RACINE, Ohio — After six weeks of somewhat smooth sailing for the Southern football team, it seemed as though little went right on Friday evening as the Tornadoes dropped a 42-14 decision to Trimble.
The Tomcats (5-2, 5-1 TVC Hocking) have owned the series against Southern (6-1, 4-1) for the past 24 years and Friday was no different. Southern’s only win against Trimble came in 1973.
The game looked to be a defensive battle in the first quarter as both teams went three and out on their first two possessions. Southern was able to push the Tomcats back with a sack on each drive, one each by Alex VanMeter and Crenson Rogers.
After the second Southern punt gave Trimble the ball at its own 24 yard line, the Tomcats used four consecutive run plays — capped off by a 62-yard run by Dominic Pickett — to put the first points of the game on the board. A penalty on the extra point moved the ball to the one yard line where the Tomcats elected to go for two on the quarterback keeper by Gary Brooks.
The resulting kickoff was fumbled by Southern and recovered by Trimble at the Southern 38 yard line.
Southern’s special teams mishaps would not stop there as the Tornadoes would have fumbles or bobbles on two other kickoffs and a dropped fair catch on a punt. Despite the mishaps, Southern would retain possession on each of those plays.
Trimble took advantage of the recovery with running backs Kameron Curry, Pickett and Nathan Downs moving the ball down field on a series of runs. Curry took the ball in on a pitch to the left side with 2.6 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The Max Hooper kick game Trimble the 15-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Southern’s first possession of the second quarter brought the first points for the hosts. Blake Johnson threw six passes on the drive, completing two, including the 24 yard scoring strike to Crenson Rogers who went up for the grab on the left side of the end zone on the fourth down play. The extra point kick attempt was no good, leaving Southern at a 15-6 deficit early in the second quarter.
From there Trimble seemed to take control of the contest.
A 11-play Tomcat Drive which ended with a one yard scoring run from Brooks on the quarterback keeper up the middle. The kick from Hooper made it 22-6.
Southern took the next drive from it’s own 17 yard line to near midfield before Trimble’s Ryan Richards intercepted the Johnson pass at the 50.
Trimble capitalized on the opportunity, scoring on a 13-yard run from Curry to the left pylon for the score. Hooper’s kick made it 29-6 just before the half.
The hosts moved the ball well to start off the third quarter, but could not convert on pass plays on third and fourth downs at the Trimble 27 yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the fourth down lay backed Trimble up inside its own 15 yard line to start the resulting drive.
After back-to-back four yard gains from Curry and Pickett, Curry took the ball 78 yards on a third down play for his third touchdown of the game. Hooper’s kick gave Trimble the 30-point advantage and started a running clock under OHSAA rules.
Southern’s first possession of the fourth quarter brought the game back under the 30 point margin as Johnson was able to reach across the goal line from the one yard line for the score. Riley Roush’s two point conversion run made the score 36-14 with 6:21 left in the game.
The Tomcats’ final possession included nine running plays, bringing the clock down to 26.1 seconds with Sawyer Koons punching it in from the two yard line. A missed extra point left Trimble with the 42-14 final score.
“It was a tough loss for us. I don’t think that as coaches we had a good game. I don’t think our kids played well. We had some turnovers but we have a do a better job, all of us together, and that’s coaches number one. I think that give credit to Trimble, their kids played hard and played well and they beat us,” said Southern head coach Mike Chancey after the loss.
Senior Kameron Curry and junior Dominic Pickett led the way for the Tomcats, both eclipsing the 100 yard mark on the ground in the game. Curry found the end zone three times, compiling 149 yards on 15 carries. Pickett tallied 125 yards on 13 carries, including the 62 yard touchdown run.
For Southern, Blake Johnson led the offense with 111 passing yards and 26 rushing yards on a total of 28 combined plays. Johnson’s 16 pass attempts were 14 more than in last week’s win over Federal Hocking.
After compiling 366 yards on the ground last week, Trimble held Southern to 117 yards on the ground. Riley Roush led the team in rushing yards with 47 on five carries.
Crenson Rogers and Colton Holbrook each had two catches, with Rogers gaining 59 yards and Holbrook 52 through the air. Holbrook added 19 yards on the ground.
“We’re going to regroup and we’re going to get together and go play a good Waterford team next week,” concluded Chancey.
Southern will travel to league leading Waterford on Friday as Trimble returns to Meigs County to face Eastern.
Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext. 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews