Southern Columbia Wins Against Rival
By: Dave Fegley (Twitter: @DFegs9)
After Friday night’s game held at Central Columbia’s brand new turf field, the Blue Jays (3-6) can at least say one thing that the first eight opponents the Southern Columbia Tigers (9-0) faced cannot. They held SCA under 45 points. Not by much, but they were the first opponent to do so as the Tigers went on to win the rivalry game 44-12. “Unfortunately it was 21-0 early, but I thought once we got going we did some good things,” said Central’s head coach Jason Hippenstiel. “We just have to come out of the gates against a team that is that good. That’s just a great team that Southern Columbia has. They have some great athletes, but I thought our guys made some plays.”
One thing that gives the Tigers an advantage each week is that they have one of the best overall players in the entire state in junior Luke Rarig. “Luke’s just a heck of a player, he is just so versatile. He’s an outstanding returner, very good defensive back, very good wide receiver, and he’s our kicker. I mean there isn’t much more that he could possibly do,” said Jim Roth who picked up his 351st victory as the Tigers head coach. Rarig was the team’s leading receiver with five grabs for 80 yards and also took a punt return 46 yards for a score. He also would have had an interception return of 85 yards, but that was taken away as another Tiger got called for a pass interference penalty.
Matt Lupold started things off for the Tigers on a seven yard run to put the Tigers up 7-0 just over a minute into the game. Southern’s front eight had another strong showing that was started off by Trent Donlan’s sack on Central Columbia’s first offensive play. Zach Tillett forced the first three and out by laying out the Blue Jays intended receiver on a 3 and 19 to force a punt. Southern took six plays to score again. After a diving catch by Blake Marks, Adam Feudale finished it off on a one yard plunge to make it 14-0. On the following series, Feudale scored again from three yards out to make the score 21-0 with 4:11 left in the first quarter. Central Columbia answered with a nine yard scoring drive of their own that was finished off by a 20 yard pass from quarterback Steve Shannon to Lewis Williams to make the score 21-6 after the opening quarter.
Central’s defense came up with two interceptions of their own on the Tigers next two offensive series. Southern quarterback Nick Becker, who started the game six for six passing, was picked off by Justice Powlus and Frankie Tewell. The second interception was caused by Central standout Jake Klinger as he hit Becker right when he was releasing the ball. “Jake Klinger’s one of the best players in the league, if not in the state. He probably had another 10 tackle performance and he continues to get pressure each week,” said Hippenstiel. Southern was able to record a safety however in between those two turnovers thanks to a high snap that sailed over their punter’s head.
Rarig put the game away after the defense forced another three and out when he returned his punt for a touchdown to make the score 30-6 with 7:06 left in the half. “It was supposed to go to the right, but I saw all their guys flow that way and I stayed in the middle and got a good block and just took it from there,” Rarig said about the touchdown. Southern safety Garett Sosnoski intercepted a pass on the next series and took it back 87 yards for a score, but the touchdown was negated due to an excessive celebration. The penalty took the ball back to the 25, but Becker completed a pass to Marks on the second play of the drive for a touchdown to make the score 37-6 at the half. “There were a couple things on both sides of the ball that we didn’t do as well as we could have, and they have enough talent that they can hurt you if you don’t execute,” said Roth giving credit to the way the Blue Jays battled even though the score didn’t show it.
In the third quarter, Lupold put the game into the mercy rule on a short touchdown scamper with 7:57 left in the quarter. That was the only touchdown scored in the quarter as the clock kept running due to the score. Shannon threw his second touchdown pass of the game in the final quarter to Eli Petersheim to give Central something to cheer about. “I thought Steve had a good game and took care of the ball, but that’s just a great defense,” Hippenstiel stated. The teams traded possessions to end the game and the Tigers remain undefeated heading into the final week of the regular season. “I just hope we can push as far as we can. I’m not going to say we are going to make it this far or that far, but I’m just hoping for the best possible outcome,” said Rarig looking ahead to the playoffs.
Southern currently holds the top seed in the district, but Wellsboro who is also undefeated, has a chance next week to steal the number one seed depending on some other outcomes from teams in the district. “This game served as a little bit of a wakeup call which can be looked at as a good thing” Roth said. One thing that is certain, the rest of the state is certainly wide awake as they continue to see the scores that the boys from Catawissa are putting up against their opponents as they keep adding fuel to the tank that they hope eventually leads them to Hershey later on in December.
SCA: 21-16-7-0 = 44
CC: 6-0-0-6 = 12
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (9-0)
Adam Feudale 9-57, 2 TDs; Matt Lupold 9-42, 2 TDs; Blake Marks 5-46; Nate Hunter 2-18; Nick Becker 1-16; Billy Marzeski 1-3
Nick Becker 8-12-2, 138 yds, TD
Luke Rarig 5-80; Blake Marks 2-58, TD; Adam Feudale 1-0
1st DOWNS: 13
Cody Bowman 12-31; Steve Shannon 12-23; Lewis Williams 1-2; Frankie Tewell 1-(-1); DeShawn Showell 2-(-2); Aaron Farver 1-(-6)
Steve Shannon 10-27-2, 123 yds, TD; Aaron Farver 1-2-0, 23 yds
Lewis Williams 3-45, TD; Eli Petersheim 2-24, TD; Cody Bowman 2-15; Austin Farver 2-12; Luke Reichart 1-27; Nick Wondoloski 1-23
1st DOWNS: 12
Final Central stats courtesy of Damien Scoblink (Press Enterprise)
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