Southern runs past Lancers on Homecoming

By Sarah Hawley -

The Southern football team sings the fight song as the band plays following the team’s 45-14 victory over Federal Hocking.

Sarah Hawley/OVP Sports

RACINE, Ohio — Helmets held high, the team sang the Southern fight song as the band played.

With that, the Tornadoes (6-0, 4-0 TVC Hocking) celebrated a 45-14 homecoming night victory over the Federal Hocking Lancers (0-6, 0-5 TVC Hocking).

The host got off to a quick start in the game, gaining three first downs on the first three plays from scrimmage, before putting the ball in the end zone. Four consecutive runs up the middle accounted for 46 yards on the series, capped off by an 18 yard touchdown run by Riley Roush.

The Lancers lost 12 yards on their opening drive, the Lancers punted the ball to Southern who took possession at their own 35 yard line.

It would take just two plays for Southern to find the end zone once again. A 53 yard pass play down the left sideline from Blake Johnson to Crenson Rogers gave the Tornadoes the two possession lead. After the extra point by Andrew Evans, Southern led 13-0.

A failed run on a fake punt by the Lancers gave Southern good field possession to start its third drive of the first quarter. The Tornadoes once again turned to the running game, utilizing three different backs to go 47 yards for the third score of the quarter. Ike Akers finished off the drive with a two yard touchdown run. The extra point kick by Evans made the score 20-0 Southern after less than 8 minutes of play.

Federal Hocking looked to score at the start of the second quarter as a 12 play drive brought the ball to the Southern 30 yard line. Southern’s Dylan Smith intercepted the Dillon Wilfong pass near the 20 yard line to stop the drive of the Lancers and give Southern the ball with its longest field of the night.

A consistent dose of runs by four different backs quickly moved the ball down the field with Evans running in from the nine yard line for the touchdown.

Southern found the end zone again, scoring its fifth touchdown in five possessions with 5:17 remaining in the first half. Colton Holbrook became the fifth Tornado to reach the end zone, scoring on a nine yard touchdown run through the middle.

With 9.1 seconds remaining in the half, Federal Hocking scored its first points on a 40 yard touchdown pass from Dillon Wilfong to Gavin Conkle.

Getting the ball back with less than three seconds remaining in the first half would be the only possession of the first half in which the hosts did not score.

After a quick three and out by the Lancers to begin the third quarter, Southern running backs Roush and Akers moved the ball down field, with Roush taking the ball in from two yards out for the score. Evans kick hit the upright, going off to the left side.

Federal Hocking fumbled the ball in the backfield on their first play of the next drive, with the ball being bounced around before being recovered by Southern’s Akers. Akers scooped up the ball taking it to the end zone for the final Southern touchdown of the night. The Evans kick gave Southern a 45-6 lead with just over six minutes left on the third quarter clock.

Southern once again intercepted a Federal Hocking pass, this time with Logan Drummer intercepting the pass of Peyton Gates.

Federal Hocking added a second score with a quarterback keeper by Wilfong on fourth and inches at the goal line. The two-point conversion by Wilfong made the score 45-14.

The Tornadoes were led offensively by Roush with 204 yards on the ground on 15 carries. Holbrook added 69 yards on seven carries while Akers had 44 yards on six carries. Roush (2), Holbrook, Akers and Evans all had rushing scores for Southern.

Johnson completed one of his two passes, with the completion going for the touchdown to Rogers.

For the Lancers, Wilfond, Conkle and Gates each saw time at quarterback in the game, each completing at least one pass. Walker Church led Federal Hocking in the ground game thanks to a 65 yard carry to set up the second score.

Southern capitalized on the turnovers by the Lancers, scoring 13 points off the three turnovers. The Tornadoes did not turn the ball over in the game.

This is the fourth consecutive victory for Southern over Federal Hocking.

Southern will host Trimble on Friday.

Sarah Hawley can be reached at 740-992-2155, ext. 2555.

The Southern football team sings the fight song as the band plays following the team’s 45-14 victory over Federal Hocking. Southern football team sings the fight song as the band plays following the team’s 45-14 victory over Federal Hocking. Sarah Hawley/OVP Sports

By Sarah Hawley