RACINE, Ohio — The only thing that matters is who scores the most points.
The Symmes Valley football team held an advantage in nearly every aspect of the game Friday night, but the Southern Tornadoes had the one statistic that mattered, points. Southern earned the 14-6 victory in a non-conference matchup at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Stadium, keeping the Tornadoes undefeated record intact.
Southern (5-0) began the game in excellent field position after Zac Beegle retured the opening kickoff to the SVHS 37 yard line. Tyler Barton took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage 28 yards and gave the Tornadoes a first and goal from the nine yard line. On the very next play Barton finished what he started and punched into the endzone. Trenton Deem added the extra-point kick and Southern held the 7-0 lead just 39 second into play.
After a stalled drive by each squad the Vikings (3-2) found themselves deep in their own territory. Symmes Valley marched down the field and into the endzone on a quarterback scramble by Tanner Mays. The drive featured 16 plays, a pair of fourth down conversions and covered 86 yards in just over seven minutes. The two point conversion attempt failed and the Silver and Red trailed 7-6.
An interception by Kyle Vallance set up the Vikings deep in their own territory again with 3:25 remaining until halftime. On the 10th play of the drive an 18 yard touchdown run by Tyler Rowe was called back due to holding. SVHS couldn’t recover from the penalty and Southern took the 7-6 lead into the break.
The Tornadoes had ran just 13 offensive plays in the first half and held possession of the football for just under seven and a half minutes.
Symmes Valley controlled the game yet again in the third period, holding possession of the ball for nine minutes and 52 second, while allowing Southern to run just three offensive plays. The Vikings were unable to find the endzon however and were forced to punt on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
Southern was looked as though it was forced into a three-and-out again but Ryan Billingsley ran a fourth down fake punt for a 16 yards and a first down. Six plays later quarterback Tristen Wolfe found paydirt from three yards out to increase the SHS lead. Deem kicked in the extra point and the Purple and Gold held a 14-6 advantage.
The final nail was driven into Symmes Valley’s coffin with a 1:15 remaining when Colten Walters intercepted a pass for Southern. A trio of kneel downs by Wolfe and the Tornadoes rang the victory bell to the tune of 14-6.
“It feels real good and it was a great effort out of our guys up front,” Southern coach Kyle Wickline said. “Defensivly we knew we were going to hold them and we got a spark from (Ryan) Billingsley on the fake punt and his leadoff tackle.”
The Tornadoes running game was paced by Barton with 29 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. Billingsley had 44 yards on six carries, while Wolfe had 27 yards and a touchdown on seven carries. Trenton Deem ran once for 26 yards, while Paul Ramthun was held to negative one yard on two carries.
Wolfe was just 1-of-4 passing with 20 yards and an interception. Hunter Johnson caught one pass for 20 yards on the night.
The Vikings offense was led by Tyler Rowe with 15 carries for 71 yards and Mays with 66 yards and a score on 18 attempts. Collin Webb added 59 yards on 15 rushes, Brandon Craft had 35 yards on seven carries, while Kyle Vallance was stopped for no gain on one carry.
Mays was 3-of-7 passing for 39 yards with an interception, while Rowe was 1-of-2 passing for five yards. Curtis Lybarnd caught one pass for 48 yards, Rowe reeled in one pass for eight yards, Craft had one grab for five yards, and Webb had one catch for two yards.
Symmes Valley held a 16-to-9 advantage in first down, a 275-to-185 advantage in total offense and a 65-to-32 advantage in offensive plays ran. Southern was penalized three times for 25 yards, while SVHS was set back five times for 35 yards. Each team fumbled once, with Symmes Valley recovering both loose balls.
Prior to this 2006 was the lone time Southern defeated Symmes Valley. The Tornadoes won 14-7 in Willow Wood. This could be the last matchup between these schools as the contract has not yet been renewed for next season.
The Tornadoes will host Wahama next week, while Symmes Valley will host Green.