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Family And Friendly Ties In Tiger Victory

Tagged under: District 4, Gameday Hub, News

| September 8, 2023

SoCo Army Stands Strong

It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that Southern Columbia is the epitome of success in Pennsylvania high school football.

Ironically, the two opposing coaches that know that the best are Shamokin Area’s previous and current head coaches.

Legendary former Tiger bruiser Henry Hynoski, who went on to start for the New York Giants as a fullback in his rookie NFL season during their Super Bowl XLVI championship over the New England Patriots, was the head coach of the Indians up until this year for a handful of seasons.

He resigned in the summer after accepting the high school principal position at his alma mater. After a halftime interview with the Black Diamond Sports Network last Friday, Hynoski confidently stated that home is where he wants to retire and that means he has no intention of leaving Tiger Territory.

“I can’t thank Shamokin enough for giving me the opportunity to be an administrator at their school and the head football coach. My heart is now back home at Southern. I plan to spend the rest of my life here where I was raised, but other than when Shamokin plays us, I am rooting for them in every other game that they play,” Hynoski said.

Taking over the reins at Shamokin this season is Marc Persing who was an assistant on Hynoski’s staff.

The Shamokin alum was the starting quarterback back in 2005 when the Indians pulled off an overtime upset at Southern.

Since then, the Indians don’t have many positive memories when taking on a rival that is separated by less than 15 miles.

The Tigers have won the last 16 meetings, including Friday’s 41-0 shutout, and the Indians haven’t scored a single point in the last four matchups.

Southern has outscored Shamokin, who has decided to pull the Tigers off their schedule moving forward, 192-0 the last four times that they played.

“Our goal is to improve each week. Right now, our defense as expected is further ahead than our offense. I get that we have scored a lot of points against Berwick (50) and now Shamokin (41), but we need to execute at a higher rate moving forward on that side of the ball,” said SCA head coach Jim Roth.

As Persing walked off the turf at Tiger Stadium in week two, one of his first greeters was his son Landon who had on his black and gold jersey because the family lives in Southern’s district.

“Southern’s program I have closely been following since my family became part of them. At Lewisburg as a younger and less experienced head coach, I went up against my nephews Gaige and Gavin Garcia. Now being at Shamokin I got to coach against the third of four brothers in Garrett,” Persing said. “We live in Southern’s district, and my son was a water boy on the opposite sidelines. He loves Southern and wants to be a Tiger. I have supported them the past few seasons during their playoff run following my family.”

Although he has never beaten SCA as a coach, Persing seems to come up with a game plan that gives the 13x PIAA champions fits in their run game despite the lopsided results.

Adding to the connections between the schools, Roth’s grandkids are close friends with Persing’s son.

“Shamokin came in with a pretty good defensive scheme as far as what they were doing. They had some alignments and movements that we weren’t handling really well. In the first half our scores came off an early long touchdown run, and two big pass plays with one resulting in a touchdown and the other one setting one up,” said Roth. “As far as the connections, we definitely enjoy having Persing’s son on the sidelines. Marc has helped as a coach in our youth program, so he is familiar with what we do as he has supported his family (The Garcia’s) when he has the chance to.”

The dominant defensive performance for Southern was a perfect connection to the uniforms they were wearing on the field.

In honor of Labor Day Weekend, the Tigers donned camo jerseys for a night they referred to as their Military Appreciation Game. It was fitting as the defense protected on the field with the shutout just like all branches of the USA military strive for each day in uniform.

On offense, Louden Murphy led the way with three touchdowns, two on the ground and one through the air. The senior accounted for 155 of the Tigers 462 yards of offense.

The Tigers scored twice early on, with Murphy scoring just a tad over a minute into the game on a 67-yard jaunt, and he caught a pass from Blake Wise on the final play of the first half to give SCA a 21-0 advantage over the Indians. Garcia scored from three yards out in between Murphy’s touchdowns.

“It is nice to get those early points on the board because after we went up 14-0 our offense was stagnant until the final play of the half. Who knows, if not for those two touchdowns in the first quarter we might have been in a position where we had to score on that final drive of the half to have the lead,” said Murphy.

Garcia, who is the nephew of Persing, scored the first touchdown of the second half after finding pay dirt in the first quarter and then Murphy and Brayden Andrews added scores on the ground to give the Tigers a commanding 41-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Shamokin (0-2) will take on Mifflinburg on Friday to try and get Persing his first win as the head coach of his alma mater.

Southern (2-0) will have its hands full as they take on another unbeaten squad on the road. That being a Loyalsock team that has speed and athleticism throughout the lineup.

Last year, the Lancers gashed the Tiger defense in a shocking 27-10 victory.

“We want to prove that we are the best defense in the state. Our offense needs to continue to improve, and if each player does what they need to in all three phases of the game, we are going to be tough to beat,” said SCA defensive end Colden Bloom. “Our pass defense is going to be key because they like to throw the ball around the field.”

Southern Columbia 41, Shamokin Area 0

Shamokin — Southern

First Downs: 7 — 17

Rushes-yds: 26-67 — 37-326

Passing yds: 91 — 136

Total yds: 158 — 462

Passing (C-A-I): 7-18-1 — 4-8-0

Penalties: 4-45 — 7-51

Fumbles-lost: 2-0 — 0-0

Shamokin (0-2): 0-0-0-0 — 0

Southern (2-0): 14-7-20-0 — 41


1st Quarter

SC – Louden Murphy 67 run (Isaac Carter kick), 10:54.

SC – Garrett Garcia 3 run (Carter kick), 3:40.

2nd Quarter

SC – Murphy 44 pass from Blake Wise (Carter kick), 0:00.

3rd Quarter

SC – Garcia 4 run (Carter kick), 6:04.

SC – Murphy 7 run (Carter kick), 2:33.

SC – Brayden Andrews 51 run (kick blocked), 0:06.

4th Quarter



RUSHING — Southern: Louden Murphy 9-111, 2 TDs; Garrett Garcia 14-79; 2 TDs; Carter Madden 9-56; Brayden Andrews 1-51, TD; Joey Williams 1-23; Jack Biermaas 1-6; Nathan Gallagher 2-0.

Shamokin: Ryan Bickert 3-36; Jayce Ginck 7-21; Bridgeton Delvalle 5-11; Za’Kem Clinton 2-6; Logan Steele 1-6; Zaire Baxter 1-6; Chase Pensyl 2-2; Brandon Haupt 1-1; Kegan Gallagher 1-(-3); Brad Latsha 1-(-4); Team 2-(-15).

PASSING — Southern: Blake Wise 4-8-0, 136 yds, TD.

Shamokin: Brad Latsha 7-18-1, 91 yds.

RECEIVING — Southern: Jake Hoy 1-50; Louden Murphy 1-44, TD; Jace Malakoski 1-33; Garrett Garcia 1-9.

Shamokin: Chase Pensyl 3-70; Ben Delbaugh 3-19; Rylan Price 1-2.

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