H.S. FOOTBALL: Southern Columbia defeats Bloom in D-4 semifinal
CATAWISSA RR - For all his 182 yards and five touchdowns, Southern Columbia's Adam Feudale wasn't the happiest guy after the Tigers' 49-14 win over Bloomsburg Friday in the District 4 Class A semifinals.
That's because, despite the final score, the Tigers (11-0) really had a battle on their hands for the first time. Southern led by only a touchdown, 21-14, midway through the third quarter. But then Feudale and the offensive line took over the game.
The Tigers drove 75 yards in 13 plays, with Feudale scoring on a 10-yard run, for a 28-14 lead. Then, after the teams exchanged interceptions, Feudale scored on a 14-yard run on the last play of the third quarter following a 19-yard run by Matt Lupold, and the Tigers led 35-14.
Feudale's fifth touchdown, a 25-yard run with 8:13 remaining, blew the game open.
Southern will play South Williamsport (10-1), a 42-28 winner over previously unbeaten Wellsboro in the other semifinal, in the title game next week in another rematch of an earlier Southern win.
"To be honest with you, I was ticked off," Feudale said when asked how he felt when Bloomsburg (6-5) was within a touchdown. "We beat this team handily before (50-13) and if we play the game we can, we handle them again. But this is the playoffs now. Everybody's going to come to play, and Bloomsburg did. They're too good with their passing game for us to not play with intensity. I was just trying to lead by example."
Southern head coach Jim Roth didn't necessarily think the Tigers lacked intensity, just a little spring in their steps.
"I could just tell the way we
moved," Roth said. "We were kind of slow. I thought you could see it more on the defensive side of the ball. Bloomsburg is a talented team with a great group of skill players and they laid it on the line. Maybe this was good for us. We haven't really been pushed in the regular season and this is maybe one to grow from."
Now, before anyone thinks there are too many chinks in Southern's armor, we should remember that Southern ran for 405 yards, had 509 total yards, 80 offensive snaps and 29 first downs.
The Tigers also had eight penalties for 110 yards, including several personal fouls (including one that looked like a bad call), two interceptions and four fumbles, one lost, the latter all in the first half.
"I don't remember the last time we put the ball on the floor that many times," Roth said.
A fumble recovery by Colby Klingerman in the end zone cost Southern a touchdown, and a personal foul penalty for roughing the passer cost Southern's Angelo Forti an interception and set up Bloomsburg's second touchdown, a 27-yard pass from Ricky Klingerman to Colby Klingerman. The two earlier connected on a 34-yarder for a score.
"We had a super effort," said Bloomsburg head coach Mike Kogut. "The kids did everything we asked of them. We wanted to win this game and were proud to be in the playoffs. But in the end, they (Southern) were just too good. They are a great football team, maybe the most balanced I've seen in all my years. We tried to take away the run and make them beat us with the pass, and they did."
Well, kind of.
Southern's first touchdown, a one-yard plunge by Feudale, topped a 19-play, 69-yard drive. The biggest play was a 26-yard pass from Nick Becker to Luke Rarig. Those two later connected on a 35-yarder on the drive before Nate Hunter fumbled into the end zone.
Hunter got redemption with a four-yard touchdown, set up by a 27-yard Becker-Rarig pass.
But quarterback Klingerman (14-34, 168 yards) used his short passing to Zach Ashford (8 receptions, 59 yards) to set up Colby Klingerman (5-101) deep. Their first touchdown cut the lead to 14-7 with 3:10 left in the half, but Feudale scored on a 40-yard run with 29 seconds left to give Southern some comfort level again.
Bloomsburg 0 7 7 0 - 14
Southern 7 14 14 14 - 49