Colgan cruises to 40-6 victory at Columbus

COLUMBUS — Talk about setting the tone for a season.

St. Mary’s Colgan — the defending Class 2-1A state runner-up from a year ago — racked up 471 total yards of offense and rolled from start to finish in a convincing 40-6 victory over Columbus in the CNC opener to kick off the 2018 campaign Friday night.

“I thought our guys played extremely hard and competed very well,” said Colgan coach Shawn Seematter. “Cade Simmons was lights out and made some great plays offensively. Our entire defensive unit played extremely well also. I’m anxious to get into film and see more. I think we’ll find a lot we can improve upon, but overall, we’re very pleased with how we started the year. Columbus has a great program and is well coached, so a win against them is always a good win.”

The Panthers were able to avenge a 23-8 Columbus victory last season in Pittsburg. Colgan (1-0) will remain on the road for a second straight week on Friday, Sept. 7, when it travels to defending Class 4A-Division II runner-up Frontenac. The Raiders also opened the season with a win by taking down Richmond (Mo.) 19-8.

Columbus (0-1) will hit the road on Friday for a non-league contest at Coffeyville — a 23-14 loser to Fort Scott in its season opener.

Colgan dominated every aspect of its season opener with Columbus. The Panthers rolled to 314 rushing yards, including Simmons’ 209 yards on 11 carries with three touchdowns. Simmons also completed 6-of-8 passes for 157 yards and two more scores.

SMC struck for three first-quarter touchdowns, starting with a one-yard run by Matthew Lomshek. Simmons broke loose on a 50-yard scamper into the end zone. Later, Simmons tossed his first touchdown pass on a 39-yard strike to Cal Marquardt for a 20-0 lead after one quarter.

Simmons ran in his second and third touchdowns of the game before halftime — the first on a 55-yard run and the second from 31 yards out. That gave Colgan a commanding 32-0 edge at the break.

The Panthers put the capper on their scoring in the third quarter. Simmons found Marquardt on a 63-yard TD pass and then ran in the conversion for a 40-point margin.

Columbus avoided a shutout in the final period as Kaden Crain was on the receiving end of a 25-yard touchdown pass from Jared Graham.

The Titans were limited to 207 total yards in the contest and had three turnovers. Graham completed 10-of-14 passes for 93 yards. CUHS also finished with 114 yards on the ground.