Tomcats Impose Their Will Over Southern Tornadoes

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There are few pregame introductions more unique in Southeast Ohio than that of the Southern Tornadoes. As the sirens blare and the PA system announces tornado warnings, it is easy to get swept up in the pageantry.

The Trimble Tomcats did not get into first place in the TVC-Hocking by being easily frazzled though. They did not care how high they were swept up on Friday.

After all, cats do always land on their feet.

Senior Night at Southern High School ended in a 51-0 victory for Trimble, as the Tomcats marched up and down the field while holding key Tornado players to quiet nights. The win improved Trimble’s record to (8-1) while dropping Southern to (6-3) on the season. The playoffs were already a certainty for the Tomcats, but for Southern, this loss means that next week’s matchup against the Eastern Eagles is a must-win for any hopes of playing in November.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Tomcats could not be slowed, let alone stopped. Trimble did not record a negative offensive play until the 11:33 mark of the second quarter, and that small victory for the Southern defense was short lived, as on the very next play Connor Wright would run in from 16 yards for his second touchdown of the night to put the Tomcats up 12-0. Wright would end the night with 133 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

The Tomcats’ dominant showing came on the backs of an offensive line who consistently won at the point of attack. The quintet of Garett Richards, Ian Joyce, Shawn Turley, Alex Coffman, and Zach Guffey never missed a step, whether it was pulling for a trap block or giving quarterbacks Tabor Lackey and Cameron Kittles protection even while rolling out with their slide blocks, the men in the trenches helped Trimble sustain momentum and march down the field.

While Trimble’s t-bone offense does not lend itself to a high volume of passing attempts, Lackey made the most of his opportunities, going 4/4 for 62 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Back-to-back games against the Waterford Wildcats and Trimble would challenge any team, and that is what Southern has had to deal with over the last two weeks. Coming off a defeat to Waterford, the Tornadoes wanted to get back to playing their brand of football. Southern’s unpredictable and varied offense was a perfect foil to the Tomcats, who adhere to the t-bone formation for the majority of their plays. Southern’s versatility is their biggest strength, and Trimble was able to neutralize the Tornadoes’ passing game and make them play a more one-dimensional brand of ball.

Logan Drummer uncharacteristically completed only two of his 11 pass attempts as the Tomcats held the talented quarterback to only three passing yards with Cameron Kittle picking off one of his throws. Once one phase of Southern’s game was muted by the Tomcats, the entire offense struggled to gain steam, as Drummer’s backfield mate Trey McNickle could only muster one yard per carry on the day.

Kittle finished the day with 77 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns to go along with his interception.

Moving into week 10, Southern travels to Eastern (4-5) for their aforementioned pivotal late-season matchup, while Jackson returns home to play the Wahama Falcons (1-7).