With Southern dismantling Line Mountain last week, 55-0, one might wonder how the Tigers will provide an encore in their District 4 semifinal game tonight against Troy at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers not only scored with ease in their playoff opener, but they had different players contribute and make big plays.
Southern fullback Ty Roadarmel carried the rock for 89 yards and two touchdowns and running back Gaige Garcia scored four times.
Stone Hollenbach played well in the limited opportunities he had to throw the football versus the Eagles. It was Hollenbach’s second game back after missing about half the season to injury.
The senior quarterback completed 4-of-6 passes for 62 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown strike to Garcia on Southern’s first offensive play of the night.
Southern head coach Jim Roth said that Hollenbach will progress as time goes on even though he is still shaking off some rust.
“He’s played well the whole year. He wasn’t quite as sharp last week because we weren’t able to throw a whole lot. The more he comes off of the injury the more comfortable he’s going to be,” Roth said.
The Tigers defense has not allowed an opponent to score double digit points in five weeks.
Southern will advance to the district championship with a win against a 7-4 Troy team this week. Last week the Trojans knocked off Wellsboro, 38-32, and forced seven turnovers in the process.
The Trojans are averaging close to 18 points per game this season and the squad’s rushing attack has nearly 200 yards on the ground each game (198.5).
Roth knows his team will face a Troy offense that not only runs the ball, but runs with authority.
“They’re a power running team. They have size up front and their backs are physical when they run the ball. They will run the option and their quarterback will run. They’ll run the ball right at you,” Roth said.
Troy’s ground game is led by Bailey Cohick, who has 107 carries for 678 yards and four touchdowns this season.
Power back Tyler Williams has ran the pigskin 85 times for 402 yards and four scores.
Trojans sophomore quarterback Dominick Ayres has completed 69 percent of his throws (58/84) for 612 yards.
Receiver Nick Colton has contributed with 230 yards and a score this season.
Troy’s defense has held opponents to 21 points a contest and approximately 80 yards rushing per game.
Roth and the Tigers are not sure what the Trojans defense will bring their way tonight.
“We’re not sure what we’re going to see. They have a loose 4-3 defense. Linebackers are off the ball. As far as their scheme goes, they have a little bit of a blitz and a little movement. They do different things against teams they’ve played. A lot of the teams they’ve played ran a spread offense. We don’t do that,” Roth added.