• Columbia's football team runs onto the field ahead of the season opener Thursday night (BRENT KUYKENDALL/Lake City Reporter).
    Columbia's football team runs onto the field ahead of the season opener Thursday night (BRENT KUYKENDALL/Lake City Reporter).

PREP FOOTBALL: Tigers and Canes to resume at CHS

Tigers, Hurricanes matchup was halted by inclement weather Thursday

GAINESVILLE — Thursday night football?

More like Thursday night lightning.

Columbia’s season opener with Gainesville was postponed Thursday night due to lightning in the area with the Tigers leading 14-7 with 2:38 to go in the first quarter at Citizens Field. The game will be picked back up Friday night at Columbia High School at 7:30 p.m.

If you attended Thursday night's game and still have your ticket stub, admission is $2. Otherwise, tickets are $5.

The teams couldn't play at Citizens Field because Buchholz and Eastside are scheduled to face off there at 7:30.

The Tigers took the lead when quarterback Jordan Smith connected with receiver Marquez Bell for an 18-yard touchdown with 4:10 to go in the quarter. The Hurricanes held an early 7-0 advantage when they drove down the field on the game’s opening drive and quarterback Luke Matthews hit Jalen Kelsey for a 34-yard touchdown.

Kelsey caught three passes for 72 yards on the drive.

Columbia answered right back on its first drive, marching 77 yards in eight plays to tie the game. Smith kept the ball on the option and leapt into the left side of the end zone over multiple defenders with 6:19 on the clock to knot things at 7-7.

Smith was 7/8 for 116 yards on Columbia’s two drives. Four-star prospect TJ Jones also caught three passes for 32 yards.

Matthews was 6/8 for 100 yards for the Hurricanes. Columbia’s defense forced Gainesville into a three-and-out on its second drive.

Gainesville was driving at Columbia’s 49-yard line prior to a holding call right before the delay.

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