STEWART, Ohio — A running rampage.
The Southern football team totalled 260 yards and six touchdowns on 33 carries, as the Tornadoes pounded their way to a 55-14 victory over Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Federal Hocking on Friday night at Lester and Betty Green Field in Athens County.
After forcing and recovering a Federal Hocking (0-6, 0-5 TVC Hocking) fumble, the Tornadoes (5-1, 3-1) went ahead 6-0 as Riley Roush scored on a four-yard run with 8:20 left in the first period.
Less than a minute later, the Lancers tied the game with a 69-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Smith to Branden Gould.
Roush returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards for the touchdown, and Andrew Evans added the point-after kick, giving the Tornadoes a 13-6 lead with 7:12 left in the first quarter.
The Purple and Gold increased their lead to 19-6 with 1:50 left in the first quarter, as Roush broke a 25-yard run for his second rushing score. The Tornado senior wasn’t done yet, however, as he ran for a five-yard touchdown less than 30 seconds in the second period. Roush also ran in the two-point conversion, giving SHS a 27-6 lead with 11:32 remaining until halftime.
Tornadoes sophomore Gage Barrett got in on the fun with 9:49 left in the half, as he returned a Federal Hocking punt 52 yards for six points.
Just 29 seconds after Barrett’s score, SHS senior Dylan Smith ran for a 19-yard touchdown. Barrett added a rushing touchdown with 6:45 left until halftime, scoring from five yards out. Evans was 3-for-3 on second quarter point-after tries, giving Southern a 48-6 lead.
The Lancers cut the SHS lead to 48-14 before halftime, however, as Hunter Smith tossed a 36-yard touchdown and a two-point conversion pass to Trevor Bell.
The only touchdown after halftime was a 29-yard scoring run by Southern’s Dylan Smith. Evans added the point-after, giving the Tornadoes the 55-14 lead.
For the game, Southern held a 11-8 edge in first downs and a 282-to-241 advantage in total offense. The Tornadoes won the turnover battle by a 4-3 count, while holding the Lancers to just 11 yards on the ground. SHS was penalized five times for a total of 32 yards, while Federal Hocking drew one five-yard flag.
Roush led the Purple and Gold with 170 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Smith had Southern’s lone reception and combined it with five carries for 90 total yards and two touchdowns. Barrett ran three times for 25 yards and one score, while Reece Reuter had seven yards on a pair of totes.
SHS junior Logan Drummer was 1-of-4 passing for 22 yards in the win.
Hunter Smith finished with 230 yards and two scores on 11-of-26 passing, while leading the Lancers on the ground with 12 yards on 17 tries.
Gould had 90 yards and one score on a game-high six receptions, Bell had two grabs for 65 yards and one score, while Colton Roark hauled in two passes for 55 yards. Adam Douglas ran six times and caught one pass, earning a total of 22 yards for the hosts.
The Lancers have now dropped 28 straight decisions, including 22 consecutive in the league. Southern has now defeated FHHS in five straight chances.
SHS will be back in Athens County for its next game, as the Tornadoes visit Trimble on Friday. Federal Hocking has its second non-league game of the year next, as the Lancers visit Vinton County on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.