Columbus aims to keep momentum, gain respect after win over Frontenac

The Titans beat the Raiders 25-6 to open the season Friday night.

COLUMBUS, Kan. – For the second straight season, the Columbus Titans picked up a big week-one win over a CNC rival.

Last year it was a 7-point win over the Colgan Panthers. This year it’s a 25-6 win over Frontenac.

“It feels great against a good team like Frontenac, a team we were picked to lose against by a lot of people,” says senior RB/LB Gabe Martin.

“We’re always feeling like people aren’t really sure whether or not we belong with the elite teams,” says head coach Blake Burns, “I feel like that’s going to be our goal this year, is to see whether or not we belong with the elites.”

The Columbus defense shined Friday night, limiting the Raiders to one touchdown and turning in two pick-sixes in the 4th quarter.

“Our defense did a phenomenal job of tackling all night,” Burns adds, “The effort level was just outstanding for all 11 kids on the field at all times.”

“We focus on all gas, no brakes, and making sure everyone is going hard every single play,” Martin says, “When everybody is going hard and rallying to make a tackle, we’re going to be in pretty good shape.”

Lynn Shallenburger had a team-high 12 tackles against Frontenac.

“Our D-line played incredibly well,” Shallenburger says, “Our linebackers, they were hustling to the ball every play. Our corners and safeties, we did our jobs, too.”

“Lynn has grown up tremendously in four years in this program,” Burns says of the senior WR/DB, “He’s turned himself into a tough kid and a leader on this team. He’s a captain.”

Offensively,Gabe Martin rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown.

“First half nothing was really working well,” Martin says, “WE just had to keep grinding and pushing, and we were able to get yards.”

While it is just one win, it was a big one, and it gives Columbus a new level of confidence as they move forward.

“I think it’s definitely a great building block,” Burns says, “We know we have a great opponent in week two in Field Kindley.”

“Frontenac was a great team, so that’s going to boost us up a little bit,” Shallenburger finishes, “But we still have to prepare for every team like they’re Frontenac.”

Columbus will be back on the field this Friday, on the road to face Field Kindley High School in Coffeyville.