RACINE — Southern scored early in the opening quarter of play Friday evening and never looked back as the Tornadoes held visiting Waterford (2-6, 1-5 TVC Hocking) scoreless in a 33-0 Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division football contest at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Stadium on Homecoming.
The Tornadoes (7-1, 5-1 TVC Hocking) received the opening kickoff after Waterford won the toss and deferred to the second half. Southern took just more than two minutes of play to go 60 yards. Junior quarterback Tristen Wolfe completed a 23 yard pass to Zac Beegle for the touchdown and the 6-0 lead after the missed extra point.
After holding Waterford on their first possession, Southern took over at the Wildcats 48 yard line to begin their second possession. Tyler Barton would add his first score of the night on a 14 yard touchdown run with 4:52 remaining in the first quarter. Trenton Deem added the extra point kick to give Southern the 13-0 lead.
Waterford was ago forced to punt on their next drive, but the Tornadoes were unable to score on the resulting possession. Southern turned the ball over on downs inside the Waterford 15 yard line. After another Waterford punt Southern took possession at their own 34 yard line.
Barton added his second touchdown of the game on a five yard run with 3:42 remaining in the first half.
On their next possession, Deem and Beegle connected for a 32 yard touchdown strike to give Southern the 26-0 lead going into halftime.
Southern gained 14 first downs in the opening half, while Waterford had just three.
Waterford dominated the time of possession in the third quarter, having the ball on two separate occasions for just over 10 minutes of play. The Wildcats advanced to the Southern 23 yard line, before throwing an interception by Southern’s Colten Walters on a third down play from the Southern 28 yard line.
Neither team would score in the remainder of the third quarter.
Barton added his third touchdown of the night on a 34 yard run with 8:40 remaining in the game.
After a Waterford punt, Southern’s junior varsity players took to the field for the final drive.
Jaylen Blanks ran the ball consistently on the drive, taking the ball to the end zone on three separate occasions, with each being called back on penalties.
While it cannot be confirmed officially, it was announced at the conclusion of the contest that Southern is headed for the postseason for the first time in school history.
The Tornadoes gained 417 yards of total offense in the game to just 99 yards for Waterford.
Barton lead the Tornadoes with 19 carries for 190 yards and three scores in the game. Blanks added 55 yards on seven carries and Wolfe had 31 yards on five carries. Also contributing on the ground were Ryan Billingsley 3-7, Kody Greene 1-6, Paul Ramthun 1-2, Chandler Blankenship 1-1, Colten Holbrook 1-(-2), and Blake Johnson 2-(-9).
Wolfe had 10 completions on 15 passing attempts totaling 136 yards. Trenton Deem lead the Southern receivers with five catches for 69 yards. Beegle added 57 yards on four catches and Paul Ramthun had one catch for 10 yards.
For Waterford, Isaac Huffman lead the team with 33 yards on 11 carries and 39 yards passing. Also contributing on the grounds were Jaret McCutcheon 7-17, Austin Lang 12-11, Dalton Ball 1-0, and Tyler McCutcheon 1-(-1). Waterford receivers were Ball with 34 yards on four catches, Tyler McCutcheon with nine yards and Jaret McCutcheon with a negative four yards.
Southern was called for a dozen penalties totaling 105 yards in the game, while Waterford committed six penalties for 55 yards.
The Tornadoes will travel to Trimble next week to face the unbeaten Tomcats in a TVC Hocking contest. Waterford will host the 4-4 South Gallia Rebels in the home finale for the Wildcats.