Bloomington – As Dusty Kiel and his Columbus (Ind.) East H.S. teammates prepared for last week's match-up with arch-rival Columbus North, they couldn't help but reflect on the past.
After all, their week two opponent had bullied them in their 2007 match-up. North had come out of the locker room in last year's contest and bullied the Olympians in the trenches to come away with a 20-10 win, one of only two regular season losses for East last season.
But the sting of losing to their cross-town rival in 2007 was replaced by satisfaction last Friday night when Kiel and fellow IU commit Duwyce Wilson helped lead East to a convincing 35-3 win. The victory helped catapult East to the No. 1 spot in the most recent Class 4A state rankings, one spot ahead of Indianapolis Cathedral.
"That win ranks right up there because we were out for some revenge because last year they physically dominated us," Kiel said. "So this year we wanted to come out and take it to them."
East did just that behind the play of Kiel. The 6'3", 220-pound IU commit completed 10-of-14 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown, and added another 15 carries for 98 yards and three more scores on the ground. In two games he's completed 24-of-38 passes for 431 yards and four touchdowns to go along with 124 yards on the ground.
Kiel's top target has been Wilson, who has caught eight passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns. That includes a 76-yard touchdown early on against Columbus North to set the tone in a contest that was never in doubt.
While Wilson has caught one-third of Kiel's completions this season, the 6'4" wideout has also been the focal point of many defenses, including Columbus North's. That might wind up keeping Wilson's senior season statistics in check, but Kiel says that won't phase Scout.com's 42nd-ranked wide receiver.
"If teams are doubling him, that leaves others open and he's okay with that," Kiel said about his current and future teammate. "He's a team player, not an individual player. He's more worried about getting a win than his stats."
The wins figure to be plentiful this season for Columbus East, which has outscored its first two foes 87-3. It does have an intriguing match-up Oct. 10 when it hosts Jeffersonville and fellow IU quarterback recruit Edward Wright-Baker, but Jeffersonville is off to an 0-2 start and doesn't figure to stand in the way of a potential undefeated regular season.
Kiel is enjoying his team's pursuit of a state championship, and he's relieved that he's able to do it without also being concerned about where he's going to play in college. He ended that debate earlier this summer when he picked the Hoosiers over Central Michigan.
"That makes everything a lot easier," Kiel said. "Instead of talking to a lot of different people. I get e-mail from both coach Lynchs wishing me good luck. It's great knowing I'm going to be with them for the next five years."
Before he gets to Bloomington, he's hoping to celebrate a state championship with his Columbus East teammates. East's biggest test could come in the 4A semistate where it would likely run into Cathedral, but Kiel is trying to not get too far ahead of himself.
"It's kind of hard to not think ahead, but at the same time (Columbus East) Coach (Bob) Gaddis keeps us pretty humble," Kiel said. "But if we could win it, it would mean a lot. That's the greatest goal right now. It would mean the world to me."
Kiel Still Has More To Accomplish
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