MASON, W.Va. — Outright dominance.
The Southern football team outgained Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Wahama by 308 yards, on Friday night at Bachtel Stadium, as the Tornadoes rolled to a 46-8 victory.
Southern (3-0, 1-0 TVC Hocking) scored on both of its opening quarter drives. First, SHS senior Jaylen Blanks capped off a four-play, 83-yard drive with a 62-yard touchdown run at the 7:05 mark. Blanks scored again at the 2:09 mark of the first quarter, capping off a seven-play 29-yard drive. Dakota Kowell was 1-of-2 on extra points in the first quarter.
Wahama (1-2, 0-2) punted twice and turned the ball over on downs once in its three first quarter possessions.
Southern junior Riley Roush got in on the action in the second quarter, as he scored on a two-yard run with 9:21 left. Roush’s run capped off a 7-play 75-yard drive that took 2:39 off the clock and put SHS ahead 19-0.
SHS failed a fourth down conversion on its next drive, but forced WHS into three three-and-outs in the quarter.
On the second play of Southern’s third drive of the second, Blanks broke a 74-yard run for six points. The Tornadoes failed the two-point conversion attempt, but still led 25-0.
The Purple and Gold hit quickly again on their next drive, as Riley Roush took a handoff on the second play and turned it into a 37-yard touchdown. Kowell added the point after, making Southern’s lead 32-0 at the break.
After the half, SHS picked up right where it left off, marching 56 yards in seven plays and 3:00. The scoring drive was capped off by a one-yard Colten Holbrook touchdown run and an extra point kick by Kowell.
Southern’s final score of the night came with 3:45 left in the third quarter, when back-up quarterback Logan Drummer scored on a three-yard run. Kowell’s kick was successful, giving the guests a 46-0 advantage.
Wahama — which punted in both of its third quarter drives — finally got some offense going in the fourth quarter. The White Falcons drove 85 yards in 10 plays, capped off by a one-yard Wyatt Edwards touchdown run with 2:22 left on the clock. Colton Arrington ran in the two-point conversion, making the final score 46-8.
“We came out mentally and physically ready to play football tonight,” SHS head coach Mike Chancey said. “I thought we executed a lot better tonight. I can’t say enough about these kids and their effort, they make it fun to coach. Dave Barr is a really good football coach and he gets a lot out of his kids. (Wahama’s) kids are well coach, they played hard, and this is a good win for us.”
The Tornadoes outgained WHS 445-to-133 in total offense, including 437-to-117 on the ground. Southern held a 15-to-7 advantage in first downs for the game, with a 12-to-1 advantage in first downs in the first half. Neither team had a turnover in the game and both teams were penalized for 45 yards, Southern with seven flags and Wahama with five.
“The main thing is, they have to stick together,” Wahama head coach Dave Barr said. “We try to coach effort and I’m real proud of them for the fact that they don’t quit. They continue to play hard all the time and that’s a life lesson that will serve them well their whole life.”
Blanks led the Tornadoes with 205 yards and three scores on 11 carries, while Roush added 173 yards and two scores on 11 carries. Holbrook carried the ball five times for a total of 27 yards and one score, while quarterback Blake Johnson — who was 1-of-4 passing for eight yards — ran six times for a total of 21 yards.
Austin Baker ran for 11 yards on four carries, Drummer had two carries for two yards and a score, while Reece Reuter carried the ball three times for a net of minus-2 yards. Crenson Rogers had Southern’s lone pass reception for eight yards.
Edwards led the Falcons with 73 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while hauling in one pass for two yards. Arrington caught one 14-yard pass and rushed 10 times for 52 yards, while Brady Bumgarner had six yards on six carries. WHS quarterback Bryton Grate — who was 2-of-8 through the air for 16 yards — rushed five times for a net of minus-14.
Southern is now 3-0 for the first time since the playoff season of 2013, and will look to move to 4-0 at home next Friday, against Miller.
“It’s great to be 3-0 and we’re excited about that,” Chancey said. “I told the kids to enjoy this, but on Monday let’s get back to work. Every week is a new week, and we’re in league play now. We have to make sure that we are preparing during the week and we have to make sure we show up on Friday night ready to play football.”
Miller is now 2-1 following Friday night’s 58-12 victory over Millersport.
Wahama — which suffered a 58-0 loss at Waterford last week — will try to bounce back next Friday night, when the White Falcons host Belpre.
“The sun is going to come up in the morning and we’re going to go trade film with Belpre,” Barr said. “We’re going to show up at practice on Monday and try to get better at every aspect of the game. These are two tough ones in a row for us to swallow, but this is a young bunch and they’re going to continue to get better.”
The Golden Eagles are 1-2 after defeating Federal Hocking 51-6, on Friday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.