*CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Battle High School's football coach. It is Justin Conyers.
COLUMBIA — Nash Sutherlin scored the first touchdown in Battle history when, on the third play of the Spartans' first offensive series, he bounced out to his right on the near sideline and scampered untouched into the end zone.
The drive took just 1:33.
Sutherlin's rushing touchdown was the first of many for the Spartans, who displayed a dominating run game all night. In all, the offense was nearly flawless. The only blemishes were a missed extra point and an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty that negated a touchdown.
The Spartans defense complemented the offense, forcing the Bears into several three-and-outs and penetrating into their backfield numerous times. East didn't help itself, suffering penalties — often back-to-back penalties — in key situations and near its own end zone. East's sloppy play and Battle's stalwart defense meant that Battle had a short field for most of the night.
At the end, the scoreboard read 56-6 in favor of the Spartans. Coach Justin Conyers* was satisfied with his team's effort. He said the Spartans would celebrate their win, but he would remind his players to stay hungry for their next game.
Battle's next game, against Hannibal, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 6 at home.
Check back Monday for more coverage of Battle's inaugural football game.