RACINE, Ohio — The turnover bug bit hard.
The Southern football team gave the ball away four times, twice on interceptions and twice on fumbles, as the Tornadoes dropped a 28-21 decision to non-conference guest Bridgeport on Friday at Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field in Meigs County.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs (3-5) went up 8-0 with a nine-yard Joey Bugaj touchdown run in the second period.
Southern answered with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Andy Doczi to Jonah Diddle, followed by the first of three extra-point makes by Luke Mullen.
Bridgeport took a 16-7 advantage into halftime, however, as Jon Bugaj scored on a four-yard run.
The guests went up 28-7 in the third period, with a 20-yard touchdown run by Joey Bugaj, followed by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Colin Jackson to Mason Aberts.
Southern got seven points back later in the third, as Derek Griffith completed his only pass attempt of the game for 78 yards and a touchdown to Chase Bailey.
A 35-yard touchdown pass from Doczi to Blake Shain in the fourth quarter cut the BHS lead to seven points, but the Purple and Gold couldn’t complete the comeback and fell 28-21.
For the game, Southern claimed a 23-to-20 edge in first downs, and a 352-to-269 advantage in total offense, including 194-to-128 on the ground. SHS was penalized five times for a total of 46 yards, while Bridgeport was sent back 31 yards over three flags.
Doczi completed 4-of-6 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns for the Tornadoes. Bailey had 170 total yards and a touchdown, combining 20 carries and a pair of receptions. Diddle had 90 yards and a score after eight carries and two catches, Shain earned 39 total yards and a touchdown on three carries and one grab, while Josh Stansberry led the hosts on the ground with 74 yards on 14 carries.
For the Bulldogs, Jackson completed 16-of-21 passes for 141 yards and a touchdown. Joey Bugaj picked up 98 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries and four receptions, while Jon Bugaj had 94 total yards and a touchdown on 10 carries and a catch.
Aberts caught a game-best six passes for 66 yards and a score, Quinton Burlenski hauled in three passes for 37 yards, while Sean White earned five yards on a pair of grabs for the guests.
Southern will host Meigs in Week 9.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.