Roth Wins 400th Game
Southern Hammers Hughesville
Southern Columbia head coach Jim Roth decided to let the clock run out for halftime on Friday night with his team less than 15 yards from the end zone and all three timeouts left in his pocket. No, the Tigers weren’t in desperate need to score, the game was handily in check by then with his team in front 37-0 over Hughesville. It was just another classy move that the veteran coach has shown countless times during his long tenure at the helm.
Now, the man that has turned a struggling program in the 1980’s into a dynasty has become just the third coach in Pennsylvania history to win 400 games. He is also the quickest to reach the milestone. “It was one of those things where you reach a point and you know it is eventually going to happen. I’ve never looked at anything in my career as an individual thing. This record was made as a staff. I have been blessed to have the best assistants I could ask for. We have just found a way to gel together and make it all work,” Roth said.
The one coach that has been a part of it since the beginning is his defensive coordinator Andy Mills. “We have just been able to have a lot of consistency throughout the years. We haven’t ever had a losing season,” said Mills who may as well be known as the Secretary of Defense. The Tigers defense couldn’t have played much better against the Spartans in posting a 57-0 shutout victory. “That was nice to see. Obviously everyone knew the significance of the win and to be able to do it without the opponent scoring was satisfying,” Mills said.
Roth and his staff have obviously coached a lot of talent over the past three decades, and two of those players put their skills on high display in the victory. Sophomore Gaige Garcia rushed the ball two times in the opening quarter and scored on both carries. His first one was a 49-yard run and his second one went for 59 yards giving him 108 yards on the two runs. “I am just thankful to be a part of a great accomplishment for a great coach and staff,” said Garcia.
The other player is Julian Fleming who is the most sought out college recruit in the school’s history. He scored on a 23-yard pass from Stone Hollenbach before both of Garcia’s runs to help the Tigers go up 21-0 after the opening quarter. “It was an honor to be on the team that helped Coach Roth get his 400th win. A lot of people came out to see it, so that added motivation for us,” said Fleming. The sophomore caught another 23-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter to extend the lead to 28-0.
In the middle of the second quarter it was Mills’ defense that added to the score. Southern forced a safety to go up 30-0 and give the Tigers defense more points than Hughesville scored in the game. “It is important for us to try to do that every week, but tonight the goal was to score a lot of points and don’t let any points on defense. We just wanted to make this a night about Coach Roth,” said senior captain Andrew Bell.
Tom Manley added the final scoring of the opening half with a 19-yard run and then an Elijah Hoffman PAT made the score 37-0. The Tigers most likely would have scored again, but Roth elected to let the halftime horn sound before his offense had another shot at a play deep in Spartan territory. “We just try to do things the right way as a staff. Our goal is to carry ourselves in a professional way and that can trickle down through the other parts of our programs in junior high and the youth league,” said Roth.
The Tigers kept the ball on the ground the entire time in the second half, and they were able to get some other guys important reps. Manley scored on a 34-yard run during the final series that the starters played to begin the 3rd quarter. SCA’s lead was 44-0 heading to the final 12 minutes. “I think our starters take a lot of pride in posting a shutout and it’s rewarding to see it take place when the reserves are able to hold onto it,” Mills said. His defense was able to post five sacks in the victory as well.
The Tigers tacked on two touchdowns in the fourth. Both of them were scored by sophomore Nate Crowl. His first came on an 11-yard run and the second on a 40-yard run. Tristan Heim, who rotated in with the starters, also put on a nice display in helping to get the score to 57-0. “I was pleased by the way we ran the football. We had a handful of different guys all have success and that makes it nice to know you have depth in the backfield when we need it. Again I was real happy with the defensive effort and the way they played as a unit” Roth said.
The Spartans will host Loyalsock next Friday night to try and turn their season around. The Tigers will try and continue their 55-consecutive game regular season winning streak next week when they hit the road to take on Lewisburg. The game will be held at Susquehanna University because Lewisburg, who usually plays at Bucknell University, was informed that an event will be taking place next Friday in Bucknell’s stadium.
SCA: 21-16-7-13 = 57
HHS: 0-0-0-0 = 0
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (4-0)
Gaige Garcia 6-133, 2 TD’s; Tom Manley 5-59, 2 TD’s; Tristan Heim 7-85; Jeffrey Cox 4-34; Nate Crowl 4-84, 2 TD’s; Cade Linn 7-28; Jake Snyder 1-15
Stone Hollenbach 5-8-0, 109 yds, 2 TD’s
Julian Fleming 4-87, 2 TD’s; Preston Zachman 1-22
1st DOWNS: 21
RUSHING: Ori Shaner 18-27; Gavin Steele 6-10; Gage Avery 3-9; Colton Yocum 2-4; Carter Marquardt 1-2; Hunter Herr 1-2
PASSING: Ori Shaner 4-12-0, 62 yds; Jacob Corson 1-3-0, 14 yds
RECEIVING: Devon Bushor 2-23; Daulton Myers 1-29; Julian Brehm 1-20; Patrick Rogers 1-4
1st DOWNS: 9
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