Wilder and the Braves can’t stop Eagles from scoring 44-0

Chris Tulley
Staff Writer

“Hopes a bad strategy,” Bellmont head coach Eric Davis stated. “Going forward, it’s about effort, it’s about tenacity, it’s about focus and learning and growing.”

Bellmont failed to put up a fight against the visiting Columbia City Eagles Friday night. Columbia City put up 14 points on the board in the first quarter, and ended the first half ahead of Bellmont 44-0. “We came out and hung around early, we put up a nice fight in the beginning but then some injuries happened and we kind of lost our mojo, if you will,” Bellmont head coach Eric Davis. “From that point, it was difficult for us to find our focus.” “It just got away from us in the second quarter,” Davis added. “We do have to look at doing something differently, we have to look at our personnel and where people fit and how we can move this program forward. We have to do that.”

John Wilder started in the quarterback position for the Braves, after sitting out last week due to an ankle injury. Bellmont received the ball to begin the game on their own 34 yard line. Wilder was unable to produce anything for the offense, bringing on his punt unit after three downs. Wilder wasn't off the field long before Eagles' QB Greg Bolt was picked off by Brave Conrad Dyer. Again, the Bellmont offense, made up primarily by Wilder and running back Matt Morris, was unable to gain a first down. 

Columbia City scored first, 7:30 into the first half. Bolt connected with standout receiver Michael Sievers in the red zone. A successful PAT set CC ahead 7-0. Sievers went deep, 42 yards deep for the Eagles' second touchdown. Bolt found Sievers with 2:45 left in the first quarter. Bellmont's safety Jackson Harris struggled to find ground and cover Sievers. Harris was injured returning a punt from Columbia City and was absent until the end of the first half. The 23-0 mark was hit after Columbia City nailed a short field goal, followed by another Bellmont three and out. Bolt and Garret Gieger connected for six points, then Bellmont blocked the PAT.

“We have to coach them up and make big decisions on offense, we can’t leave our defense out there like that for so long,” Davis stated. Wilder and Morris fought against the Columbia City D-line, but were rarely able to break through for significant yards.

Wilder looked to Chase Linegar as his main receiver Friday. Nearly halfway through the second quarter, Bolt found Sievers deep in Bellmont territory unprotected and sent the senior another touchdown pass. As CC kicked off after its 30-0 lead, a Bellmont special team member called for a fair catch and then missed the ball, allowing the Eagles to recover the possession near their own 40 yard line. The next Eagles touchdown came from Bolt in the air again, this time to Keiran Gilles. With the PAT, Columbia City led 37-0 with over five minutes in the half.

The final score of the game came at the three minute mark in the second quarter. Sievers received a handoff from Bolt and took the ball 78 yards into Bellmont’s endzone.

IHSAA’s rolling clock rule came into effect in the second half, as the clock ran through the remainder of the game. Full stats were not available.