WATERLOO — Waterloo Columbus hasn’t had much to celebrate on homecoming night for the last seven football seasons.
Friday night, the Sailors overcame a slow start and kicked up their heels for a 45-0 win over East Marshall that was the program’s first homecoming victory since 2010.
That slow start spanned the first 12 minutes when Columbus had four dropped passes — two that could have gone for touchdowns — and committed five penalties that set the Sailors back 35 yards.
Then Columbus (2-1) turned it around in a big way, scoring on all four of its second-quarter possessions to take a 24-0 lead into halftime.
“It was all there for them in that first quarter, we just lacked the execution,” Sailors coach Brad Schmit said. “We wanted to come out and play a solid four quarters of football in all three phases of the game.
“Well, we got three quarters anyway.”
Ben Sinnott gathered in a 10-yard pass from quarterback Parker Westhoff two minutes into the second quarter to get Columbus off and running.
Ben Trost nailed a 22-yard field goal and Donald Patnode crashed in from the 1 as the Sailors built a 17-0 edge. Sinnott popped in from a yard out with 26 seconds to set the halftime score.
“We had some troubles to start, but once we got that one touchdown, we couldn’t be stopped,” said Westhoff. “We got the running game going after some dropped passes and penalties. That put us behind the 8-ball a little bit, but this team is built to fight through all that. If we get punched in the mouth, we will punch back.”
The Sailors tacked on a pair of scores in the third period as Patnode took advantage of his offensive line’s work and scored from eight and 10 yards out for a 38-0 lead.
Westhoff finished the scoring with a one-yard sneak with eight minutes remaining.
“The seniors we have on this team have went though a lot,” said Westhoff. “We are out to change things from the way they were. This is such an awesome feeling to be on the winning side of things. We have a lot to clean up yet, but this feels great.”
Columbus’ defense held the Mustangs to a mere 27 yards of total offense and gave up just two first downs.
“Our defense came ready to play just like they have all year,” Schmit said. “The mindset on this team is so different. The practices are harder than the game and they respond. They are in better condition and they want to win.
“These kids fought great on homecoming and played three great quarters.”
Columbus 45, E. Marshall 0
East Marshall 0 0 0 0 — 0
Columbus 0 24 14 7 — 45
Col — Ben Sinnott 10 pass from Parker Westhoff (Ben Trost kick)
Col — FG Trost 22
Col — Donald Patnode 1 run (Trost kick)
Col — Sinnott 1 run (Trost kick)
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Col — Patnode 8 run (Trost kick)
Col — Patnode 10 run (Trost kick)
Col — Westhoff 1 run (Trost kick)
First downs 2 18
Rushes-yards 21-17 40-212
Passing yards 11 193
Comp-att-int. 2-14-3 13-23-1
Return yards 108 62
Punts-avg. 7-30.7 2-38.5
Fumbles-lost 0-0 1-0
Penalties-yards 4-40 8-65
EAST MARSHALL — Cole Nauman 12-24, Kamren Hoskins 3-5, Carson Burchland 6-minus 12.
COLUMBUS — Kobe Nobis 12-41, Donald Patnode 5-25, Ben Sinnott 2-5, Parker Westhoff 4-29, Ray Seidel 10-66, Joe Dunlay 4-13, Tristan Wright 2-16, Gabe Roche 2-16.
EAST MARSHALL — Nauman 2-14-0, 11 yards.
COLUMBUS — Westhoff 12-22-1, 185 yards, Reed Ulses 1-1-0, 8 yards.
EAST MARSHALL — Hoskins 1-10, Dane Thompson 1-1.
COLUMBUS — Ludwig 6-87, Cannon Butler 1-14, Wright 1-32, Ben Sinnott 2-19, Nobis 1-14, Seidel 2-18, Josh Heine 1-8.