WILLOW WOOD, Ohio — So much gracious hosts.
The Southern football team traveled to face Symmes Valley Friday night, and the Vikings traveled 661 total yards en route to a 62-18 victory.
The Vikings (4-1) started the scoring early, as running back Alec Herrell found pay dirt on a six yard run at the 7:33 mark of the first quarter. The touchdown capped off a 98 yard, 10 play drive by SVHS and Tyler Ferguson made the point after attempt to put the hosts up 7-0.
Southern (1-4) was forced to punt on its next drive and it seemed as though they had Symmes Valley pinned deep again but DJ Miller took the punt 88 yards for the score. Following the Fergusin kick the Vikings led 14-0 with 5:23 remaining in the first stanza.
The Tornadoes next drive was halted by a fumble and Symmes Valley took over at their own 48 yard line. Five plays into the drive Tyler Rowe completed an eight yard pass to Austin Baldwin that gave the Vikings a 21 point lead after Ferguson’s kick.
The SHS defense gave up back to back big plays in the second quarter, starting with a 77 yard touchdown run by DJ Miller. On the Vikings next play from scrimmage Herrell broke an 82 yard run for six points. Herrell found the end zone for the third time in the first half on a 23 yard run with 5:42 remaining in the second quarter. Ferguson made all three of his point after attempts in the second canto and SVHS held a 42-0 halftime lead.
On the opening drive of the second half the Vikings went 70 yards, 41 of those yards coming on Miller’s touchdown run. Southern’s defense held strong the rest of the third quarter, not allowing the Vikings to add on to their 49-0 lead.
Quinton Bare took the ball for SVHS in the early minutes of the fourth quarter and went 53 yards for the score.
Southern found the end zone for the first time in the game on its next drive as Josh Justis drove across the goal line from three yards out. Paul Ramthun found pay dirt with 3:30 left in the game and Southern trailed 56-12.
Bare wasn’t satisfied with just one score for the Vikings and on the next drive he broke a 75 yard run for the touchdown.For the first time in the game Symmes Valley did not convert the point after touchdown.
Southern’s Theron Johnson scored from three yards out with nine seconds left and Southern fell to its host 62-18.
The Tornadoes were led on the ground by Justis with 60 yards on six carries with a score, followed by Johnson with 24 yards on three carries with a score. Tristen Wolfe was 8-of-19 passing for 92 yards. Wolfe threw one interception. Jack Lemley was Southern’s leading receiver with 40 yards on two grabs, followed by Paul Ramthun with 28 yards on two catches.
Southern had 10 first downs and 234 total yards on the night. The Tornadoes gained 132 yards rushing on 39 tries, to go along with 92 passing yards. The Tornadoes fumbled once, losing possession, and committed two penalties totaling 15 yards.
Miller led SVHS on the ground with 192 yards on 14 carries, followed by Herrell and Bare with 146 yards apiece. Taylor Rowe was 2-of-2 passing in the game for 22 while Herrell led Viking receivers with 14 yards.
SVHS had 20 first downs in the game to go along with 661 total yards. 41 rushing attempts led to 632 ground yards, while the Vikings had just 29 passing yards. The hosts fumbled twice but lost neither and they committed seven penalties for 54 yards total.
The Tornadoes look to turn things around next week as they travel to Mason to face Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division leader Wahama.