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Written by: Dave Fegley on Saturday, September 4th, 2021
SCA wins at Bloomsburg
It’s not often that the winning coach seems less impressed than the losing coach in a 41-0 game. Then again, Pennsylvania has never seen a football program win 90-straitght regular season games.
Southern Columbia went to Bloomsburg, and the Tigers defense led the way in shutting out the Panthers as Gavin Garcia gave the fans another play that looked more like a video game than real life as the senior has now scored six times in four different varieties during the young season.
Jim Roth won his 40th game against Bloomsburg, the most of any opponent in his record 458 in total, and the SCA coach spoke highly of his defense.
“We only had a couple of guys as returning starters defensively coming in to this year, but the defense has been our biggest strength so far. I am very happy with how they have looked through two weeks,” Roth said.
After last week, it appeared that the dynamic halfback duo of Garcia and Braeden Wisloski could miss time with injuries, but they both were cleared to play after receiving positive medical examinations.
“I was definitely relieved that I didn’t have a serious injury,” said Wisloski. “I was just super excited to come out and get on the field and get another dub.”
Garcia returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown (86 yards). His partner in crime made the score 14-0 when Wisloski outraced the defense 46 yards with his track speed. Then, after another three and out, which SoCo’s defense made on every first half Bloomsburg drive, Garcia scored the game’s third touchdown from a yard out.
One of the leaders of the defense has been Gavin’s younger brother Garrett, which isn’t a surprise as the sophomore led the Tigers in tackles last season, as he recorded double-digit stops for the second straight week.
The only surprise for the younger Garcia was seeing his role increase on the other side of the ball. In fact, he led the Tigers in receiving yards which included a 38-yard grab on a 3rd and 17 for his first career catch.
“I was happy to get a chance to get some snaps on offense. It was a pretty cool experience to get the ball thrown to me. When the play came in, I knew I was getting the ball,” said Garrett Garcia.
A bigger surprise was how that drive ended. Although it didn’t result in points, Southern attempted a field goal for the first time since 2017. Four years without having to try for three points is indicative of just how dominant the four-time defending PIAA Class 2A champions have been.
After another three out and just before the half, the Tigers were able to score for a fourth time. With two seconds remaining, Liam Klebon hit Jake Rose on a 22-yard fade as the senior pair made the score 28-0 at halftime.
“I thought our guys gave a great effort. (Gavin) Garcia hurt us early with that opening kickoff for a score, but then I felt our guys gave everything that they had. We just took on a team with a lot of outstanding players led by Number 5,” Bloomsburg coach Mike Kogut said.
Number 5, Gavin Garcia, saved his best display for his last touch of the game which came via a punt return with 3:42 left in the third quarter.
After breaking eight tackles on his way to the end zone last week on a punt return, the reigning 2A Player of the Year fought off nine tackle attempts in this one. Doing his typical rendition of something seen on PlayStation or Xbox, Garcia went 58 yards across the goal line.
In the fourth quarter, Trevor Yorks put the game into the Mercy Rule on an 11-yard scoot. Heading into week three, the Tigers have outscored their first two Columbia County opponents 84-0.
Although the Tigers haven’t been tested yet, they feel they can still improve heading into a battle of unbeatens next week when they host Loyalsock.
“I think this was a good learning experience for our team. After the opening kick return, I think a lot of our guys just thought this was going to be a pushover game and then quickly we had some key mistakes. I think we just need to learn that we need to play disciplined football and we have to minimize our mistakes,” said Gavin Garcia.
Southern is now just five wins away from breaking the state record for most consecutive wins overall. Clairton set the current mark at 66 games back in 2013.
“Give credit to Bloomsburg for not giving up after that opening kickoff. They made us earn it and we didn’t put it away until late in the first half. As the game wore on, I think our talent started to show, but they gave us a fight early on,” said Roth about the Panthers who travel to Central Mountain next Friday night.
Southern Columbia 41, Bloomsburg 0
SCA — BLM
First downs: 16 — 3
Rushes-yards: 32-241 — 30-79
Passing yards: 110 — 3
Total yards: 351 — 82
Passing (C-A-I): 6-9-0 — 1-10-1
Penalties: 4-30 — 7-52
Fumbles/lost: 4-3 — 2-1
SOUTHERN (2-0): 7-21-6-7 — 41
BERWICK (0-2): 0-0-0-0 — 0
S — Gavin Garcia 86 kick return (Isaac Carter kick), 11:50
S — Braeden Wisloski 46 run (Carter kick), 9:10
S — Garcia 1 run (Carter kick), 3:11
S — Jake Rose 22 pass from Liam Klebon (Carter kick), 0:02
S — Garcia 58 punt return (kick blocked), 3:42
S — Trevor Yorks 11 run (Carter kick), 9:10
RUSHING: SOUTHERN — Gavin Garcia 10-77, TD; Braeden Wisloski 3-56, TD; Wes Barnes 5-45; Trevor Yorks 4-30, TD; Louden Murphy 2-19; Matt Masala 2-5; Logan Fosse 1-4; Carter Madden 2-3; Blake Wise 3-2. BLOOMSBURG — Nick Wharton 3-44; Madden Locke 4-15; Brady Horan 4-13; Damon Rasmussen 11-11; Blake Zeisloft 3-3; Dan Guzevich 1-(-4); Liam Zentner 4-(-3).
PASSING: SOUTHERN — Liam Klebon 5-8-0, 103 yds, TD; Blake Wise 1-1-0, 7 yds. BLOOMSBURG — Liam Zentner 1-9-1, 3 yds; Michael Widom 0-1-1.
RECEIVING: SOUTHERN — Garrett Garcia 2-41; Wes Barnes 1-39; Jake Rose 2-29, TD; Braeden Wisloski 1-1. BLOOMSBURG — Madden Locke 1-3.
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