Titans. The Titans established dominance along the line of scrimmage early in the Southeast Kansas League contest at Titan Stadium.
The Titans held the Mustangs to a no positive offensive yardage by halftime and led 27-3. They scored 20 points in the first quarter on their way to a 34-10 victory.
“Hey, we talked about the line of scrimmage earlier this week. We wanted to control it and we didn’t,” said Rick Horton, Mustang head coach.
“Their three defensive down lineman owned the line of scrimmage.”
Lewis Kellogg scored on runs of 44 yards and 25 yards in the first quarter for Columbus. He would score again from five yards out with 3:36 left in the third quarter.
Kyle Johnson gathered in one of five fumbles by the Mustangs in the first half and return it 32 yards for a score midway through the first quarter.
Down 27-0 after Titan quarterback Damion Tinnin hit Matt Crain on a seven-yard fade scoring pass, Iola finally got on the scoreboard.
Both of Iola’s scores were set up by defensive plays. A high snap sailed over Columbus punter Dale Benedict’s head. He picked it up but was tackled at the Columbus 24-yard line by Drew Walden.
Three plays later, Connor Frazell kicked a 40-yard field goal with 2:41 on the clock. Frazell had missed on a 46-yard attempt in the first quarter.
“We talked about coming out and just improving our play in the second half,” Horton said of halftime. “We ‘re a relatively inexperienced varsity football team. Our starting center got hurt so we shifted people around and had problems with snaps.
“We told the kids just to come back out and play hard and get better. I thought we handled the speed of the game better in the second half.”
At halftime, Iola’s rushing totals were 14 carries for a minus-34 yards. Running back Marcus Sullivan and quarterback Charles Apt had little or no time to move forward before the Titans’ defenders were in the backfield.
Apt was 3 of 4 for eight yards passing in the first half.
Neither team had much offense going in the early stages of the third quarter. The Titans did drive 48 yards for Kellogg’s third touchdown run of the night.
Drew Walden set up the lone Iola touchdown. He broke into the Titan backfield, chased down Tinnin, forced a fumble and picked the ball up. Walden returned the ball 34 yards to the Columbus one-yard line.
The Mustangs took four runs at the goal line. Finally, Sullivan pushed over for the touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter. Frazell kicked the extra point with 11:06 left in the game.
Sullivan, who finished the game with 41 yards on 21 carries, had a 41-yard run to the Columbus 15 later in the quarter. On a fourth-and seven play, a pass yielded four yards for Iola and Columbus took over.
The Titans marched for their own eight-yard line to Iola’s one on their final offensive drive of the night. Iola turned the Titans away with one minute to play.
Apt completed 6 of 20 passes attempts for 31 yards. Jerrik Sigg pulled in four catches for 33 yards.
Frazell punted 10 times in the game, seven came in the first half. He had a total of 329 yards for a 31.5-yard per punt average.
“We take the lessons from this one, study film and get back to work. We’ll practice Monday and start preparing for Central Heights,” Horton said.
“We have to do a better job of tackling on defense. We got out of position and allowed them to get some big plays on us.”
Kyler Thompson led the Mustang defense with seven unassisted tackles and five assisted tackles. He also had a forced fumble. Chris Heffern made six solo stops and six assists plus helped on a quarterback sack.
Drew Walden had five tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Seth Walden racked up six solo tackles and had a punt block. Ethan Fulton had punt block.
Shane Snavely had five solo tackles, two for losses, and a fumble recovery. Frazell had an interception.
The Mustangs play Central Heights High’s Vikings next Friday in their home opener.

Iola 0-3-0-7—10
Columbus 20-7-7-0—34

Columbus — Kellogg 44 yd run (Alberty kick)
Columbus — Johnson 32 yd fumble return (kick failed)
Columbus — Kellogg 25 yd run (Alberty kick)
Columbus — Crain 7 yd pass from Tinnin (Alberty kick)
Iola — Frazell 40 yd field goal
Columbus — Kellogg 5 yd run (Alberty kick)
Iola — Sullivan 2 yd run (Frazell kick)