Wildcats claw past Southern, 42-7

By Bryan Walters - bwalters@aimmediamidwest.com

WATERFORD, Ohio — Not enough wind in their sails.

Braden Bellville and Peyten Stephens each rushed for a pair of first half touchdowns, and the Tornadoes mustered only 141 yards of total offense on Friday night as host Waterford rolled to a 42-7 victory in a Week 8 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division football contest in Washington County.

The visiting Tornadoes (6-2, 4-2 TVC Hocking) never led as the Wildcats (6-2, 5-1) built a 20-point lead in the second quarter and ultimately never looked back.

The Purple and Gold struggled offensively as the guests mustered only 94 rushing yards on 31 carries to go along with 47 passing yards, which collectively ended up being almost half of what WHS produced on the ground alone.

In all, the Green and White finished the night plus-1 in turnover differential and had four different players score rushing touchdowns en route to a 249-yard rushing performance that also produced 313 yards of total offense.

Stephens gave the hosts a permanent lead on a 1-yard run early in the first canto, then Bellville added a 2-yard run that was followed by a successful two-point conversion that gave Waterford a 14-0 advantage after 12 minutes of play.

Bellville added another TD run — this time from five yards out — to give the Wildcats a quick 20-0 lead early in the second canto.

The Tornadoes finally got in the scoring column midway in the second frame as Gage Shuler hauled in a 1-yard pass from Logan Drummer, cutting the deficit down to 20-7. The guests were ultimately never closer the rest of the way.

Stephens added a 2-yard run just before halftime, allowing the hosts to secure a comfortable 28-7 cushion at the break.

Zane Heiss extended Waterford’s lead to 34-7 following a 14-yard TD catch on a pass from Stephens in the third quarter, then Joe Pantelidis capped the scoring in the fourth with a 2-yard run that completed the 35-point outcome.

Waterford claimed a 27-17 advantage in first downs and was penalized five times for 50 yards, compared to five flags on SHS for yards. WHS also produced 64 yards through the air.

Trey McNickle led the Southern ground attack with 80 yards on 23 rushes, followed by Drummer with 12 yards on four carries. Drummer was also 8-of-15 passing for 47 yards, throwing one TD and one pick.

Brody Dutton led the SHS wideouts with three catches for 27 yards. McNickle also hauled in three passes for 10 yards. Dutton and Shuler also picked off a pass apiece for the Tornadoes in the setback.

Bellville led the hosts with 105 rushing yards on 23 carries, while Stephens added 43 yards on 10 attempts. Stephens was also 5-of-10 passing for 64 yards, throwing one TD and two interceptions.

Waterford also recovered a pair of Southern fumbles in the triumph.

The Tornadoes return to action Friday when they host Trimble in a TVC Hocking contest at 7:30 p.m.

By Bryan Walters


Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.