Southern Slays Lewisburg
Fleming Sets School Record
First year Lewisburg head coach Marc Persing was forthright after Friday’s game when talking about the opposition in black and gold. “Let’s make no mistake about it, that is one of if not the best programs, not just the team, but programs in the state of Pennsylvania. I told our kids that we are trying to become what Southern Columbia is. They have set the standard that all the other teams are trying to reach,” Persing said. “Hats off to Coach Roth. He has a tremendous staff and a tremendous team and they just have a winning culture that we are trying to establish with our program.”
One of the tremendous Tigers is sophomore Julian Fleming. Now, just five games into his sophomore season, he has set the school’s career receiving yardage mark, with 1,528 total, that was formerly held by Sean Connaghan for the past two decades. “It is definitely an honor knowing how many talented players have played at Southern. Being able to have your name listed in a record book is an honor at any school and an even bigger one at a school with so many great players that have played in the program before me,” said the highly recruited receiver.
The record came on a 53-yard touchdown pass early on in which he was able to out-jump a pair of Green Dragon defensive backs and then outrun them into the end zone. Fleming has held the school’s career receiving touchdown record since week one of this season and he should break the receptions record before season’s end to give him every career receiving record possible before his junior year even begins. The Tigers would go up 14-0 when Gaige Garcia, another tremendous sophomore, reached the end zone on a 24-yard screen pass with 4:52 left in the opening quarter.
Garcia, who is the nephew of Persing, would extend the Tigers lead to 21-0 late in the first quarter on a 71-yard touchdown run. “He has been proving me wrong his whole life. He continues to surprise me since his youth football days. He’s a phenomenal kid, arguably one of my best friends, and just a helluva football player,” Persing said about Garcia. Garcia would then score the only touchdown of the second quarter with a 17-yard catch to give the top ranked team in the state a 28-0 halftime cushion.
The Tigers starting defense continued to impress on the season. At halftime, the Green Dragons unofficially had negative-11 yards of offense compared to over 300 yards for SCA’s potent offense. Another big part of the Tigers offense on Friday night was junior quarterback Stone Hollenbach who attended Lewisburg up through his freshman year. “I just approached it like any other game. Obviously I know pretty much everyone on their team and they have some great players and coaches. I tried to just take the same approach as I would any other week,” said Hollenbach who finished with 220 yards passing in the game.
Southern’s lead ballooned to 42-0 less than two minutes into the second half. The first score came on a quick pass to Fleming who juked out half of the Lewisburg defense en route to the end zone for a 53-yard score. “Obviously he is a very special talent. He’s shown that he is worthy of receiving high level college offers and Stone has done a great job of getting him the football,” said Tiger coach Jim Roth. Then, after forcing a turnover via a fumble, Garcia ran for a one yard touchdown, his fourth score of the evening, to end the game for the Tigers starting unit. “Looking at the numbers that our starters have posted so far this season makes records like Julian’s even more impressive because they usually only get to play in a half of a game before they are done,” said Roth after his 401st coaching victory at Southern.
For the remainder of the Heartland Conference meeting, Lewisburg outscored Southern 21-14 but it was just a formality at that point until the game’s end. The Green Dragons got touchdowns from Dylan Farronato (69-yard catch), Max Moyers (26-yard run), and Andrew Ramirez (93-yard kick return). The Tigers added two rushing touchdowns on a three yard run by Ty Roadarmel and a nine yard run by Tristan Heim. The victory for the Tigers was their fourth Mercy Rule win of the season already.
Lewisburg will try to get back to .500 next week as they will host a winless Montoursville team at Bucknell Univeristy. Southern Columbia will head home to Jim Roth Field to take on Milton. The Tigers will be as heavily favored as probably any team in the country against the Black Panthers next Friday. Milton has lost 22-consecutive games dating back to the early part of 2015 and Southern hasn’t lost a regular season game since 2011. The Tigers starting defense has also given up just one touchdown through five weeks of the season.
SCA: 21-7-21-7 = 56
LBG: 0-0-7-14 = 21
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (5-0)
Gaige Garcia 10-105, 2 TD’s; Ty Roadarmel 10-79, TD; Tristan Heim 6-17, TD; Jeffrey Cox 5-27; Tom Manley 3-17; Stone Hollenbach 1-39; Julian Fleming 1-4; Nate Crowl 6-40; Cade Linn 1-11; Jake Snyder 1-4
Stone Hollenbach 8-12-0, 220 yds, 4 TD’s
Julian Fleming 5-145, 2 TD’s; Gaige Garcia 2-40, 2 TD’s; Preston Zachman 1-35
1st DOWNS: 20
Max Moyers 13-69, TD; Draven Doebler 3-2; Dylan Farronato 3-(-8); Nick Shedleski 6-(-30)
Nick Shedleski 4-9-0, 103 yds, TD
Dylan Farronato 4-103, TD
1st DOWNS: 8
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