The Tornadoes (1-2, 1-1 TVC Hocking) held on for the 20-14 victory over visiting Belpre (0-3, 0-1 TVC Hocking) in the league matchup.
For the second straight season, Southern’s first win came against the Golden Eagles. Southern won at Belpre last season by a 16-0 score.
With Danny Ramthun moving over from quarterback to running back and Tristen Wolfe getting his first start under center, the new look Southern offense proved strong in the early portion of the game.
After holding the Golden Eagles to just four plays on their first drive, Southern wasted little time putting points on the board. Five consecutive rushing plays were capped off by a 28 yard touchdown run by Danny Ramthun. Ramthun also added the extra point kick to give Southern the 7-0 lead at the 8:17 mark of the first quarter.
Belpre gained just two yards on its next series, and was once again forced to punt the ball away. Southern’s Devin Dillard blocked the Belpre punt, allowing the Tornadoes to take possession at the Belpre 12 yard line.
On the next play Ramthun broke two tackles on his way to the end zone for the 12 yard touchdown run. The extra point kick failed, giving the Tornadoes the 13-0 lead.
Belpre pieced together a 12 play drive on its next possession, moving the ball from its own 20 yard line to the 30 of the Tornadoes. Belpre’s fourth and 18 pass play was intercepted by Tristen Wolfe inside the 10 yard line to end Belpre’s scoring chance. The Tornadoes could not capitalize on the turnover and was forced to punt just seconds into the second quarter.
After a Belpre punt on its next possession, the Tornadoes began their next drive at their own 17 yard line. After gaining the first down on a pass play from Wolfe to Ramthun, the Tornadoes fumbled a hand-off which Belpre recovered — the first of four fumble recoveries for Belpre in the game.
Neither team capitalized on turnovers in the first half, with Belpre turning the ball over on its next possession. Paul Ramthun intercepted the Todd Packard pass inside the Southern 10 yard line to stop the Golden Eagle scoring opportunity.
Southern took possession with 4:01 remaining in the first half of play. The Tornadoes ran 10 plays, but were unable to put additional points on the board before the half. Southern led 13-0 at the break.
The Tornadoes took the opening kickoff on the second half, and started its drive near midfield. On the second play of the half, the Tornadoes fumbled a hand-off, with Belpre’s Jaime Barrett recovering the ball.
Belpre took just three plays to put the ball in the end zone. Nate Teeters ran in from three yards out to put Belpre on the board. Adrienne Blair added the extra point kick to make the score 13-7.
Just like it’s previous possession, Southern fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Barrett.
Belpre took possession of the ball at its own 44 yard line and quickly moved the ball deep inside Southern territory. The Golden Eagles had first and 10 at the Southern 11, but the Tornadoes defense held Belpre to a combined seven yards on the next four plays to keep them out of the end zone.
The Golden Eagles next drive lasted more than five minutes, but the Southern defense once again kept them out of the end zone. The Tornadoes took possession of the ball at its own 15 yard line with 8:55 remaining in the contest. On the second play of the drive, was intercepted by Belpre’s Manny Tullius to set up a second Belpre touchdown.
Tullis returned the interception to the one yard line and — after a five yard penalty — Teeters ran the ball in for the game tying touchdown. The extra point kick by Blair gave Belpre its first lead of the contest, 14-13.
The Southern offense refused to go away quietly, with Danny Ramthun taking control of the next drive. Three consecutive plays with Wolfe handing off to Ramthun moved the Tornadoes to within the 20 yard line of the Golden Eagles. A nine yard gain by Tyler Barton gave the Tornadoes first and goal at the 10. Three plays later Wolfe found Ramthun in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. Ramthun’s kick was good, giving Southern a 20-14 advantage with just over four minutes remaining.
Belpre appeared to be headed for the endzone once again, before the Golden Eagle pass was intercepted by Dillard.
Southern ran four plays to run out the clock and secure the victory.
Danny Ramthun led the Purple and Gold offensively in the game with 169 yard on the ground and 38 yards receiving. Ramthun was also part of all 20 points scored in the contest with a pair of rushing touchdowns, a receiving touchdown and two extra point kicks.
The Tornadoes will travel to Federal Hocking on Friday for a TVC Hocking game.