PITTSBURG — The Titans' two game winning streak came to a close Friday night, with a 30-7 loss to the St. Mary's-Colgan Panthers. Columbus was coming off wins over Riverton and Galena, Colgan had lost two straight to Frontenac and Girard.
"Our offensive and defensive lines just didn't play very well and (Colgan's) did," Columbus Head Coach Dan Grundy said. "It's the same thing we've been dealing with all year. Our kids, especially the young kids are still learning what it takes to prepare."
He said he felt that the team was perhaps not as ready as they should have been, and took personal responsibility for it.
The game started out well enough for the Titans, who were unable to make any movement on the initial drive of the game and were forced to punt the ball away. However, Columbus staged a solid defense deep in their own territory and blocked an attempted field goal.
Taking over on their own 20 yard-line, the Titans started their patented ground game, but were making little progress when with just 3:49 left in the first quarter, Quarterback Nate Bole tossed the ball to A.J. Randle who rumbled 76 yards for the first score of the game, and the Titans were up 7-0 after a PAT kick by Taylor Watkins.
It was to be their final score of the game.
Colgan struck back quickly with 21-yard pass from Dyson Dechat to Nate Grimaldi, Aaron Twarog's PAT kick was good and the score was tied 7-7.
The Panthers pulled ahead late in the second quarter on a 42 yard run by Conner Dayton. The PAT kick missed and the score was 13-7.
Neither team would score again until the fourth quarter when the wheels came off for the Titans.
It started with a 27-yard field goal by Twarog and continued with a 27-yard run by Colton Gilbert and a 16 yard run by Dayton.
In the end the game came down to field position and turnovers. The Titans committed five turnovers — three fumbles and two interceptions — and the Panthers consistently had the ball near midfield.
Columbus had just 216 yards of total offense to Colgan's 308.
When the transition to the CNC was announced last year there were suggestions it was a step down for the Titans — something Grundy took exception to.
"This is a really tough league," he said. "I think ... it's mission out on the traditions with Pittsburg and Fort Scott ... people were objecting to more than anything."
District play begins next week and the Titans (2-4) take on the Baxter Springs Lions (0-6) who took a 49-12 drubbing from the Frontenac Raiders last week.
It's the final home game for the Titans. Action begins 7 p.m. Friday at Columbus.