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Southern’s defense was key in victory

Written by: on Saturday, October 12th, 2013. Follow Dave Fegley on Twitter.


By: Dave Fegley (Black Diamond Sports Network) 

In the preseason, a lot of fans from both Southern Columbia (7-0) and Bloomsburg (4-3) were excited to see how their offenses would perform during the season. Coming into the game, both teams have certainly put up some gaudy numbers on the offensive side of the ball. The Tigers came in averaging almost an incredible 500 yards of offense per game. They’ve also scored over 45 points in each of their first six games for the first time in program history (make it seven after this game). The Panthers came in averaging 375 yards of offense and hadn’t committed a turnover since week two (committed two against SCA). However, the main story was how the Southern defense shut down the Bloomsburg offense until the starters were pulled near the end of the third quarter.

“Our goal coming in was to see how well we could do against their passing game. When we talk about that we are referring to three different phases including the coverage, being physical with the receivers, and getting pressure on the quarterback. I thought our kids did an outstanding job in all three areas against them,” said Southern coach Jim Roth.  Bloomsburg coach Mike Kogut was certainly impressed with the Tigers team as well. “Our kids didn’t quit, but Southern deserves all the credit in the world. They are obviously an excellent football team and are well coached with Coach Roth and his staff,” said Kogut after his Panthers fell 50-13 against the undefeated Tigers.

The scoring got started in the opening quarter for the Tigers after Zach Tillett intercepted a Ricky Klingerman pass and returned it to the 32 yard line. Adam Feudale caught a screen pass during that drive and took it inside the five yard line. Nate Hunter scored the game’s first touchdown from four yards out with 6:26 remaining in the first quarter.

Bloomsburg was forced to punt out of their own end zone on the next series after Tiger linebacker Matt Lupold got pressure on Klingerman forcing an intentional grounding penalty. “As a player you want to be on the field at all times and I’m the same way. I want to be on the field for every snap, so being able to go both ways is a bonus for me,” said Lupold when asked about playing on both sides of the ball. The Tigers got the ball on the 21 yard line of the Panthers and it only took one play for Feudale to find pay dirt to put the home team up 14-0 with 5:20 remaining in the first.

Luke Rarig kicked a 35 yard field goal to put the Tigers up 17-0 at the beginning of the second quarter  after the Panthers made a stop inside the redzone. “I thought we were playing flat in the first half. I didn’t think we came out with as much energy in the first half as we did in the second half,” said Feudale who had 14 carries for 140 yards and 3 TDs on the night.

Tillett certainly came out with some energy in the first half. On the Panthers next possession, he intercepted another Klingerman pass giving the Tigers good field position. Zach Ashford returned the favor by picking off Tiger quarterback Nick Becker only two plays later. Ashford would add another interception later on in the half as the Tigers were threatening to score again.

Thanks to a two yard touchdown run just before halftime by Feudale, the Tigers were in command 24-0 at intermission. The bigger concern for the Panthers was the fact that their star QB Klingerman got hurt and did not return after Brad Noll buried him on a sack just before half. “The status of his injury is unknown right now, it’s something we’re going to evaluate and wait to see,” said Kogut about his quarterback.

Blake Marks scored on a two yard run at the 9:48 mark and Adam Feudale from 34 yards out at the 6:33 mark in the third quarter to extend the Tiger lead to 38-0 and put the game into the mercy rule. That was also the last time the four-headed backfield of Feudale, Marks, Hunter, and Lupold took the field with the game out of reach to give some backups reps. “We have that depth of talent where it’s hard for a defense to key on one person or know where the ball’s going to go,” said Lupold.

In the fourth quarter, Hunter Thomas got the Panthers on the board by rushing for two touchdowns over a four minute span. Not to be outdone, Billy Marzeksi and Brad Noll both ran the ball hard for the Tigers in the final quarter and each scored as well making the final score 50-13 moving the Tigers to 7-0 on the season and knocking the Panthers to 4-3 for the year.

The Tigers hold the number one spot in the playoff rankings and the Panthers are fighting for the final spot. If Bloomsburg is able to survive the potential injury to their quarterback, Ricky Klingerman, these two teams could meet up in round one of the district playoffs in four weeks for a rematch. “We have been able to stay relatively healthy this year. We did have two players suffer season-ending injuries unfortunately, but other than that we haven’t really had anyone miss practice time and that has been a plus to help with the successful season we have had so far this season,” said Roth.


SCA: 14-10-14-12 = 50

Bloom: 0-0-0-13 = 13




Adam Feudale 14-140, 3 TDs; Nate Hunter 7-86, TD; Blake Marks 8-42, TD; Matt Lupold 4-30; Brad Noll 2-66, TD; Billy Marzeski 3-33, TD; Matt Jeremiah 2-7; Nick Becker 1-1


Nick Becker 6-14-2, 98 yds


Blake Marks 2-41; Zach Tillett 2-15; Luke Rarig 1-9; Adam Feudale 1-33

1st DOWNS: 23





Hunter Thomas 6-79, 2 TDs; Evan Ball 9-47; Sam Miller 6-10; Zach Ashford 1-13; Dylan Woolridge 1-5; Ricky Klingerman 5-(-20); Tyson Thrush 6-(-31)


Tyson Thrush 3-5-0, 46 yds; Ricky Klingerman 4-14-2, 23 yds; Ball 0-1-0


Trent Buttrick 2-36; Colby Klingerman 2-14; Christian Lee 1-10; Zach Ashford 1-6; Cole Frye 1-3

1st DOWNS: 9



Final Bloomsburg stats courtesy of Damien Scoblink (Press Enterprise)

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Leave a Reply

29 Responses to “Southern’s defense was key in victory”

  1. tsaf77 says:

    @ mark d
    Great point. SCA brings no positive outcome win or lose to AAA or AA opponents. Dunmore and Old Forge would play them but Lackawanna Football Conference has an agreement with the Wyoming Valley Football Conference. They will not break those agreements. Berwick only gets to do so for transportation reasons.

  2. mark d says:

    guys is has nothing to do with ducking or not wanting to play Southern it state points, their is no advange for a AAA or AAAA team to play an A school all the D2 schools are trying to get non conference games with D11 and the AAA and AAAA schools for state points.D4 is mostly small schools that another reason Berwick want to be in D2 this year is the prefect example Scranton Prep even if they go un beaten they still cant out point a undefeated Berwick team becuse they have 2 AA schools that they play D4 only AAAA team Williamsport plays in D2 for that reason

  3. tsaf77 says:

    The season will take care of itself. Soon we will be able to observe SCA play Dunmore or Old Forge in what I believe would be a great mach up for those schools. All worthy to play each other and all quality programs.

  4. Brian says:

    apparently tsaf77 didn’t get the analogy. I’m not basing Southern’s running backs on how many are successful at D1 or professionally. PSU is known for their linebackers and called Linebacker U, since SCA always has depth at the running back level, I called them running back high. I wasn’t comparing SCA to PSU. Hynoski isn’t a MCA product. He went through the SCA programs from youth. He is a product of his family genetics. MCA had nothing to do with Hynoski’s talent at SCA. Some people look at these comments and take them too seriously wow.

  5. Bill says:

    Just messing with you Todd. I had to snap you out of it.

  6. Jim says:

    tsaf77 you are correct about the adult thing. For gods sake some of these adults are very immature. Let the kids be kids, you couldn’t have said it any better. Why can’t we just say they are all good people and not even look at the talent aspect.
    Bill I think I’m seeing some Ciho math haha!

  7. Jim says:

    Thank you Joe & paul!
    Brian you are right about the SCA high with RBs, it seems like every year a new running back comes out of nowhere to dominate the competition

  8. tsaf77 says:

    SCA is a great program. To hear some of the comments though about how great former players are against current is comical. Comparing PSU to SCA is even further comical. Hynoski (a Mt. Carmel product) is the only successful RB to have any career at the D1/NFL ranks and is currently the only NFL player from SCA if I am not mistaken. Look at Bishop McDevitt, Rickey Waters and LeSean McCoy (RB High). Look at Aliquippa, how many D1/NFL products have they had.
    I agree with Jim, enjoy the team and the kids. Remember this is just a High School Sport. Not College or Pro. It is the adults that need to be reminded that sometimes.

  9. Bill says:

    That was some good math Todd. 6+1 is 7, but I think you missed the

  10. Brian says:

    I think we are enjoying the southern team right now. That’s not debatable. as fans you will always be comparing players to other players. It makes for good conversation as long as there are no personal attacks. Losing the backfield won’t be that big of a deal at SCA. Penn St. is linebacker U, SCA is running back High.

  11. Joe says:

    Couldn’t have said it better Jim

  12. paul says:

    Thank you Jim.

  13. Jim says:

    How about we just enjoy the Southern TEAM people. I’m sure if you asked either Fegley or Becker who was better they would both just laugh at you and say who really cares! What does it matter who is or was better? It’s not like either of them are going to play in the NFL. Fegley had an incredible career and will go down as one of the best players to ever wear a Tiger uniform & hopefully Becker can be a good one too. From what I know, Fegley & Becker both seem like modest individuals that are all about the team. They could probably care less about their individual stats and want to do the best they can for the TEAM!

  14. Craig says:

    Brian, you can compare them both because just because Fegley was a multi-year starter at linebacker, he only played QB for one year so I’m comparing Becker’s first year to Fegley’s one year and Fegley didn’t have a bad game for the entire season. Becker had one on Friday and I don’t think his accuracy has been as good as his stats show because again the quality of competition is so weak…you are right though Brian about Becker probably airing it out more the next few years because it seems like SCA has added passing more this year and will need to next year after they loose the whole backfield beside Marks.

  15. Brian says:

    You are comparing Fegley as a senior to Becker as a soph. Let’s wait until Becker’s a senior. Plus Fegley didn’t throw the ball as much as what Becker is going to. Yes Becker struggled against Bloom. Also, Becker will face better competition next year when Danville, Loyalsock, Montoursville will all return to the schedule, along with MCA, Selinsgrove. Becker has potential to turn into a very very good QB. Last, I said the Becker may be better than Fegley. I won’t make that statement either way until Becker is a senior.

  16. D2 Football says:

    Berwick,WVW,AH would lose to Southern? Are you a comedian? Because thats a good joke!

  17. Joe says:

    You guys are comparing Becker as a sophomore to fegley as a senior. In my mind, you can’t compare Becker to any other qbs yet because he is only a sophomore. The strength of of the teams they play are very bad, but you can’t blame Southern for the state for being weak this year.

  18. Craig says:

    Fegley is better than Becker…it’s not even debatable. Bloomsburg’s secondary wasn’t anything more than average & Becker struggled mightily. That is my only concern holding the Tigers from a state title is if Becker can survive against a good set of defensive backs. Becker is the best QB in the area though this year other than Curry from Berwick I would say.

  19. Marc says:

    Brian I agree with you that an SCA vs Berwick game would be very exciting. I also agree that Becker is better than Young, but to say that Becker is better than Fegley is a very dumb comment. Becker threw 2 INTs on Friday alone…Fegley didn’t throw any for a whole season. Fegley also played against much better opponents than Becker will for probably his entire career. Also to make it even more impressive, Fegley played both ways and might be the only QB Roth ever trusted to do so (I am not 100% positive if anyone else did). The only edge you can give Becker over Fegley is his size, if Fegley was three inches taller he could have played D2 or D1-AA college football. I think you can make the case that Becker is better than a Heitzman or Townssend as well, but again it’s hard to judge since Becker is facing defenses that the Ralpho Raiders could score on. I think Kaskie is unquestionably the best quarterback to ever play the position at Southern. I would then put Latorre and Fegley on the next tier and then the rest of them can be debated. If this Dave Fegley is related to Brad Fegley that wrote the “Top 50 players” a couple weeks ago, then I think he had Brad rated too low on the list. I’ll tell you another QB that is underrated is Nick Slater. I would say that he actually was better than Becker as well. Becker is still very young though so still has time to improve his accuracy and arm strength because Rarig and Tillett won’t be there forever to catch Becker’s floaters in traffic or Feudale won’t be there to get you 60-80 yards a game on screen passes

  20. Todd says:

    No Bill #7…6+1= 7 where I went to school

  21. Brian says:

    If you know how the heartland conference is set up, it is set up by school size and for competition. I won’t disagree that the divisions are not fairly aligned, but I won’t say teams dropped SCA because that wasn’t the case. If you go to any of those coaches of Danville, Lewisburg, etc. They will tell you the same thing I’m saying. They want Southern on their schedule and it’s unfortunate. In the heartland you have to play all the teams in your division. HAC II is the largest therefore allows for less crossover games between divisions. This is why Southern isn’t able to play those games because they are forced to play their division teams such as Montgomery, Muncy, South Williamsport. I didn’t include Bloom because they always play Bloom. That is controlled by the HAC league. To be honest it really wasn’t a choice to join the HAC, D4 is HAC minus the northern tier. These schedules are made by the HAC due to the alignment they made in the divisions. If Danville wanted to drop SCA how come next year they will be playing again. Same with Lewisburg and Montoursville. The reason is because SCA will be in HAC II, which they have no control over unless a team decides to petition every 2 years to move down.

  22. Uncle Mike says:

    Teams like the ones I mentioned earlier certainly did drop SCA. They decided to join the league and thus only having a certain flexibility in their schedule. It does not serve the larger schools to play a small school and lose. I always loved when SCA played the other local teams. Brian if your argument is “That is the way the league is set up”, then the league is not fairly aligned.

  23. Brian says:

    People forget even though SCA is in HAC III, they played 3 straight weeks against unbeaten teams (MCA week 2, South Williamsport, week 3, and Muncy, week 4. Not that those are top calibre teams but they are teams who win the games on their schedule. uncle mike the real fact is that teams haven’t dropped Southern so don’t make it out to seem that way. I’m a southern alum and the reason lewisburg and danville aren’t on the schedule right now is due to the fact SCA was forced back into HAC III when Hughesville decided to move back up to HAC II. When Hughesville asked to move to HAC III originially SCA jumped at the opportunity to move up. Hughesville felt they could cut it in HAC II the past few years so they moved up, which made SCA, the smallest school in HAC II move back to HAC III, hence them losing some teams. As for Berwick, WVW, and Abington Heights, it doesn’t even make sense for them to play SCA because they are all D2 teams and have enough competitive games within their conferences. I’d love to see Berwick/SCA play, especially this year. Berwick and those D2 teams don’t play many teams out of their conferences. I feel Berwick should be D4 but what do I really know. I agree with Becker being better than Young, maybe even Fegley. Fegley was a great game manager and was intelligent in his decision making. As for next year, the schedule will include MCA, Lewisburg, Danville, Loyalsock, Montoursville, Bloom, mifflinburg, Shamokin probably, central, and warrior run is my guess. Unfortunately someone is going to come off the schedule out of Shamokin, Bloom, Selinsgrove.

  24. Bill says:

    Or #8

  25. Todd says:

    Exactly…I don’t see teams like Berwick, WVW, Abington Heights, or any other AAA team from that area rushing to get SCA on the schedule. They would all lose to Southern. The Tigers are certainly the most disrespected team in any PIAA sport at any level all because of one thing…JEALOUSY!
    As far as the players are concerned, Becker is an upgrade from Young last year. I don’t think Becker is one of the elite QBs that the Tigers have had in the program’s history, but I think he is certainly better than Young was. Also, the entire backfield has improved because they are all back from last years team. Feudale is certainly fun to watch when he runs people over. I also think this defense is just as good as the one the Tigers had two years ago when they made the state title. Rarig is extremely talented and Tillett has really stepped it up in the secondary. I do think the Tigers are better with Marks playing safety though because Klebon seems too inexperienced to be a starter. Also how about that FG that Rarig kicked yesterday?! That baby would have been good from 45-50 yards!
    Go Southern! Bring home #7!

  26. Uncle Mike says:

    Every time that SCA has a great year you have idiots that state SCA plays a week schedule. The real fact is that teams have dropped SCA, like Lewisburg and Danville. Coach Roth has created a culture, not just athletes of today, but developing ones in the JV and Jr. High levels too. It is obvious that Sourhern has an amazing group of people leading a wonderful group of kids. Good luck tigers!

  27. Brian says:

    plus Bloom plays the exact same schedule pretty much. The team that Bloom lost too, South Williamsport, SCA put away before halftime. I guess playing MCA and Selinsgrove every year doesn’t help. Bloom doesn’t play nearly the calibre crossover schedule. Oh don’t you worry, SCA gets to go back up to HAC II next year where they want to play anyway since Hughesville can’t HAC it up there. I agree Becker had the worst game of this season. Missed a lot of guys that were open that he usually connects on. He may have just got his bad game out of the way, good thing cuz SCA would’ve hung 65 on them otherwise. Becker is only a soph too. I was impressed with Blooms defense because they made Southern work for their points. It wasn’t as easy to score this week as in past weeks.

  28. Todd says:

    Hold on for a second…Southern doesn’t pick to play down. Unfortunately with the dumb setup of the PHAC schedule, The Tigers play in the lowest division. They clearly are the best team by far. They could beat any of the teams in the conference at any level by at least 5 touchdowns if they wanted to. I do agree that you can’t look at stats against inferior competition, but it’s not like the Tigers play the schedule they do by choice. They are still well deserving of the states top ranking and will probably win the state title unless Dunmore or Old Forge knocks them off because the west is absolutely horrible this year. The state champ is coming out of the east for sure at the A level. In the other three classifications the west is pretty strong, but in A it is probably the worst it has been in over a decade.

  29. Kevin says:

    After watching the Tigers play seven games this year the offense has been very good, but it seems that this was the only above average secondary that the Tigers faced all year and Becker didn’t handle it good at all. He threw 2 interceptions and missed on a lot of other throws as well including two wide open ones to Lupold that would have been touchdowns. This is one of the downfalls of playing a weaker schedule. Obviously the stats look nice, but unless you can back the stats up against better teams then they are almost fake stats because they are against teams that would have trouble competing at the midget or jr high levels!
    I am very impressed with Feudale though. That boy is as hard of a runner as they come. Her certainly fights for yardage each time he touches the ball. I think he could certainly start at a smaller D2 school as early as his sophomore year in college.