NEW MATAMORAS, Ohio — A balanced effort to remain unbeaten.
The Southern football team forced four interceptions, rushed for 158 yards and produced 298 yards of total offense while picking up its first road win of the season Friday night during a 27-6 victory over host Frontier in a Week 2 non-conference matchup in Washington County.
The Tornadoes (2-0) trailed 6-0 in the early moments of the second quarter, but the guests responded with 27 unanswered points and three second half takeaways that sealed the deal on the program’s first 2-0 start since 2013. That campaign coincided with the Purple and Gold’s only playoff appearance.
The Cougars (0-2) — who produced only 106 yards of total offense — took their only lead of the night with 7:09 remaining in the first half as Joel Lewis scored on a four-yard run.
SHS, however, answered on its ensuing drive as Blake Johnson hit Dylan Smith with a 41-yard scoring strike that gave the guests a 7-6 cushion with 5:43 remaining until halftime. That one point edge also stuck into the intermission and the remainder of regulation.
Riley Roush extended the Tornado advantage to seven points following a one-yard run at the 7:04 mark of the third period, then Clayton Wood hauled in a five-yard pass from Johnson with 2:09 left for a 20-6 advantage.
Colten Holbrook concluded the scoring with a 16-yard TD scamper with three minutes left in regulation to wrap up the 27-6 triumph.
Southern claimed a 12-9 advantage in first downs finished the night plus-2 in turnover differential after committing an interception and fumble in the win.
The Tornadoes rushed 38 times for 158 yards with two scores, while Blake Johnson finished the night 6-of-13 passing for 140 yards, two scores and an interception.
Roush led the SHS ground attack with 56 yards on 15 attempts, while Holbrook added 49 yards on nine totes. Johnson and Ike Akers also added 35 and 18 yards on the ground, respectively.
Crenson Rogers led the wideouts with four catches for 94 yards. Smith and Wood also had a TD catch apiece of 41 and five yards. Andrew Evans was also 3-of-4 on extra-point kicks for Southern.
The Cougars mustered only 84 rushing yards on 41 attempts to go along with 22 yards in the air. The hosts were flagged seven times for 60 yards, while SHS was penalized eight times for 85 yards.
Toby Minder paced the FHS ground game with 38 yards on 14 carries, followed by Lewis with nine carries for 34 yards and Brock Holdren with 18 yards on eight totes.
Minder finished the game 1-of-8 passing for 16 yards and three interceptions, while Lane Snyder was 2-of-6 for six yards and a pick.
Logan Brookover led the Frontier wideouts with one catch for 16 yards. Eric Tidd and Landon Martin also hauled in a pass each for five yards and one yard respectively.
The Tornadoes open Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division play Friday night when they take on Wahama in a Week 3 gridiron tilt at Bachtel Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.