By ccwhiteindiana | September 25, 2015 9:06 pm ET
COLUMBUS, Ind. – Columbus East’s streaks and Hoosier Hills Conference title march are once again unimpeded.
The Class 5-A No.3 Olympians continued their dominance of league competition, powering past Floyd Central 49-13 in a drama-free showdown for the HHC’s top spot. As it has for the past 11 years, East occupies that perch, virtually unopposed.
Sophomore quarterback Josh Major, who was thrust into the starring role when returning starter K.J. McCarter went down with a hamstring injury, was almost perfect. He missed his first pass, then connected on 11 straight – including three for touchdowns – for 182 yards before departing late in the third quarter.
East erupted for three third-quarter touchdowns while extending its league run to 60 straight games. The Olympians have also won 81 of their last 82 HHC games. Their last home loss in conference play came against Floyd Central in 2002. That streak was not in danger.
“We’re just trying to win the next one,’ East coach Bob Gaddis said. “We knew they were a good football team. It was a big game for them, a big game for us, and I thought we matched their intensity.”
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East (6-0, 4-0 in the HHC) does not electrify for shock-value, big-play touchdowns as it did last season with lightning-bolt back Markell Jones, now making plays at Purdue. The Olympians grind, they steamroll, they pummel defenses down. East didn’t punt while powering to a 21-7 halftime lead.
The first drive was evidence of East’s relentless forward progress. The Olympians plowed 72 yards in 14 plays, converting three third downs en route to the end zone. Major was responsible for two of those with passes to Brandon Brooks, and he found tight end Tyler Thomas wide open in the end zone from 18 yards for the score.
The defense accounted for Floyd Central’s score. East receiver Cameron Wilson fumbled while being ripped to the ground by his jersey, and Michael Sans scooped the loose ball and raced 55 yards along the left sideline for a stunning touchdown and a 7-7 deadlock early in the second quarter.
That was almost enough to set off an upset alert. East has dominated conference opponents by such an iron-fisted tyranny that any score, any tie other than 0-0, is a major development. But it didn’t last long.
Steven O’Neal ignited the next possession with a 34-yard burst, and Sam Dwenger capped it with a 1-yard touchdown run for a 14-7 advantage three minutes after the turnover. East struck again late as Majors found tight end Rhett Myers for 33 yards and O’Neal blasted over from 4 yards and the two-score lead at intermission.
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East buried the Highlanders by scoring on its first three drives of the third. Major hit Caleb Voelker for a 14-yard score, then launched a 45-yard bomb to Wilson. Dwenger bulled in from 12 yards to finish the 7-minute beatdown.
Jamon Hogan, a name for the future in the East backfield, broke free for a 54-yard score to start the fourth quarter. Floyd Central got its final touchdown with 15 seconds left.
“It is what it is,” said Floyd Central coach Brian Glesing, whose club slipped to 4-2 (3-1) with the end of a four-game winning streak. “Our kids fought to the end. We missed some tackles in the open field we should have made, and that’s why they are Columbus East.
“They zone block so well, and you have to have every gap covered. That leaves holes in the secondary. Pick your poison, that’s what you have to do.”
O’Neal, wearing a boot on his right foot after the game, was healthy enough to run for 84 yards in limited duty.
Justin Sokeland can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
SCOREBOARD | Results from around Indiana
COLUMBUS EAST 49, FLOYD CENTRAL 13
CE – Tyler Thomas, 18 pass from Josh Major (A.J. Cruite kick), 4:10; FC – Michael Sans, 55 fumble return (Antonio Villegas kick), 10:58; CE – Sam Dwenger, 1 run (Cruite kick), 7:53; CE – Steven O’Neal, 4 run (Cruite kick), 2:14; CE – Caleb Voelker, 14 pass from Major (Cruite kick), 9:45; CE – Cameron Wilson, 45 pass from Major (Cruite kick), 7:37; CE – Dwenger, 12 run (Cruite kick), 5:05; CE – Jamon Hogan, 54 run (Cruite kick), 11:06; FC – Colt May, 6 run (kick failed), 0:15