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Stacking up against history

November 10, 2010

Columbia City sophomore Jared Murphy outruns a Bishop Dwenger defender Friday night in the Eagles 50-7 season-ending loss. The loss ended the Eagles’ only double-digit win season in school history. City also won its first NHC title since 1990. Post & Mail photo / Mark Parker

   Following a 50-7 loss Friday night to sectional champion Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger, the 2010 Columbia City Eagles were officially part of the record books.
   Despite coming up short for their first sectional title since 1993, the Eagles stack up well against some of the best teams Columbia City has put on a field in its 87-year history.
   “We’ve had a chance to look back and see the things we were able to accomplish this season,” Columbia City head coach Randy Hudgins said. “We talked about it on Friday. Obviously, it’s disappointing how the season ended but we’re looking back at some of the great things we accomplished this season.”
   Between individual and team records, the 2010 Eagles either broke or tied 17 records in all this season.
   Most of them coming on offense, the Eagles took down 16 offensive records with their 32-point average this season.
   Records included: career — passing yards (5,433), attempts (844), completions (454), TD passes (45), total offense (5,896); single season — passing TDs (26), passing yards (2,508), attempts (158), completions (293), PATs made (44), total yards (6,453), wins (10), points scored (384); single game — total yards (673), attempts (50), completions (29).
   The long list of accomplishments puts Columbia City among the elite teams the Eagles have ever produced. Ranking in the top five in records all-time, the ’10 Eagles’ 10-2 record is the best since 1969.
   Four records stand better in CCHS history.
   The two undefeated teams at Columbia City are atop the list with the 1945 Eagles going 7-0 and the 1966 squad finishing 9-0 on their way to the first of three NEIAC championships.
   The Eagles have more than flipped their fortunes after struggles in recent years. In his first season as head coach, Hudgins got Columbia City to its most wins in four seasons with four in 2009.
   One year later, the Eagles topped the nine wins in four seasons prior in one championship season with 10.
   What started as an unknown season with potential for greatness turned into one of heroics for the Eagles.
   Getting off to the first 3-0 start in 13 years, No. 8 Columbia City finished in the class 3A top 10 rankings for the first time in 20 years.
   The last team in 1990 also did something that no other team had done before 2010. Win a Northeast Hoosier Conference championship.
   After upset victories over then-ranked New Haven, 34-28 and East Noble, 56-55, Columbia City got its second this season going 6-1 and earning a share of the title with Homestead and East Noble.
   “There are a lot of things we can be thankful of,” Hudgins noted. “Statistically, we accomplished a lot. I think the biggest thing was coming together as a group and playing hard for each other. It’s one of the   major reasons we were able to win 10 games and win so many in dramatic come-from-behind fashion.”
   As a coach, Hudgins has amassed a 14-10 record in two seasons. His .586 winning percentage puts him second only to Frank Petrick who went 8-3-1 in 1940-41. Hudgins’ 14 wins are the most of any coach at Columbia City since all-time wins leader Ron Frickey from 1984-2003 who went 98-108.
   The career numbers stack up even better for the players on the field.
   Senior quarterback Logan Rehrer finishes his career as an Eagle atop the single season and career passing record books with 2,508 in 2010 and 5,433 in four seasons. In all, Rehrer holds 11 records at the  quarterback position.
   His efforts earned him a spot on the all-conference team as a first-team punter and honorable mention QB. Rehrer is joined by six other Eagles who made the all-conference list on Monday.
   Thomas De La Cruz will not only be known in 2010 as a first-team selection at wide receiver but in the top 10 at Columbia City. De La Cruz finished sixth all-time in a single season with 39 receptions, 651 yards and 12 TDs. De La Cruz also was eighth most in a season for scoring with 78 points.
   Two spots back was Connor Slavich the eighth most of any Eagle in history grabbing 37 balls for 484 yards and four touchdowns. Slavich earned an honorable mention in the NHC.
   “Definitely, a special group,” Hudgins said. “The seniors, people have been looking to them to do some special things since sixth grade. So it’s good to see they fulfilled that promise.”
   Other members of the all-conference included: first-team — senior Ben Murphy (DB), senior Jacob Moser (DL); second-team — sophomore Jared Murphy (DB), senior Cory Clifford (LB), senior Andrew Tourney (OL), junior Kory Wood (OL).
   Senior Stephan Farrer made his way up the career receiving marks with 57 receptions, 937 yards and five touchdowns putting him sixth all-time.
   Like it was 44 years ago in 1966, Columbia City fans will have this season be one that everyone can look back and talk about as one of the best in CC history.
   “It was nice to make Friday evenings an event,” Hudgins commented. “That’s something we wanted to do from the start is to make Friday night an event and make football in Columbia City at Max Gandy one of the best atmospheres  in the area. That’s a testament to our fans and our players.”

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