The Schuyler Central High School football team ran into more bad luck on Friday the 13th as the seventh-ranked Columbus Discoverers exploded for a 64-7 victory over a winless SCHS squad.
Columbus began its first offensive possession of the game on the Schuyler 46-yard line three minutes into the contest. Following a 16-yard run by Caleb Esch and 12-yard run by quarterback Michael Koch, the Discoverers put six points on the scoreboard when Koch slashed through the Warrior defense for an 18-yard TD run.
When the Discoverers added a 10-yard touchdown run by Esch two minutes later, Columbus looked like it was ready to bury the Warriors.
After being held to a total of 13 yards on their first two offensive possessions, the Warriors took their offensive attack directly at the CHS defensive line on their third possession. Schuyler aimed its running game right at the heart of the Columbus defense and the result was a 14-play, 92-yard drive culminated by a 16-yard TD pass from quarterback Kevin Contreras to Jesus Maganda, who took the ball at the 12-yard line and scampered into the end zone. He reached just inside the pylon as he dove into the end zone.
Schuyler head coach Aaron Thumann felt good about the solid start by his team.
“I was very impressed with our kids coming out. They really took it down the field on them. It was smashmouth football,” he said. “We were able to get our running game going. We only ran three different plays and changed the direction we were going on each one because they were working so well. I thought that (Caleb) Novak and (Caden) Yrkoski did a great job of running the ball all night.”
Columbus erased all of Schuyler’s momentum on the ensuing possession when Koch raced around the right end and down the sideline for a 71-yard touchdown.
Koch added TD runs of 10 and 48 yards before halftime as CHS led 35-7 at the break. He finished with nine carries for 199 yards and four TDs while completing 8 of 12 passes for 157 yards and another score.
“We had players on the defensive side of the ball who were responsible for the quarterback,” Thumann said, “but the part you can’t prepare them for are the moves that Koch is going to make in a game. He is a great quarterback. He is phenomenal.”
Columbus added four more scores in the second half, including a 1-yard run and 55-yard reception for Esch, who had 181 total yards and three TDs.
The Discoverers rolled up 488 yards of total offense compared to 208 yards for SCHS.
“Our defensive players were anxious to make a play and they went in there thinking they knew what was going to happen,” Thumann said. “The minute you think you have it figured out, that is when their offense is going to take advantage of you.”
Schuyler pounded out 146 yards rushing on 42 attempts, led by Novak’s 54 yards on 11 carries. Yrkoski ran the ball 11 times for 40 yards.
Contreras was 5 for 12 passing for 62 yards.
Columbus (7-1) clinched a playoff spot with the win and plays Blair on Friday for the district title.
Schuyler will look for its first win at 7 p.m. Friday when the Warriors host South Sioux City, which also sits at 0-8.