Center Grove football thumps Columbus North

<p>Center Grove had to hang on for dear life to beat Columbus North in a sectional title game last season. The Trojans made sure there was no such drama in this year’s meeting with the Bull Dogs.</p><p>Carson Steele rushed for 193 yards and three first-half touchdowns as the Class 6A No. 7 Trojans imposed their will on both sides of the ball in a 42-0 sectional semifinal rout of the sixth-ranked visitors on Friday.</p><p>The Trojans (7-3) will play for their eighth consecutive sectional championship next Friday at Franklin Central.</p><p>&quot;Everything was working,&quot; said senior defensive lineman Brian Gaffney, who had three quarterback sacks and also ran for a first-quarter touchdown on offense. &quot;We game planned really well for that one, for sure. When we get in the playoffs, Center Grove football is just a different game, and when we come together as a team like that, it shows. Both sides of the ball, we were dominating.&quot;</p>[sc:text-divider text-divider-title="Story continues below gallery" ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery<p>Steele got rolling right away on the Trojans’ initial drive, rushing for 39 yards and catching a pass for 15 more as part of his team’s game-opening 66-yard march. He capped that with a 4-yard scoring run.</p><p>Lucas Roehling then intercepted a Trenton Kelley pass on Columbus North’s first play from scrimmage, and Center Grove cashed in shortly thereafter on a 7-yard run by Gaffney with 4:29 left in the first quarter.</p><p>A third-down Gaffney sack early in the second forced a Bull Dog punt, which led to another Trojan touchdown. Steele had one apparent TD called back due to a penalty, then dashed up the middle 41 yards to the end zone on the following play.</p><p>Lucas Hunter then got a piece of a Columbus North punt on the ensuing series, setting up another Steele touchdown from less than a yard out with 49 seconds remaining in the half.</p><p>Steele had 208 total yards at halftime (160 rushing, 48 receiving), compared with just 72 for the Bull Dogs’ entire team.</p><p>&quot;The war horse was here tonight,&quot; Center Grove coach Eric Moore said of Steele. &quot;He did a great job.&quot;</p><p>Sam Hohlt, back after missing much of the regular season with an injury, hauled in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Jackson Moore with 3:14 left in the third quarter, and Gavin Matheson’s 13-yard scoring run at the 10:07 mark of the fourth signaled the end of the night for the Trojan starters.</p><p>Moore had high praise for his linemen after the blowout win.</p><p>&quot;We knew the ball game was going to depend on the line of scrimmage,&quot; he said. &quot;I’m really proud of our defense for locking down and loading. But the offense, man, when we roll, we’re good.&quot;</p>