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Garcia Hits Two Milestones in Victory

Written by: on Saturday, October 6th, 2018

 

SCA junior reaches Mount “Rush”more

By: Dave Fegley (10-6-18)

Southern Columbia running back Gaige Garcia has now found himself in elite company in the historic Tiger Program. In Friday night’s 62-7 home win over Jersey Shore, the junior became the fourth running back in school history to rush for 5,000 yards in a career. “I knew coming in to the game that I was close to the yardage. Just whatever I can do to help the team win is the goal and making the most out of each run is a big part of the success,” said Garcia. He joins Henry Hynoski (7,165 yds), Jerry Marks (7,075 yds), & Ricco Rosini (6,413 yds) atop the Tigers’ version of Mount Rushmore at a school that has one of the most notable lists in the country.

That wasn’t the only milestone that Garcia reached in his school’s 68th consecutive regular season victory. “The main thing is making the best out of each opportunity that you get. We have a lot of great players on the team that all can score on any play. You just have to go out with the mentality of trying to score each play,” Garcia said. His fourth touchdown of the night was his 100th career touchdown, joining Hynoski and Marks as the third Tiger to ever reach that feat.

The Tigers  came out hot by jumping out to a 20-0 lead after the first quarter against the Bulldogs. The scoring started with a seven yard touchdown run by Gaige’s younger brother Gavin. “It’s crazy to see what guys on this team can do. Gaige can break off any type of run. Julian (Fleming) can score on any play. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of the action,” said Gavin. In the same game that his brother carried the headlines, the freshman had his first career 100-yard rushing game.

Gaige Garcia scored the second touchdown of the game on a four yard carry. For the third touchdown of the opening quarter, junior quarterback Preston Zachman found junior star Julian Fleming for an 18-yard slant that Fleming caught and cruised into the end zone. Zachman then connected with Gavin Garcia on the first play of the second quarter for a 54-yard touchdown extending the lead to 27-0. “Our main concern this year has been consistency on the offensive line. Even though we are undefeated, there have been missed assignments in each game. Tonight we had Seth Pletcher start for his first game of the season at left tackle and we have had other guys rotating at the position previously,” said Tiger coach Jim Roth. “The key has been finding places for the new linemen to have success this year and we are starting to finally find the areas that are our best options.”

Fleming had the highlight play of the game early in the second quarter on a rare 4th down play for the Tigers. He bobbled a snap when he was back to punt and was chased after by the Bulldogs defense. With three defenders trying to pull him down, Fleming completed his first career pass falling backwards as it left his right arm. The recipient of the catch was fullback Ty Roadarmel who turned it into a 19-yard first down. That set up a 36-yard touchdown run for Gaige Garcia with 7:09 left in the half.

The Tigers went into the half leading 34-0, and their defense was once again dominant. “Our defense has definitely been our main strength this year. Obviously there are a lot of weapons for us on offense that get the spotlight, but our run defense has been very solid all season again,” Roth said. The Bulldogs couldn’t muster together any long drives, and a lot of that had to do with the Tigers success in all three levels of the defense.  Lear Quinton batted down three passes in the first half from his defensive end spot, linebacker Cal Haladay wreaked havoc rushing up the middle for two sacks and another forced fumble, and Shane Miller broke up a couple of passes from his cornerback position.

Gaige Garcia carried the ball just three times in the second half, but he scored on two of those carries on runs of 54 yards and his 100th touchdown came on a  25-yard carry. Playing a big part in the running success against Jersey Shore, as mentioned, the Southern offensive line is finally starting to settle down and find their rhythm that they had all of last year. “The last couple of games we are coming together as a group. We are putting an emphasis on each guy driving their man back to open up those holes for our backs to get through,” said SCA center Troy Donlan.

With the Mercy Rule in check leading 48-0 after three quarters, Jersey Shore finally got on the scoreboard with 11:19 left in the game. Junior QB Tanner Lorson, who attempted 31 passes in the game, rushed for a 12-yard touchdown. Gavin Garcia, who got some extra reps with Southern’s backup offensive line, added a 64-yard touchdown run on the ensuing drive. Braden Heim capped off the night with a four yard plunge for the Tigers.

Jersey Shore, who had won their previous two games before facing the state’s No.1 ranked team, will try to get back on the winning track next week as they play host to Lewisburg. Southern Columbia will hit the road and will be heavy favorites against Shikellamy. “It’s important to keep the younger guys focused and motivated. Each game we need to take just as serious as the one before no matter who we play. As leaders the older players try to do that since we have been through it,” said Donlan.

SCA: 20-14-14-14 = 62
JS: 0-0-0-7 = 7

SOUTHERN COLUMBIA (7-0)
Rushing:
Gaige Garcia 12-192, 4 TD’s; Gavin Garcia 6-119, 2 TD’s; Ty Roadarmel 6-41; Preston Zachman 2-36; Braden Heim 4-23, TD; Nate Kearney 1-24; Brandon Gedman 1-17; Ron Zsido 1-5
Passing:
Preston Zachman 7-14-0, 122 yds, 2 TD’s; Julian Fleming 1-1-0, 19 yds
Receiving:
Julian Fleming 6-68, TD; Gavin Garcia 1-54, TD; Ty Roadarmel 1-19
First Downs: 24
Penalties: 6-55

JERSEY SHORE (3-4)
Rushing:
Cam Allison 5-24; Josh Malicky 4-13; Colin Semar 1-10; Owen Anderson 2-9; Tanner Larson 9-(-5) TD; Daw- son Sechrist 5-(-11)
Passing:
Tanner Lorson 11-31-0, 87 yds; Brandon Wheary 1-4-0 14 yds; Koby Peacock 0-1-0
Receiving:
Koby Peacock 8-56; Stanton Westin 2-21; Owen Anderson 1-15; Ryan Kerschner 1-10
First Downs: 9
Penalties: 3-15

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