COLUMBUS -- The Columbus Titans picked up their first win of the season appropriately enough at homecoming Friday night, riding the Iola Mustangs 47-14 in a lopsided contest which saw Columbus score almost at will through the entire first half.?Senior Quarterback Travis Jones led the charge going 12-of-14 passing for 201 of the Titan's 352 yards of total offense.
Titan head coach Dan Grundy was quick to stress the win was not because of any one player but because of the team.
He had a good game, Grundy said. But we had a good game plan as well.
Indeed the Titans held Iola to just three yards of rushing in the first half, and 157 yards passing, 97 of which came on two big plays of 62 and 37 yards respectively, but neither of which ended up in the end zone.
In fact, at the end of the first half, the Titans looked to be pitching a shut out having forced the Mustangs to go three-and-out on their first four possessions while racking up 41 points, scoring on nearly every possession.
The Titans defense was one of the keys to the win, Grundy said, noting the Mustangs managed just those two big plays in the first half and scored only against the junior varsity in the second half. Iola left the varsity in the game even as the running clock in the fourth quarter left little doubt as to the outcome.
Grundy said he saw a great deal of progress from his team since last week, pointing out during one of the deep pass plays in the first half the receiver was run down and tackled short of the goal line when just a week before, he said, it would probably have been a score.
I saw our kids tackle better than they have before, he said. I was proud of the way they practiced and the way they played. It's hard to come off a week like we had at Chanute and keep your focus and they did.
Grundy also made some moves on the starting line up, adding Zane Roark as a running back.
We needed a running back that's going to hit it, Grundy said. We challenged about 12 kids in practice (last) Monday.
Roark had 81yards rushing and two receptions for 47 yards. Dustin Morris who has had an injury-plagued season was back in the line up and had five receptions for 104 yards.
Grundy said several stepped up to the challenge and we moved quite a few kids.
The revamped Titan lineup will face the Fort Scott Tigers 7 p.m. Friday in Fort Scott.