GLOUSTER, Ohio — Unfortunately for the Tornadoes, the Tomcats wanted to wrap up their league title with authority.
The Southern football team fell to Tri-Valley Conference Hocking Division host Trimble by a 76-0 tally on Friday in Athens County, giving the Tomcats at least a share of their second consecutive league championship.
Southern (5-4, 4-3 TVC Hocking) was outgained 482-to-73 in total offense in the game, with the Tomcats (9-0, 7-0) earning a 359-to-59 advantage on the ground.
Trimble — ranked No. 3 in the Division VI AP Poll — found the end zone five times in the opening quarter and converted on four of the five point-after kicks.
Conner Wright began the scoring with touchdown runs of 12 yards and 72 yards. Cameron Kittle got in the mix with an 11-yard touchdown run, before a six-yard scoring run from Wright. A 30-yard touchdown pass from Kittle to Bryce Downs concluded the first quarter scoring for THS, but the hosts found the end zone three more times in the second.
Kittle began the second quarter with a 64-yard touchdown pass to Blake Guffey. After a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by Wright, Kittle gave the hosts a 55-0 halftime lead with a 67-yard touchdown run.
Wright scored for the fifth time with a 64-yard run in the third quarter, and then Ronald Maffin found the end zone with a six-yard run. The two-point conversion gave THS a 70-0 lead headed into the finale.
Trimble capped off the 76-0 win with a 66-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Tabor Lackey, and then took a knee on the conversion attempt.
The Tornado ground attack was led by Jonah Diddle with 30 yards on five carries. Josh Stansberry carried the ball eight times for a total of 18 yards in the setback.
Gage Shuler — who was 2-of-6 passing for nine yards — carried the ball six times for a total of 15 yards, and caught one four-yard pass. Andy Doczi completed 2-of-5 pass attempts for a total of five yards, while Chase Bailey, Will Wickline and Trey McNickle caught a pass apiece for 10, one, and minus-1 yards respectively.
McNickle — Southern’s leading rusher for the season, who entered play with four consecutive 100-yard rushing performances — was held to minus-4 yards on eight carries.
For Trimble, Wright had 231 yards on seven carries, Guffey hauled in three passes for 81 yards, while Kittle — who was 5-of-6 passing for 123 yards — carried the ball five times for a total of 111.
Next, Southern will be on Roger Lee Adams Memorial Field for the final time this fall, as they host Eastern on Saturday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.