Tomcats Pounce On Southern In Second Half

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The Southern Tornadoes came into Glouster Friday night looking to create a bit of chaos at the top of the TVC-Hocking, but Konnor Standley and the Trimble Tomcats had none of it.

With a combined 10 shutouts between the two teams, fans might have expected a defensive struggle. It was just not to be as Trimble was able to find its stride, especially in the second half, on the way to a 42-14 victory.

On their first drive, the Tomcats tried some trickery with an Austin Downs reverse pass, but the ball ended up in Tornado defensive back Zac Beegle’s hands.

The second time the Tomcats possessed the ball, they converted on several first downs before Standley romped down the right sideline for a 44-yard gain to the Southern 4. Two plays later, Jacob Koons pounded it in from 2 yards out to give Trimble a 7-0 lead.

Southern then failed to put together anything of substance. The Tomcats gained back possession, and on third down from their own 20-yard line, Standley lofted a pass up the sideline, but his receiver was not looking for the ball. The Tornadoes’ Colton Walters saw the pass into his hands, and sprinted the rest of the way to knot things up 7-7.

On the ensuing kickoff, Trimble gave the ball right back to Southern on a fumble. Just four plays later, Tristen Wolfe found Hunter Johnson in the end zone for a touchdown on fourth and 4, and for the first time all year, the Trimble Tomcats found themselves trailing in a contest, 14-7.

The 14 points are also the most Trimble has allowed on the season.

“We made mistakes and good teams capitalize on it. They’re a good team,” Trimble coach Phil Faires said.

But Faires’ Tomcats were not to be denied as they responded with a 14-play drive and fought through penalty calls to even the score. Jacob Kish lined up under center and powered the ball into the end zone to tie the game. Trimble accounted for almost all of the offense the rest of the night.

Both teams’ fans were raucous and fired up for their schools. The contest was chippy in the trenches, and more than a few hard hits shook ball carriers.

A Southern three-and-out led to Trimble getting the ball at their own 26 midway through the second quarter.

Jacob Koons spearheaded the drive with two catches and three runs, as his final run on the drive was the go-ahead touchdown, making it 21-14.

Southern put together an efficient two-minute drill, but came up short as Wolfe’s heave as the clock expired fell into the hands of Trimble’s Kish.

A whole other contest took place in the second half as the Tomcats were the epitome of dominance.

To start the second half, the Tornadoes gave the ball up on their own side of the field, leading to a Koons 12-yard touchdown rumble.

The defensive line of Trimble took complete control from this moment on, rendering the Southern offensive line helpless as the Tomcats burst through the trenches repeatedly throughout the half.

“They were getting through, we took advantage of it,” Faires said. “We knew we probably took Barton and the fullback (Ryan Billingsley) out of the game at that point so they had to throw it.”

Wyatt Brag hauled in a 28-yard catch in the third quarter and Justice Jenkins returned a touchdown to round out the scoring on the night.

“We come on in the second half, you know that’s good for both teams. Southern is going to be in the playoffs, that’s a good test for both of us,” Faires said.

Standley had another exemplary night, passing for 216 yards on 13-of-16 passing and scampering for 117 yards.

Koons collected a total of 136 yards on the night with three touchdowns. Downs hauled in four catches for 73 yards as Standley’s favorite target.

For Southern, Wolfe completed 8 of his 17 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown through the air. Barton ran for 46 yards on 11 carries to provide a good chunk of the Tornadoes offense.

Southern is still set to be a playoff team with just one game to go. The Tornadoes host rival Eastern Friday, Nov. 1. Trimble looks to round out an undefeated season with a win at Federal Hocking.