After Southern dominated Bloomsburg in the season opener, the team will now gear up for the Mount Carmel Area Red Tornadoes.
The Tigers began their title defense by beating Bloomsburg 56-6 as quarterback Stone Hollenbach threw for 173 yards and two scores.
A topic of discussion heading into week two has to be Southern’s running attack.
The defending champs ran for 301 yards in week one and, after witnessing how Mount Carmel controlled the clock in its opener, it will be important for Southern to keep the ball as much as possible.
Southern head coach Jim Roth recognized the performance from his offensive line. The coach said they had three new players and that the group did a “good job executing.”
Roth thought his O-line gave enough running room for his backs and were successful in pass protection.
Receiver Julian Fleming caught five passes for 107 yards, but he may have more of an impact versus Mount Carmel.
A big takeaway was how the Red Tornadoes gave up big plays through the air. Central’s Trae Devlin completed a 77,53, and 44 yard pass in the Silver Bowl versus Mount Carmel’s defense.
If Hollenbach and Fleming connect early and often, there could be another touchdown party for Southern in week two.
The Tigers defense performed at a high level as well.
Southern held Bloomsburg to -31 yards rushing and kept the Panthers out of the end zone in the second half.
Mount Carmel rushed for 237 yards and struggled to makes waves with its passing attack.
If Southern can force the Red Tornadoes to become one dimensional this week, then expect another great outing from the Tigers defense.
It’s one thing to just look at the positives heading into Mount Carmel, but it’s also important to make sure the Tigers come out with a strong showing from their secondary.
Last week, the Tigers gave up several big plays, including 70, 20, and 18-yard pass plays as Bloom’s sophomore quarterback Jack Howell totaled 163 yards in the air.
Mount Carmel signal-caller Tom Reisinger had only 42 yards passing, but the junior didn’t turn the ball over in week one.
Southern can change the game for its benefit and run wild on Friday if able to create takeaways in this matchup.
The Tigers forced two turnovers and sacked the opposition twice in week one.
Roth knows that Mount Carmel is well equipped heading into the week two matchup.
“They have a pretty strong front, experienced group,” Roth said. “Balance will be critical.”
The coach also added that his team will need to “mix it up” in their pursuit to take down the Red Tornadoes.
Southern moved from HAC-II to HAC-III after the conclusion of last season.
Roth pointed out the familiarity with Mount Carmel over the years and said that the two programs used to play each other, while seated in the HAC-II.
The coach added that the matchup is a “big game, local rivalry”.