It was ugly from the beginning for Beloit Turner's football team Friday night.
The Trojans stumbled out of the gate and never quite got their footing in a 38-0 thrashing at the hands of visiting Columbus in the first alternate fall football game in school history.
Turner's offense started with a three-and-out. Columbus scored on its first play from scrimmage.
Turner went another series without a first down and by now had burned two timeouts. Columbus scored another touchdown.
And so the evening went for both teams, Columbus looking every bit the part of a contender, while Turner showed its youth and inexperience.
"I think early on a lot of guys had the first-game jitters," Turner linebacker Aiden Diehl said. "We didn't have the right guys in the game, or they were lined up wrong. We've just got to bring a different mentality to the practice field this week, because that wasn't good enough."
The Trojans were out-manned up front by a large and aggressive Columbus line that no doubt had more access to a weight room than did Turner.
"Size is almost everything in football," Diehl said. "You can have all the talent in the world and all the brains, but if you get manhandled like we did, this is the way it's going to end."
The Trojans didn't get their first first-down until well into the second quarter and only crossed midfield on a couple of occasions in the game.
Both starting quarterback Connor Hughes and backup signal-caller Danny Burrows threw interceptions, and the Trojans never could get a running game going against the Cardinals' stout defensive front.
"They are a really good team, maybe the best team we'll face this year," Turner coach Derek Diehl said. "We had a couple of kids who played really well and played their hearts out, but in shape or form is this the standard for success, and we know that. Patience is the key. Keeping the kids together and keeping them focused is the most important thing for us this year."
Columbus' sophomore quarterback Nathan Cotter was terrific, going 43 yards for the Cardinals' first score and finishing with nine carries for 80 yards, to go along with 122 yards passing and a pair of scores.
Columbus running back Caden Brunell was a force as well, toting the ball 21 times for 156 yards and three scores.
The Trojans mustered just 78 total yards.
Turner will be back in action Thursday when it takes on Edgerton.
COLUMBUS 38, TURNER 0
Scoring: C: Cotter 43 run (run failed), 10:55. C: Brunell 2 run (run failed), 6:00. C: Mobry 55 pass from Cotter (run failed), 11:51. C: Brunell 7 run (Hynes kick good), 1:51. C: Mobry 4 pass from Cotter (kick failed), 9:18. C: Brunell 3 run (Hynes kick good), 4:06.
Statistics: First downs — C 20, B 5. Rushing (Att.-Yds.) — C 38-254, B 21-(-22). Passing yards — C 122, B 103. Passes (Comp.-Att.-Int.) — C 10-14-1, B 11-22-2. Fumbles-lost — C 0-0, B 4-0. Penalties-yards — C 4-45, B 2-10.
Leaders: Rushing — C: Brunell 21-156, Cotter 9-80. BT: Crall 5-3. Passing — C: Cotter 10-14-1 122. BT: Hughes 7-18-2 73. Receiving: C: Mobry 2-59. BT: Revels 2-38.