PARSONS — It wasn't the way the Columbus Titan Football team wanted to start off the season. When the dust cleared Friday night the Titans had gone down 20-12 to the Parsons Vikings despite 250 yards of total offense to Parsons' 86.
The devil is in the details, and while the Titans' defense held the Vikings to minimal gains all night, the offense coughed up two of the Viking's three touchdowns one on a 7 yard interception return by Wes Krull and another on a 75 yard punt return by Krull — both in the third quarter.
"Its frustrating to play that well defensively (and lose)," Head Coach Dan Grundy said after the game. "We just couldn't run the ball effectively consistently."
The night had started off well enough, the Titans had marched down field fairly effectively on the first possession and had come up just short. But then forced a three-and-out on the Vikings and struck on a 42 yard pass from senior Quarterback Travis Jones to senior wide receiver Dustin Morris, the kick failed and the score stood at 6-0.
That was early in the first quarter and the rest of the period was spent in a see-saw battle over the center of the field.
At the 8:46 mark of the second quarter the Titans struck again on a seven yard pass from Jones to senior Shemiah Forester. The PAT pass came up incomplete and the scores was 12-0.
Parsons finally responded with 3:24 left in the half on a seven-yard run by Krull, the PAT kick was blocked and the score stood at 12-6.
With just 1:09 left in the half the Vikings for some reason punted on third down and the Titans drove down into the redzone again. They were threatening touchdown before a offensive pass interference call in the endzone and a sack put a stake in the drive.
Columbus had 75 yards in penalties.
Injuries and the heat were a factor as well, with 5:18 left in the third quarter off setting penalties forced a rekick on a Parsons punt. On the second kick, Morris while trying to recover a fumble on the return took a massive hit which slammed his head into the ground. He was taken out of the stadium by ambulance with potential neck injuries. With temperatures in the high 90s, players were in and out of the game all night with cramps as well.
"The cramping made it miserable for both sides," Grundy said. "You can't run your kids enough to get them in enough condition to prepare for this."
Parsons picked up 14 points in the third quarter on the interception return and the punt return which was the end of scoring for either team.
Columbus faces the Pittsburg Purple Dragons 7 p.m. at home Friday for the annual Coal Bucket game.