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Holt, Columbus North top Perry Meridian 49-42 in football
October 5, 2013Columbus North High School
COLUMBUS, Ind. -- Junior Josh Holt ran for 298 yards and five touchdowns on 42 carries Friday night (Oct. 4), leading the Columbus North football team to a wild, 49-42 victory over Perry Meridian at Max Andress Field.
Senior Michael Vogel and sophomore Mitchell Kelley each added a touchdown for the Bull Dogs, who improved to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in Conference Indiana. As a team, CN ran for 488 yards and, including another 66 passing, totaled 554 yards for the game.
Holt's yardage total was the second-highest single-game rushing figure in Columbus North annals, behind only 342 yards by Kobi Cook in 2010 against Columbus East. It surpassed the 287 yards by Jamaal Halliburton against Perry Meridian in last season's 41-17 win, the previous second-best total.
"Simply put, Josh Holt is a warrior," CN coach Tim Bless said. "We're going to give credit to our blocking personnel, from our wide receivers, to our H-back, tight end and, obviously, our offensive line. But what Josh did and that yeoman's effort was huge. And let's not forget he played the vast majority of the defensive snaps as well. I couldn't be more proud of a young man. What a role model for our program."
Holt's touchdowns covered 9, 1, 6, 13 and 9 yards, the last coming with 2:03 remaining on his final carry and effectively clinching the outcome by giving the home team a two-touchdown lead.
The Falcons (4-2, 2-3) did counter with Conner Smith's 34-yard TD pass to Jaquan Keys with 47 seconds to go, but Bull Dogs sophomore Drew Schoeberl came up with Perry Meridian's ensuing onside kick and Kelley -- in his first game as CN's starting quarterback -- kneeled twice in victory formation to secure the result.
Vogel, the previous starter at QB, provided a strong performance as an H-back and as a tailback.
"Everyone played great," Holt said, noting that he did not expect to have the numbers he did prior to the game. "We had a lot of things go our way, and everyone stepped up when they needed to. I couldn't have gotten 1 yard or one touchdown; I couldn't have done anything without my O-line, there's no doubt about that. But it feels so good to come off last week's loss, to get a big win."
Smith threw for 301 yards and three TDs on 16-of-26 passing for Perry Meridian, which also received two rushing touchdowns from junior Andrew Robinson and a Keys' 93-yard kickoff return for a score.
But even though the Columbus North defense allowed the Falcons 386 yards, it came up with enough plays to hold off the visitors. Key among them were an interception by junior linebacker Jacob Hamblin on the game's opening drive, a pick at the CN 5 that he returned to the Bull Dogs' 19.
Nine plays later, Columbus North had a 7-0 lead on Holt's first 9-yard TD and the first of Collin Ebel's seven extra points.
"They did make just enough plays," Bless said of his team's defense. "The I-N-T early by Jacob Hamblin had a little pressure on the quarterback, and we were able to drive long field and capitalize from the extra possession."
Two other critical plays came on special teams.
One came on the kickoff following a Holt 13-yard TD that gave the Bull Dogs a 42-35 advantage, junior Andrew Ng blasting a hard squib kick that ricocheted off a Perry Meridian player at the Falcons' 45, bounced toward the 50 and saw Columbus North junior Justin Huser recover the ball at the Perry 48.
Four plays later, facing a fourth-and-5 from the Falcons' 43, junior Barrett Branum took a direct snap as a blocker in punt formation and rumbled 6 yards for a first down on a fake punt. Six plays after that, Holt burst over the right side for his final TD and the 49-35 lead.
"We had a fake punt to give us an extra possession," Bless said. "We had a squib kick that we recovered to get an extra possession. Each of those possessions was crucial to our success. ... This definitely was an emotional victory, a hard-fought victory and everybody on our roster played a role in our success."
Holt said the Bull Dogs got dialed in during the week of practice.
"We talked about playing with more passion coming into this game because we didn't have it last week," he said. "And everyone played with passion, there's no doubt about that. It was just a great night."
Columbus North returns to action at 7:30 p.m. next Friday (Oct. 11) when it hosts Bloomington South (2-5, 1-4) on Senior Night. Perry Meridian hosts Terre Haute North (5-2, 3-2) at 7:30 p.m. next Friday at Perry Stadium.
At Terre Haute North
Perry Meridian ........... 7 14 7 14 -- 42
Columbus North ......... 14 7 7 21 -- 49
CN -- Josh Holt 9 run (Collin Ebel kick), 6:38 1Q
CN -- Josh Holt 1 run (Collin Ebel kick), 2:25 1Q
PM -- Andrew Robinson 11 run (Cameron McSorley kick), 0:51 1Q
CN -- Michael Vogel 17 run (Collin Ebel kick), 10:42 2Q
PM -- Andrew Robinson 2 run (Cameron McSorley kick), 8:05 2Q
PM -- Jaquan Keys 13 pass from Conner Smith (Cameron McSorley kick), 0:53 2Q
CN -- Josh Holt 6 run (Collin Ebel kick), 6:06 3Q
PM -- Devon Parrish 17 pass from Conner Smith (Cameron McSorley kick), 5:41 3Q
CN -- Mitchell Kelley 1 run (Collin Ebel kick), 11:21 4Q
PM -- Jaquan Keys 93 kickoff return (Cameron McSorley kick), 11:07 4Q
CN -- Josh Holt 13 run (Collin Ebel kick), 6:39 4Q
CN -- Josh Holt 9 run (Collin Ebel kick), 2:03 4Q
PM -- Jaquan Keys 34 pass from Conner Smith (Cameron McSorley kick), 0:47 4Q
Team Statistics CN PM
First downs .......................29 16
Rushes-yards .................76-488 22-85
Passing yards .................. 66 301
Comp-Att-Int .................. 4-5-0 16-26-1
Total yards ......................554 386
Fumbles-Lost ...................1-0 3-1
Punts-Average ................1-55.0 2-28.5
Penalties-Yards ............. 3-29 7-59
Rushing -- Columbus North: Josh Holt 42-298, Mitchell Kelley 12-81, Michael Vogel 16-77, Jonathan Byers 5-26, Barrett Branum 1-6. Perry Meridian: Andrew Robinson 11-47, Jaquan Keys 4-33, Conner Smith 1-5.
Passing -- Columbus North: Mitchell Kelley 4-5-0, 66 yards. Perry Meridian: Conner Smith 16-26-1, 301 yards.
Receiving -- Columbus North: Weston Moore 3-52, Jared Newkirk 1-14. Perry Meridian: Jaquan Keys 5-105, Devon Parrish 2-78, Ben Fleet 3-59, Jacob Harris 3-44, Daymeon Hamilton 3-15.
Missed Field Goals -- Columbus North: None. Perry Meridian: None.