COLUMBUS, Kan. -- Fort Scott High School found some success early in the first quarter of Friday night's Southeast Kansas League battle with Columbus. But it was short lived as the Titans went on to score 23 points in the last 3:46 of the first quarter and went on to a 62-14 rout of the Tigers.
"I was proud of our effort early on," Fort Scott head coach Don Epps said. "We moved the ball well and we had a decent stop. They made a big play and from that point on, they dominated on all facets."
The Tigers (0-4 SEK, 0-5 overall) had the ball first and moved the ball inside the Columbus 5 for a first down. But three running plays gained no net yards and a fourth-down pass for Griffin Knopp in the corner of the end zone went over his head.
But the Tigers answered by stopping the Titans' first drive as Gary Floyd picked off a Damion Tinnin pass and gave the Tigers possession at the Columbus 32.
However, the Tigers stumbled on their drive and had to punt. That was when the Titans' pistol offense finally got on track.
Taking over at their own 31, Tinnin completed consecutive passes for 41 yards and running back Lewis Kellogg gained 16 more on consecutive rushes to get the ball down to the Fort Scott 9. Three plays later, Kellogg took a direct snap and ran the ball in for the game's first score from 3 yards out with 3:46 to go.
Defensive lineman Tank Burns disrupted the first two plays of Fort Scott's first drive and a penalty pinned the Tigers back at their own 11 for a punt. But Chase Leonard broke through the line and blocked the kick, which then deflected out of the end zone to make it 9-0 in Columbus' favor with 2:42 left.
After Fort Scott free kicked, Tinnin hit Brandon Alberty for a 36-yard gain to the 8. After a penalty, Tinnin scrambled right and found Dale Benedict for the next TD, making it 16-0 with 1:45 left.
The Titans (3-2, 3-2) hit pay dirt again one play after a turnover as Tinnin found Taylor Spear from 62 yards out to make it 23-0 with 12 seconds to go in the quarter.
After just one period of play, Tinnin was 6 of 8 passing for 168 yards.
A Matt Crain interception led to the next Columbus score as Burns, normally a tackle on offense, took a handoff and ran around the left end into the end zone with 43 seconds into the second quarter. The PAT kick failed but the score was now 29-0.
Tinnin and Benedict connected again with 8:41 left in the half to make it 36-0. Crain caught Tinnin's fourth touchdown pass of the night, a 9-yarder, with 1:02 left in the half.
The final score of the half came one play after a Columbus fumble recovery when Kellogg scored on a 19-yard run. The PAT kick with 0.7 seconds left made it 50-0.
Tinnin finished the night with 274 yards on 12-of-15 passing. Crain hauled down 6 of those passes for 115 yards while Spear caught 2 for 70 yards.
Columbus sent out reserves to start the second half. The Tigers finally got on the board with 4:49 left in the third quarter when Cody Cannon scored on a two-yard run. The run for 2 points was unsuccessful.
Tyler Elmore scored on a 4-yard run for Columbus with 1:09 to go in the third to make it 56-6. Blake Cowen scored on a 2-yard run with 9:50 left in the fourth and Jaret Thorpe added the two-point conversion.
Columbus' backup quarterback, Travis Jones, connected with Gavin Houser for a 24-yard score with 2:20 left to go on a running clock for the game's final score.
A preliminary total shows Columbus with 337 yards passing as Jones completed all 4 of his attempts for 63 yards. The Titans had 508 total yards while Fort Scott gained just 194 total yards.
Chris Archie gained 98 yards rushing for the Tigers on 14 carries. Cannon finished with 63 yards on 12 totes.
Fort Scott will return home next week looking to break what is now an 8-game losing streak. Parsons will be the opponent on Homecoming at Frary Field.
"We're going to build on our strengths and we did things well early in the game," Fort Scott head coach Don Epps said. "At the same time, you can't forget what happened. We fell behind and we tried but we didn't execute well enough or tackle well enough to stop the bleeding.
"It's the final game before districts