Columbia’s Lou Isringhaus breaks free from a Nashville tackler for a big run on Friday night. (Greg Stanek photo)
The Columbia Eagles football team got off to a slow start Friday night in a battle of 7-1 teams, but kicked it into high gear in the second half to pull away and beat the Nashville Hornets 45-22 at home on Senior Night.
Senior running back Lou “The Hammer” Isringhaus made the most of his final regular season home game, scoring five touchdowns and rushing for 229 yards on 18 carries to pace an explosive Eagles offensive attack.
Nashville moved the ball well on the Eagles in the first quarter, but missed a field goal and turned the ball over on downs at the Columbia 23 as neither team could punch it in. The first quarter ended in a scoreless tie.
Columbia finally got on the board with 6:42 to go in the second quarter on an Isringhaus TD.
Nashville scored with 1:16 to play in the quarter and their 2-point try was successful to put them ahead 8-7.
Columbia drove to the Hornets 2-yard line and added a field goal with 5 seconds to go in the half, taking a 10-8 lead into the locker room.
After the Eagles punted on their first possession of the third quarter, the Hornets scored to go ahead 14-10.
Columbia answered back with a 57-yard TD run from elusive senior quarterback Jacob Hill to go up 17-14 with 5:56 to go in the third. Hill finished with 100 yards rushing on 9 carries and went 7-for-14 passing for 84 yards.
After the Eagles defense stopped the Hornets, Columbia scored again on a 31-yard run by Isringhaus to open up a 24-14 lead as the third quarter came to a close.
The Eagles pulled away in the fourth quarter, taking advantage of two Nashville fumbles to take the game, 45-22.
“What we do in the off season and the summer is why we won this game. We wore them down in the second half and this is a team who usually wears down teams in the second half and we wore them down,” Columbia head coach Scott Horner said after the game. “They are a good football team, but I think our quickness kind of got to them in the second half.”
Zach Braun led the Columbia defense with 7 tackles and 2 assists. JT Broshears and Owen Suedkamp added 6 tackles and 6 assists apiece.
Columbia (8-1) will host Althoff (6-3) in the IHSA Class 4A playoffs on Saturday at 1 p.m. Althoff defeated Columbia in the playoffs last year at CHS, 35-14.