HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL Southern Columbia tops Montgomery
MONTGOMERY - Southern Columbia was able to do what it wanted, when it wanted Friday.
That didn't come as any surprise against Montgomery, which had just 23 players dressed, nor was the 58-6 final a shocker.
Still, watching the way the Tigers went about their business in the first half, you'd have thought they were fighting for their season.
"Sometimes you have to look at what you're doing and improve in some areas and not looking at much at your opponent," Southern Columbia head coach Jim Roth said. "It was a matter of coming out and taking care of business and show improvement."
Southern Columbia scored on all but two of its first half possessions - one a fumble deep in Montgomery territory and the other a knee at the end of the half with the score already 40-0.
To get there, the Tigers started by giving the passing game some work.
After Blake Marks intercepted Montgomery quarterback Zach Shadle, the Tigers started at the Red Raiders' nine.
After Southern's sophomore quarterback Nick Becker missed on his first two pass attempts, Marks ran the ball in for a nine-yard score on third down.
Becker settled in nicely after that and didn't miss another pass all night.
He started the next drive with a six-yard completion to Zach Tillett, then a 23-yard pass to Marks, and found Tillett again but Tillett was stripped and the Tigers' lost possession.
The defense forced a three-and-out, one of four and put the offense back on the field.
Overall, the Tigers' defense swarmed to the ball and pushed the Red Raiders' line around on the way to a negative-17 yard effort from Montgomery. They held Zach Shadle to zero completions, and came up with two fumble recoveries for the game.
"The way we came out and executed on both sides of the ball," Roth said. "We were looking at some areas that we thought we didn't play really strong against Pius, and that was our focus coming in against a team like this that's struggling."
The Tigers offense far from struggled and scored on its next five possessions.
Adam Feudale, who carried just four times for 27 yards, had a three-yard scoring plunge.
Becker completed 12-yard touchdown passes to Nate Hunter and Luke Rarig on successive drives and finished 8-of-10 for 159 through the air.
"It was a matter of working the passing game," Roth said. "We figured the game might get out of hand, which it did, and obviously once the game is in hand you don't want to be throwing at that point. It was about getting some work in."
The next two Tigers' scores came on the ground. Hunter scored from eight yards out and Blake Marks from 49 yards.
"I would say the thing I was most pleased in was the execution of our backs," Roth said. "All of our backs look good."
Second-half highlights included Billy Marzeski's four-yard score for Southern, Brad Noll's 95-yard touchdown gallop and Steve Toczylousky's 50-yard interception return for a touchdown.
S. Columbia 26 14 18 0 - 58
Montgomery 0 0 0 0 - 6