Indians tumble at Trimble
Southern (10-1) went down 20-6 with 7:21 left in the game after a Cam Kittle 40-yard touchdown run and looked like it could be out of chances.
The Indians countered with a quick and efficient drive, ending with a thrilling Jayce Sloan 10-yard touchdown pass to Josh Pratt on fourth down. The two-point conversion was tacked on to make it 20-14 with 3:52 left in the game.
Southern needed a stop, but the quarterback Kittle struck again with a 35-yard touchdown run on third down for the final score of the game with 2:16 left on the clock.
Kittle led the way with 10 carries for 73 yards and three touchdowns as well as 105 yards passing with a touchdown. On defense, he had an interception late in the fourth quarter.
Trimble (11-0) advances to meet Springfield Local at 7 p.m. next Friday at a site to be determined on Sunday. Springfield beat Western Reserve 34-7 on Friday in another Region 21 game.
Southern, which had its lowest point total since the 2016 season finale against Wellsville where it was shutout 42-0, was also turned back at the start of the fourth quarter down 13-6. Faced with 3rd and 6 from the Tomcat 8, Southern was hit with a holding penalty, a sack and a delay of game in quick order. Sawyer Koons recovered his second fumble of the game to end the Indian threat.
Trimble is no stranger to the playoffs. The Tomcats were a Div. VII finalist a season ago and now have won a playoff game in eight straight seasons. Southern is winless in three playoff tries.
The opening drive of the game ended with Southern fumbling on fourth down and Trimble’s Koons recovering on the Indian 44.
The Tomcats got things going with a 44-yard touchdown drive capped by a Kittle 1-yard run with 7:09 left in the first quarter. Earlier in the drive Little hit Tabor Lackey on a 33-yard pass play to set up the score.
Southern got its feet under it and countered with a 73-yard scoring drive topped off by a Jayce Sloan 3-yard run. The two-point conversion failed and the Indians were down 7-6 with 7:09 left in the first quarter. It was the second touchdown Trimble had given up all season.
The Indians’ defense carried over the momentum and forced the Tomcats to punt for the fourth time this season on the next drive. The Indians drove deep into Tomcat territory but an incomplete pass on fourth and goal from the 5 wiped out the scoring chance.
Trimble shifted gears near the end of the second quarter as Kittle hit Blake Guffey on a 36-yard touchdown pass on 4th and 23 with 54 seconds left in the half. The extra point was missed and the home team went into the half up 13-6. Guffey also had a 35-yard catch on 3rd and 17 earlier in the drive.
Southern outgained Trimble 364-276, but had 145 yards in penalties.
Dylan Milhoan led the Indians’ offensive attack with 16 carries for 119 yards.
SOUTHERN: 6-0-0-8 — 14
TRIMBLE: 7-6-0-13 — 26
T — Cameron Kittle 1 run (Blake Guffey kick), 9:16, 1st
S — Jayce Sloan 3 run (run failed), 7:09, 1st
T — Blake Guffey 36 pass from Cameron Kittle (kick failed), 54.4, 2nd
T — Cameron Kittle 40 run (Blake Guffey kick), 7:21, 4th
S — Josh Pratt, 10 pass from Cam Grodhaus (Dylan Milhoan run), 3:52, 4th
T — Cameron Kittle, 35 run (run failed), 2:16, 4th
First downs 18 13
Rushing 52-244 30-171
Passing yards 120 105
Total yards 364 276
Passing (cmp-att-int) 8-15-1 4-8-0
Fumbles-lost 5-2 0-0
Penalties 14-145 3-25
Punts (Avg.) 1-32 3-32.3
SOUTHERN — Dylan Milhoan 16-119, Cam Grodhaus 8-78, Mark Soukup 8-38, Jayce Sloan 18-23 TD, Hunter Morris 1-4, TEAM 1-(-18); TRIMBLE — Cameron Kittle 10-73 3 TDs, Conner Wright 15-70, Bryce Downs 3-29, Todd Fouts 1-1, TEAM 1-(-2)
SOUTHERN — Jayce Sloan 7-14-1-110, Cam Grodhaus 1-1-0-10 TD; TRIMBLE — Cameron Kittle 4-8-0-105 TD
SOUTHERN — Bradley Sloan 1-47, Latrell Crute 2-31, Cam Grodhaus 1-24, Josh Pratt 1-10 TD, Mark Soukup 3-9; TRIMBLE — Blake Guffey 2-71 TD, Tabor Lackey 1-33, Bryce Downs 1-1