Wildcat Defense Shuts Down Tornadoes

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Week eight marks the make or break point for team’s seasons and Friday night’s matchup between Waterford and Southern had playoff implications written all over it.

The Wildcats moved one step closer to a playoff spot Friday night with a dominant 42-7 performance against Southern.

The Wildcat defense forced a turnover on Southern’s opening drive when Waterford’s Rhys Thatcher jumped a route and intercepted Logan Drummer’s pass, returning it to the Southern 19-yard line.

Waterford would capitalize five plays later with Peyton Stephens rushing for one of his two rushing touchdowns that night.

Stephens would finish with 47 yards on the ground on nine carries and 60 yards passing on 6/11 passing with one touchdown to Holden Dailey and two interceptions.

Southern’s slow start would not stop after their first drive, however. Their first five offensive drives were as follows: interception, punt, turnover on downs, punt, and punt. Only on one of those first five drives, was Southern able to move the ball into Wildcat territory.

On the other hand, Waterford’s offense was able to score on three of their first four offensive drives, including Braden Bellville’s two first half rushing touchdowns. He would finish with 122 yards, two touchdowns, and 13 yards receiving.

The real storyline of the game was how well the Waterford defense contained the high-power Tornadoes offense led by Logan Drummer and Trey McNickle.

The Wildcat defense forced four turnovers and limited Drummer to only one touchdown, a one-yard completion to Gage Shuler, on 8/15 passing for 49 yards. As a team, the Tornadoes were limited to 158 total yards and converted on two of their 10 third down situations.

Leading the way for the Wildcats was Bellville, Stephens, and Thatcher, who all played with dominance on both sides of the ball.


This matchup featured the third and fourth ranked teams in the TVC-Hocking with both teams still in the hunt for playoff spots. With the win, Waterford moves to 6-2 (5-1) on the season. With a playoff spot pretty much locked with the win, Waterford looks forward to next week’s matchup where they hit the road to take on winless Federal Hocking, but the matchup to keep an eye on will be the week ten matchup against Belpre where Waterford will be looking to gain another signature win to add to their playoff resume.


With the loss, the Southern Tornadoes drop to 6-2 (4-2) on the season with playoff implications still not out of the question. The odds of Southern making the playoffs are still in their favor if they finish with a 7-3 record or better. They’ll host Trimble next week before travelling to Eastern for a week ten matchup. Every game for Southern will be a must-win as a win against Trimble would be monumental for their playoff resume and could propel to a favorable seeding. Fortunately for the Tornadoes, the game will be played at home. Kickoff for that game is scheduled for 7:30 PM.