Southern once again was in command of an opponent as it beat rival Mount Carmel 41-7 in Week 2.
The Tigers host the Selinsgrove Seals (1-1), as they look to improve to 3-0 on the young season.
There was alot to soak in from Southern’s dominance over the Red Tornadoes.
Like a boxer feeling out a challenger, the Tigers struggled to generate a strong offensive performance early on as Southern was held to zero points in the opening period. It was the first time that happened in 35 games.
“We have a number of first-year starters on the O-line. They had experience in the defensive front. It was a major test in running the ball consistently and it was the biggest reason for the slow start,” Southern head coach Jim Roth explained.
However, once the Tigers began rolling in the right direction they were hard to contain.
Wide receiver Julian Fleming pounced on several opportunities including a 66-yard touchdown reception. Fleming had 113 yards receiving and three scores on the night.
Quarterback Stone Hollenbach created some damage through the air. The senior recorded 295 yards and four touchdowns.
Gaige and Gavin Garcia combined for 90 yards on the ground and a touchdown apiece. Gaige tallied 70 yards receiving and a score.
Big plays helped surge the Tigers to another victory, which has been a major contributor to the Southern effort for several years according to Southern head coach Jim Roth.
“The passing game and big plays have been a key for our team the past couple of years,” Roth said.
Roth also discussed the balance in his receiving core. From Julian Fleming to Gaige Garcia to Preston Zachman the Tigers have been able to spread the wealth over their first two games.
Roth also stated that a few underrated players on his squad include fullback Ty Roadarmel and defensive tackles Cole Schankweiler and Robert Williams.
“He (Roadarmel) may not get many yards rushing, but he does a good job blocking for other backs and picking up blitzing linebackers,” Roth said “Williams and Schankweiler stepped in and have been really solid against the run.”
Southerns defense also held Mount Carmel to 210 total yards and cornerback Jake Davis also picked off quarterback Tom Reisinger.
The Tigers held Mount Carmel’s top rushing duo of John Ayres and Shane Weidner to a combined 51 yards on 20 carries.
Southern will have to defend against the threat of Selinsgrove’s offense this week.
Seals’ quarterback Daniel Shoch logged three touchdowns on 291 yards passing against Jersey Shore last week. The freshman completed nearly 77 percent of his throws.
Receivers Joshua Nyland and Benjamin Swineford each posted 100 yard performances in the Seals’ win over the Bulldogs.
The Tigers not only have the challenge of containing Selinsgrove’s tough aerial attack, but they will need to be mindful of their defense as well. A big matchup will be the Tigers O-line against the Seals defense.
Last week the Seals created three sacks thanks to the efforts of Blaise Zeiders, Miciah Showers and Nicholas Sheaffer.
Southern’s offensive line did not allow a sack on Hollenbach.
“That’s one positive,” Roth added. “They did show the ability to pass block and they picked up blitzing linebackers.”