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Columbus North to host Whiteland in football sectional opener

October 18, 2012
Columbus North High School

      EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated following the teams' final regular-season games on Oct. 12.

      The Columbus North football team now knows its postseason path.
      Two days after knocking off Bloomington South 14-6, the Bull Dogs (4-5) learned Sunday (Oct. 7) that they will host Whiteland (6-3) on Oct. 19 in the opening round of Class 5A Sectional 7.
      Other first-round games include Bloomington South (1-8) at Franklin Central (4-5), Martinsville (7-2) at No. 4 Center Grove (8-1), and Bloomington North (2-7) at Franklin (3-6).
      The CN-Whiteland winner will face the Bloomington South-Franklin Central winner in the sectional semifinals on Oct. 26. The sectional final will be Nov. 2. Sites for the semifinals and finals will be determined later.
      In Whiteland, the Bull Dogs are facing an opponent from the Mid-State Conference. The Warriors have won three sectionals over the years, the last in 2006, and one regional in 1999. By contrast, Columbus North has won four sectionals and three regionals, the most recent of both in 2007. Neither team has ever won a semistate or state.
      Senior running back Aaron Harris leads the Whiteland offense, which has scored 33.2 points per game. He has rushed for 1,427 yards and 21 touchdowns on 186 carries, while senior quarterback Adam Gutermuth has added 241 yards and four TDs on 51 carries. Junior Jeffrey Wooten has contributed 239 yards and two TDs on 41 carries, while senior Zack Duff has 108 yards and three scores on 21 carries.
      Gutermuth has completed 47 of 105 passes for 814 yards and 10 touchdowns, while sophomore Isaiah Calaway is the Warriors' top receiver with 19 catches for 302 yards and five TDs. Senior Jacob Anderson has 11 receptions for 269 yards and three TDs, senior Brandon Gill seven catches for 159 and two, and Harris has nine receptions for 79 yards.
       Senior Cody Starnes, senior Dyllan Whittaker, senior Zach Rudolph and junior Jesse Street are leaders of the Whiteland defense. They pace a unit that has allowed just 26.3 points per game. Keys have been a rush defense that has produced numerous tackles for loss, while the pass defense has pressured opposing QBs and forced a dozen interceptions.
       It's been a running attack by committee for the Columbus North offense. Senior Jesse Tompkins leads the team with 623 yards and nine touchdowns on 118 carries, but he has missed four games with injuries. Senior Jamaal Halliburton has added 548 yards and six scores on 89 carries, while sophomore Josh Holt has contributed 257 yards and one TD on 57 carries.
       Junior quarterback Michael Vogel has accounted for 1,167 yards and nine TDs --200 yards and six TDs on 72 rushes as well as 967 yards and three TDs on 75-of-159 passing. Primary receivers have been senior Tori Jackson (22 catches, 320 yards), senior Skyler Farmer (12 catches, 251 yards), senior Taylor Summa (nine catches, 161 yards) and senior Shannon McDonald (10 catches, 105 yards).
       Senior linebacker Shaquille Ash tops the CN defense with 120 tackles (83 solos, 37 assists). Senior end Conner Marshall has added 58 tackles (44 solos, 14 assists), while senior cornerback Alex Cornn has 47 stops (38 solos, nine assists) and Summa has 45 stops (35 solos, nine assists).
       Summa also has added one kick return for a touchdown, while Summa and Ash each have one interception return for a touchdown.
       According to the latest Sagarin Ratings, the Bull Dogs are the No. 2 team in the eight-team sectional. The computer formula lists Center Grove as fourth in the state with a 102.79 rating followed by Columbus North (22nd, 82.72).
       Martinsville is third (25th, 81.89) followed by Franklin Central (33rd, 78.44), Whiteland (48th, 74.39), Bloomington North (67th, 68.99), Bloomington South (92nd, 62.47) and Franklin (129th, 53.99).
       Columbus North has won football sectionals in 1989, 2004, 2006 and 2007. It also claimed regional titles the last three of those seasons.
* * *

2012 Game-By-Game
      Aug. 17 -- at Carmel (L, 27-7)
      Aug. 24 -- Columbus East (L, 23-20)
      Aug. 31 -- ^ at Bloomington North (W, 40-13)
      Sept. 7-8 -- ^ Franklin Central (L, 42-35)
      Sept. 14 -- ^ at Lawrence Central (L, 42-0)
      Sept. 21 -- ^ Pike (L, 42-24)
      Sept. 28 -- ^ at Perry Meridian (W, 41-17)
      Oct. 5 -- ^ at Bloomington South (W, 14-6)
      Oct. 12 -- ^ Southport (W, 42-14)
      Oct. 19 -- # Whiteland, 7 p.m.
     ^ Conference Indiana game
     # Sectional 7 game

2012 Game-By-Game
     Aug. 17 -- New Palestine (W, 26-20)
     Aug. 24 -- n-Center Grove (L, 47-7)
     Aug. 31 -- + at Decatur Central (L, 38-21)
     Sept. 8 -- + Franklin (W, 34-7)
     Sept. 14 -- at Connersville (W, 42-14)
     Sept. 21 -- + at Martinsville (L, 56-34)
     Sept. 28 -- + Mooresville (W, 40-6)
     Oct. 5 -- + at Plainfield (W, 39-14)
     Oct. 12 -- + Greenwood (W, 56-35)
     Oct. 19 -- # at Columbus North, 7 p.m.
     + Mid-State Conference game
     # Sectional 7 game

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