COLFAX — Despite what Colfax-Mingo coach Jeff Lietz saw as a fairly even matchup heading in to Friday’s game against Central Decatur, the misfortune continued for the Tigerhawks as they dropped another tough game at home, 58-16.
C-M was bitten by the injury bug early in the game, when sophomore quarterback Jared Myers suffered a knee injury on the second offensive play, limiting the usual dual-threat to sitting in the pocket and making throws.
“We have really been struggling with some injuries lately,” Lietz said. “We’re not a terribly deep team, and we have had some issues with concussions and things like that lately. But we can’t use that as an excuse. We preach ‘next man up’ and our guys know that those are things you’re just going to have to deal with in football.”
However, the troubles mostly came on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigerhawks. The Cardinals ran the ball right at C-M, and they were very successful. C-D tore Colfax-Mingo up on the ground in the first half, putting the game away early.
“Everything they did, we had scouted,” Lietz said. “They didn’t do anything we weren’t ready for. We really just need to line up and stop their running game, and we didn’t do that.”
Central Decatur opened the scoring. The Cardinals pounded the ball off-tackle all the way down to the four-yard line of the Tigerhawks, and they punched it in. A successful two-point conversion made the score 8-0.
C-M started off its drive with a big play to Clayton Brown over the middle, moving the ball all the way to midfield. Its drive stalled out, forcing a punt attempt, but the snap would fly over the head of Jake Lietz, giving the ball back to the Cardinals on the 21-yard line. Two runs later, and the Cardinals were in the end zone. They punched in another two-point conversion to make it 16-0.
Another high snap on a punt on the next C-M possession gave Central Decatur great field position yet again. Two more runs off-tackle gave the Cardinals a 23-0 lead, and the Cardinals scored again shortly thereafter on another long touchdown run.
Brown had a big catch for the Tigerhawks on the next possession, and a horse-collar tackle penalty placed the ball at the one-yard line, but they fumbled away the football. C-D recovered the fumble near the goal line. On the next possession, a botched pitch gave the Tigerhawks their first points of the half.
C-M would score twice before the half. Blake Summy provided some highlight reel material with a 75-yard kickoff return to the house, and he also caught a 60-yard bomb from Myers. However, it was not enough to mount a comeback, and the Cardinals retook control in the second half.
Colfax-Mingo’s silver lining on the day was the fact that it did have success moving the football. Despite Myers’ injury woes, the team rushed for nearly 150 yard, with Jake Lietz and Juan Gonzales carrying much of the load.
“We had our highest rushing total of the year,” Jeff Lietz said. “Jake ran the ball hard, and our o-line had its best game so far this season. Maybe when you’re losing like we were, running the football is not your best option, but Jared’s injury limited our play calling. We did move the ball pretty well.”
Jake Lietz had 92 yards on 14 carries, and Gonzales carried six times for 40 yards. Brown had two receptions for 63 yards. Summy caught two balls for 71 yards.
Defensively, Jake Lietz highlighted the effort with 16 tackles, 10 of them solo. Brown had nine tackles. Jake Buerher recorded seven tackles. Summy and Gonzales each had six stops. Alan Wheeler recorded four tackles. Tim Blood and Marcus Tomlonovic each had three stops.
Brown had the one turnover for the Tigerhawks, recovering a fumble.
The Tigerhawks stay home this Friday, when the team takes on Des Moines Christian.