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Thompson's return, Mickey's 4 TD throws leads Columbus over North Star

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Blake Thompson

Columbus senior Blake Thompson makes the first of his two touchdown catches Thursday night in the Discoverers 49-13 win over North Star.

Blake Thompson has been waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

After playing in all 10 games last season for a 6-4 Columbus High football team that made the playoffs and won in the postseason, he took an already sore back to basketball. But playing through a herniated disc in the fall and continuing into winter was too much.

He eventually had to call it quits not quite halfway through the basketball season and undergo surgery. That put him on the shelf for the winter, for soccer in the spring and for all offseason activities in the summer.

Thompson was back and ready to go when the football season reached fall camp but contracting mono sent him back to the sidelines.

Columbus High had a motorcycle and police escort to the game Thursday night against Lincoln North Star. Thompson was cleared to go Saturday after the win over Norfolk, and if it would have been allowed, might have hopped on a bike and led everybody down to Pawnee Park. He couldn't wait to get back on the field.

"I was getting a rash, I think, from sitting out. I was ready to be back," Thompson said. "I'm back, feeling great and ready to get going."

Thompson caught two touchdown passes, quarterback Brock Mickey threw four total and CHS overcame an early 13-7 deficit with six straight touchdowns and a 49-13 win.

Columbus quarterback throws four touchdown passes, Thompson catches two in return.

Mickey also threw two touchdown strikes to Ernest Hausmann. The senior tight end/wide receiver/linebacker also recovered a fumble and sacked the North Star quarterback.

Mickey was 11 for 13 throwing with 134 yards and the four touchdowns. Thompson's two scoring catches were his only two, but he made them count. His first went for 23 yards to give the Discoverers a 14-13 lead. His second was for 35 yards on the next drive and a 21-13 advantage.

Hausmann caught his first from 9 yards out in the west corner of the north end zone with 12 seconds left in the first half. He made it 28-13 then 35-13 just over a minute into the second half when he hauled in a catch and went 34 yards down the east sideline.

"They were wide open," Mickey said of his touchdown passes. "Having (Thompson) back made a big difference. He's the peanut butter to my jelly. It's nice having him back."

North Star kicked off to open the game and couldn't take advantage of some confusion on the Columbus return. The ball came down in between the two deep returners and the next level of blockers. Columbus sophomore Dylan Crumley eventually came up to take the ball and found a seam right up the middle of the field for a 76-yard touchdown.

North Star responded with a 74-yard drive in 10 plays capped by a wildcat pass from running back Kade Seip to Jace Elliott and a 7-7 tie. The defense held Columbus to a three-and-out in the next drive and gave the ball back over to the offense at its 31 following a punt.

North Star went 69 yards in nine plays and took the lead on 33-yard pass from quarterback Zach Fredenburg to Elliott. The extra point was blocked but the Gators had answered the Discoverers' first blow with one of their own.

It was all Columbus from there. CHS had five more possessions before the end of the first half and scored three times.

The Gators fumbled their first possession of the second half over on their own 34. Hausmann scored his second touchdown on the very next play.

After the fumble, three straight North Star incomplete passes had the Columbus offense back on the field. The Discoverers made it 42-13 four minutes later on a Liam Blaser 8-yard touchdown run.

A 21-yard rushing touchdown by Columbus senior Dennis Pelowski capped the scoring with 10:53 left in the fourth quarter.

"Good teams are going to raise their level of intensity when they're challenged," coach Craig Williams said. "I really felt like you could see a different level of intensity on our next offensive possession (after North Star took the lead). You could see Liam Blaser running the ball just a little bit harder and our line getting off just a little bit quicker. We started to make some plays."

Williams said earlier in the week that after a ball control, eat-up-yards and time gameplan that worked to perfection the week before at Norfolk, the offense would have to start opening up the playbook.

That was on full display Thursday when Columbus had 282 total yards - 148 rushing and 134 passing. Blaser led the way on the ground with 62 yards on 13 carries. The defense held North Star to 210 total yards and just 26 on the ground in 25 attempts.

Discoverers scored six straight touchdowns in win over Navigators.

Altering the offense from one week to the next is something Williams said has always been within the team's abilities.

"We've got playmakers that can get down the field and make plays, and Brody is a kid that can run the ball and throw the ball," he said. "We just give him time and he'll make plays in both the run game and the pass game."

Columbus improved to 2-1 with the win while dropping North Star to 1-3. Up next is a Lincoln Northeast team that beat North Star 26-24 in Week 2. The Discoverers face the Rockets for homecoming then go back on the road Sept. 24 at Lincoln High. The Links were also 26-24 winners over the Navigators.

"We've got to build some confidence, definitely, work on our stuff," Mickey said. "We're worried about ourselves mostly. We've just got to do what we know we can do the rest of the year and we'll be fine."

Brody Mickey

Columbus High senior quarterback Brody Mickey rolls out and looks down field for a pass in Thursday's 39-13 win over North Star. Mickey was 11 for 13 throwing with four touchdown passes.

Ernest Hausmann

Ernest Hausmann (6) is greeted by Isaac Kibalya after a quarterback sack Thursday night against North Star.

Rylee Iburg

Rylee Iburg follows the blocks of Adoriyan Daniels, left, and Jaden Wiliams, right, for a gain in Thursday's win over North Star.

Dennis Pelowski

Jaden Williams, middle, celebrates wth Dennis Pelowski in Thursday's 49-13 win over North Star. Pelowski's 22-yard touchdown run capped the scoring on the night.

Columbus High Football

The Columbus High bus comes over the viaduct with a motorcycle and police escort to Pawnee Park for Thursday's home game against Lincoln North Star.

Jace Elliott

Jace Elliott (86) is greeted by tackle Jayden Potter after a 33-yard touchdown catch that gave North Star a 13-7 lead Thursday in Columbus. Columbus scored the next six touchdowns and won 49-13.

Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at sports@columbustelegram.com.

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