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Columbia High 35, Toledo 15

Bruins run wild in season-ending victory over Indians

A late start and a little rain didn't deter Columbia High from enjoying its finest all-around football game of the 2006 season.

Playing with a quiet determination, the Bruins rolled over the Toledo Indians, 35-15, in a season-ending SWW 1A League crossover game at Camas' Doc Harris Stadium.

Columbia (3-7) scored on all four of its first-half possessions to mount a 28-0 halftime lead. Its scoring drives traveled 39, 75, 80 and 94 yards.

Junior fullback Devin Dean and junior wingback Taylor Champion each scored twice for the Bruins in the first half, during which Columbia ran 29 of the 30 times it snapped the ball and racked up 288 yards of offense.

Dean's TD runs covered 7 and 20 yards, while Champion's went for 16 and 3 yards. Champion also ran for the 2-point conversion after CHS's second touchdown and caught a pass for 19 yards that set up the Bruins' fourth TD.

Champion finished with 142 total yards, including 123 on the ground, and three touchdowns, while Dean rushed for a career-high 186 yards. Freshman Jenson Ladiges added 113 yards for the first 100-yard game of his career.

Overall, the Bruins ran for 411 yards, averaging better than 8 yards per carry.

"Even with the delayed start, our kids were focused and turned it on emotionally," Bruins Coach Matt Whitmire said. "As a coaching staff, we were impressed with how the kids came to play. They wanted to go out with a win."

Columbia set the tone during the game's first series. CHS senior defensive end Jose Viramontes made a big stop on Toledo's fourth-and-2 play from its own 40.

Viramontes' tackle for a 1-yard loss "was huge and we scored pretty quickly after that," Whitmire said.

The Bruins needed just six plays to go 39 yards in 2 minutes and 13 seconds for their first touchdown: a 7-yard run by Dean.

Their field position for the start of their second drive wasn't as favorable. Still, they only used six plays to move the ball from their 25 to Toledo's end zone. The score came on a 16-yard sweep around right end by Champion, who then ran for the 2-point conversion to make it 14-0.

A 35-yard run by Ladiges on fourth down and a 15-yard facemask penalty on Toledo set up CHS's first touchdown of the second quarter.

Dean capped the seven-play, 80-yard movement with a 20-yard scoring run through the middle of Toledo's defense.

An interception by junior safety Kent Shelley at Columbia's 6-yard line gave the Bruins the ball back with 6:47 remaining in the half.

Columbia overcame two penalties and got big runs from Ladiges (+33) and Dean (+26) to advance the ball into Toledo territory.

Five more runs for positive yardage set the Bruins up just outside the Indians' red zone, at the 22.

On the ensuing first-down play, sophomore quarterback Andy Pate threw his only pass of the night, completing it to Champion for a 19-yard pickup to Toledo's 3-yard line.

The 11-play, 94-yard drive, which last 4 minutes, 50 seconds, culminated with a 3-yard sweep by Champion.

Whitmire said the Bruins' big first half of offensive production came down to the play of CHS's offensive line (tight ends Rees Stevenson and Nick Reeves, tackles Jose and Erik Viramontes, center Jarin Ladiges and guards Bo Ward and Donald Warner).

"Tight end to tight end, our kids executed with tremendous intensity," he said. "When our guys up front do that, we have the skill position kids who can match up with anybody's. I don't know any coach who wouldn't love to have three 100-yard rushers in his backfield."

In the second half, turnovers and penalties prevented Columbia from finding Toledo's end zone more than once.

A short return of the second-half kickoff and a holding penalty on first down pinned the Bruins back at their 6-yard line.

On the ensuing play, Columbia lost its first of three fumbles and Toledo recovered at the CHS 2.

Four plays later, the Indians' C.J. Young scored his first of two touchdowns.

But the Bruins bounced right back with a strong kickoff return by Shelley to the CHS 43. After three penalties (two on CHS) and two runs for negative yardage, Champion got loose around right end for a 64-yard touchdown run.

When sophomore Enrique Granados booted his fourth PAT in five tries to make it 35-7, the Bruins equaled their biggest lead of the night.

The game's final scoring drive followed; Toledo went 80 yards in eight plays, and ran for the 2-point conversion off a fake kick.

Toledo never got out of its half of the field after that.

CHS's defense, which held Toledo's offense to 164 total yards, forced a punt, recovered two fumbles (one each by Jarin Ladiges and Sam Mart) and intercepted a pass (Shelley) on the Indians' final four drives.

Defensive standouts for Columbia included linebackers Dean (10 solo tackles, 14 total) and Champion (six tackles, five assists) and senior nose guard Charles Warren (five tackles, three assists).

"We coaches see us winning this game as a springboard into the future," Whitmire said. "We're not where we want to be as a program; we've got a lot of work to do to reach the level of our league's Big Three: Kalama, Castle Rock and La Center."

But, he added, "Once we start kicking in with the off-season workouts, start taking those steps in that direction, we can make that happen. Overall, we're optimistic about the future with the kids we'll have coming back next year."

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