Burton's three TDs push Columbus N. over Jeff

Burton's three TDs push Columbus N. over Jeff

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Burton's three TDs push Columbus N. over Jeff

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Jeffersonville, the third-highest scoring offense in Class 6-A, finally found its offensive rhythm in the final 15 minutes of the sectional opener. But by then, it was too late to salvage the season.

Columbus North’s Mitchell Burton, a sophomore in only his second start in the backfield, ran for 246 yards and three touchdowns as the Bull Dogs (5-5) avenged last year’s loss to the Red Devils with a 30-20 victory on Friday night at Blair Field.

No. 9 Jeffersonville (8-2) sputtered to life with three touchdowns that kept the Bull Dogs within range, but the damage inflicted by Burton and North’s revamped offense had already been done. Playing from behind is a tough way to survive in the tournament, and the Devils did not.

The Devils crossed midfield only twice during their scoreless first half, and North opened the third quarter with a 14-play, 5:53 drive to a 16-0 advantage.

“That was big,” Columbus North coach Tim Bless said. “A year ago we spotted them 18 points before we started playing good football. We knew, with their talent and athleticism, we couldn’t do that. We had to make a statement early.”

“We had to press all night because we didn’t start good,” Jeffersonville coach Lonnie Oldham said. “We didn’t get anything going in the first half. We were in the game but were never over the hump. They just beat us. There’s not much else to say.”

Burton, a starting free safety until Week 9, was elusive and electric. Every time the Devils battled back within striking distance, he broke a devastating touchdown run, first from 30 yards to start the fourth quarter and the final blow from 68 yards for a 30-13 lead with 4:53 left.

“We made a change we thought we needed to make,” Bless said. “The future is now. He has a burst no one else in our backfield possesses.”

The Devils won last year’s encounter 30-22, and revenge for that loss spurred North’s defensive effort in the first half. Jeffersonville’s vaunted passing attack was grounded as North played back in deep coverage, daring the underneath throw, and held its collective breath every time Cam Northern fired into the secondary. Northern was 24 of 50 for 324 yards and three touchdowns.

“It was a hold-your-breath game,” Bless said. “His arm and their speed, you’re puckered up until the ball is on the ground. We knew they would make plays from time to time.”

Jeffersonville didn’t make plays until two scores down. The first was Northern’s 63-yard strike to Brandon Coleman, who snatched the ball in the middle of the field, snaked through defenders and found a crease on the sideline for the score.

Northern connected with Coleman again for 33 yards in the fourth quarter, setting up Braylon Brady’s 1-yard TD catch on fourth down with 8:59 left, and Chris Campbell snagged a 6-yard score with 3:25 left. But the Devils couldn’t stop Burton and couldn’t come back.

“We got back in the game,” Oldham said. “We made mistakes, and they have a good team. You can’t make mistakes against good teams and quality opponents.”

Columbus North quarterback Triston Perry, another sophomore, threw for 196 yards. He was intercepted twice, including once by 6-foot-7, 340-pound Jeff lineman DeAdam Hall on a tipped ball. But he also made several clutch third-down throws as North advanced to meet No.7 Center Grove (7-3 after crushing New Albany 56-6) in the sectional final.

Coleman caught 9 passes for 182 yards for the Red Devils.

Justin Sokeland can be reached at (502) 582-4059.

Columbus North

0

10

6

14

30

Jeffersonville

0

0

6

14

20

CN – Andrew Ng, 20 field goal, 9:07; CN – Alex Algee, 31 pass from Triston Perry (Ng kick), 2:57; CN – Mitchell Burton, 2 run (kick failed), 6:07; Jeff – Brandon Coleman, 63 pass from Cam Northern (kick failed), 2:59; CN – Burton, 30 run (Ng kick), 11:33; Jeff – Braylon Brady, 1 pass from Northern (Fahumu Momoh kick), 8:59: CN – Burton, 68 run (Ng kick), 4:53; Jeff – Chris Campbell, 6 pass from Northern (Momoh kick), 3:25

CN

J

Total yards

492

375

First downs

18

13

Rushes-yds.

46-294

14-51

Comp-Att-Int

14-23-2

24-50-0

Passing yards

196

324

Fumbles-lost

0

1-1

Penalties-yds.

7-58

5-34

Punts-avg.

1-33

4-37.5

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Burton's three TDs push Columbus N. over Jeff

Sophomore runs for 246 yards to beat Red Devils

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