The head coaches said they didn't expect it. Even the players looked a bit surprised leaving the field Friday night.
But what occurred was about as one-sided a game as anyone could imagine. Columbian scored 10 touchdowns, surrendered just one and slammed Northern Ohio League rival Bellevue, 69-7.
Columbian (3-3, 2-1 Northern Ohio League) needed a win to stay alive in the NOL race. It left little doubt early it would get it.
On Bellevue's first play from scrimmage, quarterback Curt Watson was sacked by Columbian's Cody Krupp. The Redmen gained nothing in the next two plays and were forced to punt.
On Columbian's first offensive play from scrimmage, quarterback Ryan Tittle connected on a post to Derek Kneeskern for a 58-yard touchdown. When Bellevue got the ball back, it muffed the kickoff and started inside its 5.
Watson tried to pass on first down, but it hit off receiver Tommy McPeak and was picked by TC's Jesse Hernandez, who ran it back for another score.
Columbian 69, Bellevue 7
Bellevue 0 0 07 - 7
Columbian2121207 - 69
TC - Derek Kneeskern 58 pass from Ryan Tittle (Kneeskern kick), 10:08
TC - Jesse Hernandez 7 interception return (Kneeskern kick), 9:54
TC - Tyler Ward 11 run (Kneeskern kick), :59
TC - Ward 1 run (Kneeskern kick), 9:06
TC - Mike Lee 19 pass from Tittle (Kneeskern kick), 3:50
TC - Hernandez 3 pass from Tittle (Kneeskern kick), :08
TC - Kneeskern 92 kick return (Kneeskern kick), 11:45
TC - Ward 2 run (Kneeskern kick blocked), 6:28
TC - Nate Burns 11 run (Kneeskern kick), 1:43
B - Jake Sears 23 pass from Curtis Watson (Watson kick), 9:38
TC - Jack Jacoby 3 run (Kneeskern kick)
RUSHING: Bellevue - Dom DeBlase 8-16; Watson 7-11; Nano Wagner 6-17; Anson Hupp 1-1; Clay Shoen 4-27. Columbian - Ward 18-90; Tittle 8-49; Trey Tyree 4-15; Burns 7-53; Jacoby 5-29; Ben Davis 2-5.
PASSING: Bellevue - Watson 8-28-3-112. Columbian - Tittle 17-24-0-226; Burns 1-1-0-9.
RECEIVING: Bellevue - Jeff Roth 2-34; Sears 1-23; Ed Haynes 1-15; Miles Foos 2-25; DeBlase 1-1; Adam Manner 1-14. Columbian - Kneeskern 4-101; Hernandez 5-61; Ward 2-4; Jordan Coger 3-45; Lee 2-25 .
Those plays were simply signs of more to come, as the Tornadoes dominated the Redmen in all aspects of the game, led 42-0 at halftime and 62-0 at the end of the third quarter.
Tittle finished by completing 15 of 24 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns. Kneeskern caught four passes for 101 yards, and ran back the second half's opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of the coaches and the players, just hanging in there," said Columbian coach Steve Gilbert. "We've had a rough stretch, but today we showed the type of team I thought we had at the beginning."
Gilbert praised Tittle, in particular.
"Ryan played probably as well at quarterback as we've had in a long time," Gilbert said.
Along with the strike to Kneeskern, Tittle also completed touchdown passes to Mike Lee (19 yards) and Hernandez (3 yards).
Tyler Ward had three rushing scores for the Tornadoes, while backup quarterback Nate Burns and Jack Jacoby also plowed into the end zone for the team.
"We just had kids making plays all over the field," Gilbert said. "It wasn't one person. It was just a whole group of kids coming together as a football team."
Krupp had a pair of sacks as TC pressured Watson all night. Watson completed just 8 of 28 passes and was intercepted three times, all in the first half. Jordan Coger and Trey Tyree each had an interception.
Bellevue coach Ed Nasonti said it was just one of those games for Bellevue.
"I don't think we're that bad, and I don't think they're that good," said Nasonti, whose Redmen dropped to 3-3, 2-1. "That's the best way I can sum it up. It's no fun when you get a loss put on you like this, but I think if you're in it long enough, you have something like this happen to you."
Gilbert said his players' backs were against the wall, and they responded.
"We had to go, and we've been here before," he said. "And now, for the first time, I think we've got some confidence on the type of team we are. We beat a good football team."