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December 9-11 2021 Scoreboard
 
 

Tigers Too Much For Eagles

Written by: on Sunday, November 7th, 2021

 

Southern starts postseason strong against Line Mtn

After starting the season 0-7, Line Mountain’s reward for winning their final two regular season games was a District 4 Class 2A opening round matchup against four-time defending PIAA champion Southern Columbia — certainly not the most fun consolation any program would hope for.

The Tigers showed the Eagles from the start why they have more state titles than any other program in the Keystone State’s history. Other than a long pass play early on that the Eagles were able to execute on by getting behind the Tiger secondary, Southern had its way in a 62-14 win.

“The goal coming in was to play with intensity and execute early on. We didn’t want the guys to come in without focus knowing that the opponent didn’t have a very strong regular season. I give Line Mountain credit because they were willing to come here and play after a couple of other teams dropped out of the postseason,” said Southern head coach Jim Roth who remarkably has now racked up his 35th double-digit winning season in his 38th year as the Tigers leader.

For the third game in a row for the first time all season, the Tigers played with a healthy three-headed monster backfield. The explosive trio consisting of senior Gavin Garcia, junior Braeden Wisloski, and junior Wes Barnes combine for 327 yards and five rushing touchdowns on 22 carries.

The first touchdown of the evening came via the air, however. Senior Jake Rose ran a short out pattern and caught sophomore Blake Wise’s pass for an 18-yard touchdown.

The Eagles answered back just seconds later to tie things up at 7-7. Senior receiver Aidan Herb got behind a Tiger cornerback that was in coverage and raced 78 yards to the end zone on a post pattern toss from freshman Blake Readinger.

On the ensuing kickoff, Barnes returned it all the way down to the Line Mountain 13 and Wisloski scored on the very next play to give Southern the lead for good. It was the game’s third touchdown in just a 45-second span.

“I just got it and tried to do what I could with it. I have been pushing through with my ankle still bothering me, but I know I still have to fight through for hopefully the next five weeks,” said Barnes.

Southern wasn’t done in the first quarter. With 6:15 left, Garcia busted off a 64-yard run to make the score 21-7. It was the third straight offensive play that the Tigers scored a touchdown on. Just 21 seconds later, Garcia made an impact on the other side of the ball by picking off Readinger and returning it 39 yards to the end zone.

“I love being able to play defense. I have been annoying the coaches for the last three seasons to play on defense, so I am happy that they have given me the opportunity to do so,” Garcia said. “Being able to contribute on both sides of the ball makes you feel like you are playing a full game because most of the second half of games I was always used to getting a few carries and then we were always up big and watching from the sidelines.”

On the next two defensive plays, Southern nearly had another pick six. Both Garcia and sophomore Dom Fetterolf got their paws on the ball, but couldn’t corral it in. No harm was done because Line Mountain turned the ball over on downs, and on the second offensive play Wisloski showed off his speed by blowing past the Eagle defense from 34 yards out.

In the second quarter, the Tigers added to their lead and put the game into the Mercy Rule, 49-7, at the break. Barnes and Garcia each scored on short runs as the offense kept the ball on the ground for the whole quarter despite not having their starting left tackle Carson Savitski who was in street clothes with an ankle injury.

“It’s extremely important that the line continues to execute no matter how good our backs are. They aren’t going to be able to do much if we don’t do our job up front,” said right tackle Chris Treshock. “It sucks not having Carson, but we just need people to step up and do a good enough job.”

Line Mountain ends their season with a record of 2-8 but will have the majority of their team back. The Eagles only got into the postseason because both Central Columbia and Northwest opted to not play in the playoffs.

“Honestly, I just wanted to see us play aggressively for 48 minutes. I didn’t want the guys to back down and become timid. I was happy the way the guys gave effort but that (Southern Columbia) is a beast of a program,” Line Mountain head coach Brandon Carson said. “At times I thought we were in position on defense, but sometimes there isn’t anything you can do. All three of their backs can cut on the dime, are able to accelerate, and can break tackles all over the field.”

Next Saturday, the Tigers (10-1) will be on their home turf again to take on South Williamsport. The Mounties defeated Wellsboro earlier in the day 36-7 to set up the semifinal meeting. Kickoff at Tiger Stadium is slated for 7:00.

“I was happy that we were able to throw a few times early on in this game to show teams that we are capable of going to the air. Just with the way the game went on, we were up by a significant amount to where you aren’t going to throw the ball. All three of our backs seem to be healthy now, and Braeden Wisloski really looked good with the way he was able to cut considering the injury he suffered in the regular season,” said Roth.

Southern Columbia 62, Line Mountain 14

Line Mtn (2-8): 7-0-7-0 — 14

Southern (10-1): 35-14-0-13 — 62

First quarter

SC — Jake Rose 18 pass from Blake Wise (Isaac Carter kick) – 10:33

LM — Aidan Herb 78 pass Blake Readinger (Brayden Boyer kick) – 10:11

SC — Braeden Wisloski 13 run (Carter kick) – 9:48

SC — Gavin Garcia 64 run (Carter kick) – 6:15

SC — Gavin Garcia 39 interception return (Carter kick) – 5:54

SC — Wisloski 34 run (Carter kick) – 3:23

Second quarter

SC — Wes Barnes 1 run (Carter kick) – 7:41

SC —Garcia 3 run (Isaac Carter kick) – 2:23

Third quarter

LM — Beau Keim 1 run (Boyer kick) – 6:52

Fourth quarter

SC — Matt Masala 5 run (Carter kick) – 11:04

SC — Louden Murphy 1 run (no attempt) – 5:10

Line Mtn  –  Southern

First downs: 9 –  24

Rushing-yds: 23-75  –  37-429

Passing: 9-18-2  –  2-3-0

Passing yds: 191  –  38

Total yds: 266  –  467

Fumbles-lost: 2-0  –  1-0

Penalties: 2-20  –  13-101

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Southern: Gavin Garcia 7-142, 2 TD’s; Braeden Wisloski 7-120, 2 TD’s; Wes Barnes 8-65, TD; Matt Masala 7-57, TD; Louden Murphy 5-28, TD; Trevor Yorks 3-17. Line Mountain: Blake Readinger 3-61; Nolan Baumert 10-37; Beau Keim 4-7.

PASSING — Southern: Blake Wise 2-3-0, 38 yds, TD. Line Mountain: Blake Readinger 9-18-2, 191 yds, TD.

RECEIVING — Southern: Jake Rose 2-38, TD.Line Mountain: Aiden Herb 1-78, TD; Brayden Boyer 3-66; Micah Sgrignoli 1-22; Nolan Baumert 3-13; Jace Hackenburg 1-12.

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