Columbia High got back on the winning track last Friday following two consecutive losses, unloading on Seton Catholic, 64-8, in a Trico League football game played in Camas.
It proved to be a night to remember for Jared Gar-wood, who returned a punt and a kickoff for touchdowns in the first half, and Omar Guzman, who scored his first varsity TD with a kickoff return in the third quarter that made the score 50-0.
Moreover, the CHS offense turned in a highly efficient performance against a Seton defensive front that was no match for Bruins linemen Gabe Montoya, Cody Carse, Matt Bergstrom, Pedro Casar-ez, and Blake Walker. The quintet quickly established control of the line of scrimmage and helped make it possible for the Bruins to finish all five of their offensive drives in the end zone. For the game, the Bruins gained 245 yards in 19 plays from scrimmage; 140 yards of CHS’s total came on four big plays that set up four scoring runs.
“We wanted to come out and play to our potential and not down to the potential of our opponent, and I felt we did that convincingly,” Bruins Coach John Hallead said. “I was very pleased with how hard we played, regardless of the score. Our boys have had a mission to qualify for the playoffs since last summer, and I believe they are set to prove that Columbia High School Bruin Football will be a contender year in and year out.”
In addition to the tremendous play it got from its special teams and offense, CHS got an equally impressive performance from its de-fense, which produced some highlights of its own. The Bruins scored a safety in the second quarter against Seton’s punting unit (the punter had to fall on the ball in his own end zone), intercepted Cougars quarterback Thomas Martin three times, and broke up three pass plays; safety Gabe Guzman returned one of his two picks 33 yards for a touchdown. Seton finished with 117 yards in 68 plays, including five rushing plays that lost a combined 57 yards, against a defense keyed by linebackers Montoya and Ryan Aldrich.
Garwood put CHS on top in the first quarter when he ran a Seton punt back 42 yards for a touchdown. Gabe Guzman made it 7-0 when he converted the first of eight point-after touchdowns.
Columbia’s offense scored its first touchdown in the first quarter on a 4-yard run by quarterback Tanner Rabino-witz. A 43-yard reception by Ryan Earls put the CHS offense in scoring position.
The Bruins’ ground game hit its full stride in the second quarter, and running backs John Stephens and Nathan Bell alternated in inflicting the damage.
Following a 50-yard punt return by Garwood, Stephens took it in from 3 yards out for a three-score lead.
Stephens scored again on a run of 22 yards — a touchdown he helped set up with a 42-yard reception during one of the Bruins’ longer drives of the night in the familiar confines of Doc Harris Stadium.
Columbia wasn’t done ei-ther. Bell set up his own 30-yard touchdown run in the second quarter with a 22-yard run from scrimmage. A safety followed to give the Bruins a 37-0 lead. Then, Garwood delivered the coup de grace with a career-long 58-yard kickoff return that made it 43-0 and set the game clock running under the WIAA’s football mercy rule.
Omar Guzman ran the second-half kickoff back 65 yards for a touchdown to give the Bruins’ kick-return teams a possible school rec-ord for most touchdown returns in a game. Gabe Guzman scored one for the CHS defense later in the quarter, then kicked the PAT for a 57-0 advantage.
Seton prevented Columbia’s defense from recording its second shutout of the season when Ryan James scored from the 2. CHS countered with its final scoring drive. A 33-yard run by Stephens — who finished with a game-high 57 rushing yards and 99 total yards from scrimmage in just five touches — set up a 12-yard touchdown run by Rabinowitz.
Coming up: Castle Rock is Columbia High’s opponent for CHS’s 2013 homecoming game. The Rockets (2-3 in Trico, 2-4 overall) are coming off a 34-0 loss to Kalama, but haven’t put together a good performance since Week 2.
In addition to keeping their 2013 playoff bid alive, the Bruins have extra incentive in facing the Rockets.
“This week is our homecoming and we are very excited to display our football prowess versus a Castle
Rock team that knocked us out of playoff contention last year, 14-0 at Castle Rock,” Hallead said.
“Winning this game puts us in a spot Columbia High School football hasn’t been since 2002: The Playoffs.”
Columbia currently is tied for third place in Trico standings — with Toledo and Kalama — at 3-2with three games remaining, but holds the tiebreaker over Toledo on the strength of its 14-13 victory in Week 1 of the Trico schedule.
Castle Rock won’t be a pushover, however. The run-oriented Rockets feature the talents of running backs Nate Williamson and Chase Liam, who come at opposing defenses out of an I-formation.
Defensively, Castle Rock will line up in a 4-3 formation that emphasizes stopping the run first, but from which Hallead expects the Rockets to launch aggressive attacks designed to blow up plays before they can develop.
Trico League game Columbia at Seton Catholic Friday, Oct. 11
Bruins 14 29 14 7 - 64
Cougars 0 0 0 0 - 8
C - Jared Garwood 42 punt return (Gabe Guzman kick). Columbia 7, Seton 0.
C - Tanner Rabinowitz 4 run (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 14, Seton 0.
C - John Stephens 3 run (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 21, Seton 0.
C - Stephens 22 run (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 28, Seton 0.
C - Nathan Bell 30 run (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 35, Seton 0.
C - Safety, punter downed ball in end zone. Columbia 37, Seton 0.
C- Garwood 58 kickoff return (kick failed). Columbia 43, Seton 0.
C - Omar Guzman 65 kickoff return (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 50, Seton 0.
C - G. Guzman 33 interception return (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 57, Seton 0.
S - Ryan James 2 run (James Henkels run). Columbia 57, Seton 8.
C - Rabinowitz 12 run (G. Guzman kick). Columbia 64, Seton 8.
Total Yards: Columbia 19-245 (153 rushing, 92 passing); Seton 68-117 (60 rushing, 57 passing).
Rushing: (C) John Ste-phens 4-57-2 TDs, Josh Lewis 3-36, Nathan Bell 2-32-TD, Tanner Rabinowitz 4-28-2 TDs; (S) James Henkels 24-48, Ryan James 9-31, Dylan Cole 7-28, Thomas Martin 3-(-17), Justin James 1-(-5), Team 1-(-20).
Passing: (C) Rabinowitz 3-6-1-92; (S) Martin 9-23-3-57.
Receiving: (C) Ryan Earls 1-43, Stephens 1-42, Jared Garwood 1-7; (S) J. James 4-24, Cole 4-31, Hen-kels 1-2.
Miscellaneous Defense: (C) G. Guzman, 2 interceptions; Garwood, 1 interception.