Southern’s defense was key in victory
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
SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (7-0)
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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