Columbus vs. Southridge
By Nick Jacobi and Jorge Garcia
The Columbus Explorers came into Friday’s game with a 1-1 record following a loss last week to Northwestern. The Columbus Explorers squared off against their bitter rivals, the Southridge Spartans. With tension running high and talented players on both sides, a great game was expected.
Columbus scored first by means of a pick six by senior cornerback Trajan Bandy. The Explorers struggled to score after the first half, having a scoreless second quarter. Senior quarterback Marcello Rodriguez passed the ball four times, and of those four none were completed. The Spartans, however, managed to pull out if the second quarter with thirteen points. The Spartans’ first points came out of a fumbled Explorer’s snap, which was returned for a touchdown. A key factor in the Spartans’ victory was the injury of starting quarterback Marcello Rodriguez. Rodriguez went down in the second quarter and would not return until the end of the fourth quarter.
The Explorers defense played a pivotal role in the attempted comeback, stopping the Spartans multiple times. Senior linebacker/defensive back Austin Chacon had a total of six tackles, and one tackle for loss. The Explorers’ defensive front was led by senior defensive tackle Michael Rodriguez and sophomore defensive tackle Dylan Perez. The Explorers’ defense gave the ball back to the offense, leading to a touch down drive by junior wide receiver Willie Davis. Coming into the second half Davis caught an electrifying forty-three yard pass thrown by senior quarterback Nick Rodriguez. Rodriguez rallied the Explorers offense, throwing seven completions for seventy-five yards, and a touch down pass to put the Explorers back in the game.
Although the Explorers fought valiantly, the Spartans’ pass rush was too much for the Explorers’ offensive line to handle. The running game was no ally to the Explorers on Friday. Running back Darren Davis Jr. was held to only fourteen rushing yards on seven attempts by the Spartans’ grueling defensive front.
The Explorers hope to recuperate from these two tough weeks against two very talented programs as they take on the Miami High Cobras this coming Friday. The Explorers must find a way to utilize their offensive talents and bounce back from this small bump in the road to a victorious season.