Columbus grabs momentum heading into 3A playoffs

The Titans head to Burlington aiming to keep their season alive.

COLUMBUS, Kan. – The Columbus Titans have a little momentum heading into the 3A playoffs, after beating Parsons 30-6 in their regular season finale last week.

That win gave Columbus back to back wins for the first time this season.

“It was our best performance of the season. We’re just happy to see them doing what they’re capable of doing. We’ve been waiting for this group to take that next step,” says Columbus head coach Blake Burns, “Our three pillars are locked in, family and sacrifice. You don’t have to be blood to be family. That’s what we’ve been preaching to these kids. I think they finally dialed that in and they played four quarters of team football.”

A big key to Friday night’s win was the run game – and getting one of the team’s best players more opportunities to have the ball in his hands.

“We did have to move some bodies around…Landin Midgett was in the backfield last week. He really ran the ball hard and set the tone for us on offense,” Burns says, “Brett did a really good job carrying the ball, too. Our offensive line really played physical for four quarters Friday night, and that’s what we’ve been missing.”

“We obviously ran the ball a ton,” says senior quarterback Brett Hamilton on Friday’s win, “This entire year, we’ve kind of gotten away from what we’ve done in the past few years. We wanted to throw it a little bit more, but we were frustrated with how things were working out so far. We decided hey, let’s get our mojo back and let’s run the ball down somebody’s throat. That’s what we did. We dominated honestly that whole game. We limited our mistakes and we didn’t get behind the chains. It gave us a lot of confidence, and I think we’re getting things rolling at the right time.”

“Getting the running game going was big for us,” Burns adds, “I’m an offensive line coach. It’s kind of been killing my soul a little bit every week.”

Columbus is now 3-5 overall this season. They will be on the road against Burlington (5-3) in the first round of the 3A playoffs on Friday night.

“Burlington is a very physical team. Their wrestling program kind of lends itself to them being a very solid tackling team. Their coaching staff does a great job,” Burns says, “They’ll pull out a trick play when they need to. They may not look the fastest when you turn on the film, but when you show up in Burlington you know they’re going to play hard and they’re going to be quick.”

“I couldn’t even tell you where Burlington is. I’ve heard it’s a nice little town,” Hamilton says, “I heard they have tough kids. They played one of our opponents in Girard, and Girard handled them pretty well. We’re going into it with confidence. We just want to go handle business and win and advance.”

For Hamilton and the seniors, they’re motivated to build on their late-season success – and make sure Friday is not the last game of their high school careers.

“We got a little taste of it last week, knowing that it was our last game ever here in Columbus at Cecil Kline Field,” Hamilton says, “For the seniors, that hit hard. It gave us a little taste of it. I’ve told the guys that every game after this is potentially our last game, and we have to play like it is. I told my guys I’m going to die on the field for them, and I expect the same from them.”

“We’ve tended to peak a little early in the past before going into the playoffs,” Burns adds, “I’m not going to say we’ve necessarily peaked right now, but we’re playing our best football rolling into round one of the playoffs, and that is exactly what we need to be doing.”