Southern Rolls Through Ravenswood, Remains Atop TVC-Hocking

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Just over a minute to go in the first quarter deep in Red Devils territory, and the snap was low. Logan Drummer bobbled the ball as Ravenswoods defenders collapsed in on him. He broke a tackle, then a second. He would not break a third as a hard hit forced a fumble, the ball bouncing away, as if it had a mind of its own. After a 22-man pileup, the play was whistled dead.

Tornadoes ball.

Four yard gain.

It was that kind of night for the Southern Tornadoes, as they came into historic Flinn field and caught all the breaks Friday night en route to a 35-19 victory over the Ravenswood Red Devils. The Tornadoes relied, much as they have all season, on their quarterback-running back combo of Logan Drummer and Trey McNickle, who gave Ravenswood all they could handle. The victory moved Southern to 6-1, keeping them in a tie for first place atop the TVC-Hocking and in the midst of the playoff hunt as they move deeper into their season.

The Tornadoes’ offense has been confusing opponents all season with their diverse attack, and all of it worked Friday night. Southern came out in four wideout sets one play only to come out zero wide the next. They used t-bone and I formations, bunch sets and empty backfields. The breadth of options employed by the Tornadoes kept the defense backpedaling, and Logan Drummer was able to show why he was named a midseason candidate for Gridiron Player of the Year, tossing three touchdowns in the victory.

Drummer’s first touchdown went to senior receiver Brodie Dutton, who also scorched the Red Devils halfway through the first quarter with a 71-yard punt return touchdown. The score stood 15-0 after his triumphant return, and the early points he produced created separation that Southern would not yield throughout the rest of the contest.

Southern’s defensive front four of Austin Baker, Austin Arnold, Ryan Mills and Chuck Stansberry limited the Ravenswood ability to run between the tackles, fighting their way into the backfield and recording tackle for loss after tackle for loss. The Tornadoes d-line may not be the biggest bunch, with only Arnold clearing the 200 pound mark, but they proved they were up for any challenge Friday.

While Ravenswood struggled to run between the tackles, and attempted few passes all game, they found success when they turned their efforts to outside running. Pitches and stretch plays were responsible for all of the Red Devils’ scoring Friday, and it was their tailback Chase Hood who benefitted the most. The junior scored twice, gashing Southern’s defense for 69 and 50 yard touchdowns. The two rushing touchdowns doubled his total for the season, as Hood proved to be a bright spot in a loss that dropped Ravenswood to 2-4.

The Tornadoes were no slouch in the run game themselves, as Trey McNickle scampered into the endzone from ten yards out to essentially seal the game for Southern with 4:49 left in the game. The score had been 22-19 before McNickle was able to shiftily break a tackle and work his way in for a comeback-quashing score, putting the Tornadoes up by ten.

Looking onward to next week, Ravenswood will travel to face the Doddridge County Bulldogs (6-0), while Southern will wrap up their roadtrip in Waterford (5-2) for a crucial in-conference affair.