RACINE, Ohio — A valiant effort on senior night.
The Southern football team hosted surging Trimble Friday night at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field of a Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division contest. The Tornadoes held Trimble to less than half of their season average of 42.1 points per game, but the Tomcats defense proved to much as THS took the 21-0 victory.
After Southern’s (3-6, 3-4 TVC Hocking) opening drive sputtered out Trimble (8-1, 6-1) began to march down the field. The Tornado defense bent but didn’t break as the Tomcats failed to score on four opportunities from inside the 10 yard line. Southern was penned deep in their own territory and was forced into a three and out.
After a 62 yard punt by Southern sophomore Ryan Billingsley THS took over at it’s own 29 yard line with 2:28 remaining in the first quarter. On the first play of its drive Trimble found paydirt with a 71 yard completion from Konner Standley to Austin Downs. Jon Stevens added the point after touchdown to give THS the 7-0 advantage.
A penalty and a sack stalled Southern next drive and it was forced to punt. Trimble running back Bryce Smathers had back to back long runs on the Tomcats next drive but he coughed up the football on the second run and Southern took over at its own 12 yard line.
Southern compiled three first downs on its next drive thanks to the running of Paul Ramthun, Tristen Wolfe and Tyler Barton but the Tomcat defence buckled down and forced SHS to punt yet again.
Trimble took possession at its own 23 yard line with 3:29 remaining in the half. A few short yardage plays forced Southern’s defense to move closer to the line of scrimmage and Trimble took notice. Standley completed a 65 yard pass to Terry Simerly for six points at the 1:46 mark of the second period. Stevens added the extra point and Trimble led 14-0 after the four play drive.The Tornadoes didn’t have enough time to put a drive together and trailed 14-0 at halftime.
Just like at Super Bowl XLIV the second half began with a surprise onside kick. And just like the Saints, the Tornadoes recovered and began its drive near midfield. Southern began driving picking up a fourth down conversion, but the Tornadoes leading rusher Tyler Barton suffered an injury and was sidelined for the remainder of the game. Southern was forced to punt.
A big run by Smathers on the opening play of the drive game THS excellent field position to keep the ball moving. Five plays into the drive Southern’s defense forced Smathers to fumble for the second time in the game and SHS took over at its own 20 yard line.
A pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by the Tomcats aided Southern’s drive but the Tornado offense couldn’t convert on fourth down and THS took over. A holding penalty stalled the Tomcats and they were forced to punt to begin the fourth canto. Southern made it into Tomcat territory yet again but no fourth down conversion was to be had and THS took over at its own 39 yard line.
A steady dose of the run game led Trimble down the field and into the endzone on it’s next drive. Standley scrambled all over the field and in for six points from 17 yards away capping off the six play drive. Stevens added the point after touchdown giving Trimble the 21-0 advantage with 4:56 remaining in the game.
Southern managed one fourth down conversion but failed on its second fourth down attempt and THS took over with 44 seconds remaining. Trimble took a pair of kneel downs out of the victory formation and wrapped up its sixth consecutive shutout.
Southern’s offense was led by Barton who had 55 yards on 14 carries, followed by Paul Ramthun with 32 yards on 13 carries. Trenton Deem ran eight times for nine yards on the night while Billingsley ran twice for three yards. Tyler O’Conner had two rushes and negative three yards, while Wolfe had 14 carries for negative nine yards.
Wolfe was 3-of-11 for 42 yards through the air for the Tornadoes, while O’Conner caught two passes for 35 yards and Deem caught one for seven yards.
Trimble’s big-play offense was anchored by Smathers with 11 carries for 175 yards. Justice Jenkins had five carries for 45 yards and also caught a pass for 13. Standley ran 11 times for 28 yards and was 3-of-6 passing for 149 yards. Downs had one reception for 71 yards, while Simerly had one for 65 yards and a rush for four yards. Jacob Koons had three carries for 10 yards rounding out the THS offense.
The Tornadoes enjoyed a 13-9 advantage in first downs, as well as a 32:24-15:36 advantage in time of possession and a 54-37 edge in offensive plays. The Tomcats however out gained Southern 262-87 on the ground and 149-42 through the air. Trimble was penalized five times for 65 yards, while SHS was set back twice for 20 yards.
The Tomcats improve to 20-0 all-time over the Tornadoes, while pushing their current winning streak to seven games. The loss snaps Southern’s two game winning streak.
Before the game Southern honored seniors Jeremiah Warden, Joe Smith and Zach Davis.
Southern will travel to Tuppers Plains Saturday night to face TVC Hocking rival Eastern at 7:30 p.m., while Trimble will travel to face Federal Hocking next Friday night at 7:30 p.m.