STEWART, Ohio — The Southern football team broke away from a slim third quarter lead by scoring 34 unanswered points Friday night en route to a 48-12 victory over host Federal Hocking in a Week 4 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division matchup in Athens County.
The visiting Tornadoes (4-0, 3-0 TVC Hocking) never trailed in the contest, but points were at a premium in the first half. Neither team scored in the first quarter and SHS mustered a small 7-6 edge at the intermission.
Both teams traded scores on their opening possessions of the second half, giving Southern a small 14-12 lead with 5:59 remaining in the third quarter. The Tornadoes followed with two more touchdowns in the third canto for a 28-12 cushion, then closed regulation three more scores to wrap up the 36-point triumph.
Both squads ran 55 offensive plays from scrimmage, with Southern claiming a sizable 501-238 advantage in total yards of offense. SHS accumulated 354 rushing yards on 43 carries, while the host Lancers (2,2, 1-1) mustered 183 rushing yards on 42 attempts.
Southern — which gained a 16-10 edge in first downs — picked off four FHHS passes on the night and did not have giveaway, which allowed the guests to finish plus-four in the turnover column. SHS also punted only twice in the contest, compared to four punts for the Lancers.
Hunter Johnson started the scoring after hauling in a 16-yard pass from Tristen Wolfe, giving SHS a 7-0 lead with 10:18 remaining in the first half. Delbert Crum answered with a two-yard scoring run with 5:35 left, allowing Fed Hock to pull to within 7-6 at the intermission.
Tyler Barton capped Southern’s opening drive of the second half with a 24-yard scoring run with 9:29 left in the third, giving SHS a 14-6 edge. Crum countered with a 10-yard scoring run at the 5:59 mark, allowing the hosts to pull back to within 14-12 midway through the third.
From that point on, the night simply belonged to the Tornadoes.
Johnson hauled in a 59-yard pass from Wolfe at the 4:58 mark for a 21-12 lead, then Wolfe added a two-yard scamper with 1:22 left in the third for a comfortable 28-12 cushion headed into the finale.
Barton added his second rushing TD with 10:43 showing in the fourth following a 32-yard scamper, giving the guests a 35-12 advantage. Ryan Billingsley added a three-yard scoring run with 7:47 left and Jaylen Blanks chipped in a seven-yard scoring run to wrap up the 48-12 outcome.
Barton led the Tornadoes with 280 rushing yards on 22 carries, followed by Billingsley with 30 yards on three totes. Wolfe was 7-of-12 passing for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while Johnson hauled in four passes for 111 yards and two scores.
Crum led the Lancers with 92 rushing yards on 21 carries, followed by Peyton Seel with 58 yards on eight attempts. Philip Hoffman was 3-of-13 passing for 55 yards with four interceptions, while Alfie Nichols led the wideouts with two grabs for 52 yards.
Southern was penalized three times for 32 yards while FHHS was flagged eight times for 70 yards. Zac Beegle also came up with three of the Tornadoes’ four interceptions in the triumph.
Southern will return to action Friday when it hosts Symmes Valley in a Week 5 non-conference matchup at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field at 7:30 p.m.