Forced Turnovers Lead Tigers To Victory



Written by: Dave Fegley on Sunday, November 13th, 2022


Southern beat Troy 48-12 in D4 Class 2A semifinal

Southern Columbia knew what it had to do on Saturday afternoon in order to keep their season alive, and the Tigers (9-3) executed their game plan masterfully.

After a scoreless first quarter, the five-time defending PIAA Class 2A Champions dominated the second quarter. SCA built a 27-0 lead at the break and went on to win over Troy (9-3) by a convincing margin 48-12 after making the trip two hours north to Bradford County.

“When you look at what Troy was able to do this year, they have been a very good football team. It’s a blue-collar team with a good front on both sides of the ball with an aggressive style. For us to come in and execute on both sides of the ball on the line is huge at this point in the season,” said Southern head coach Jim Roth.

After returning from a six-week elbow injury last week and scoring on a long touchdown run on the first play of the game, Tiger senior Wes Barnes returned on defense yesterday.

The captain made an impact on both sides of the ball as he rushed for a game-high 136 yards and three touchdowns while also returning an interception for a fourth score and record a fourth down stop to end a Trojan drive in the first quarter.

“I came back to play with my guys for this one last ride. When I came back from the injury, I wanted to go back to playing both ways to try and make an impact in whatever way that I can,” said Barnes.

After Braeden Wisloski scored the opening touchdown of the day on an eight-yard run less than a minute into the second quarter, Barnes scored just 26 seconds later off a turnover.

Isaac Carter, who has been the team’s kicker for three seasons, got the opportunity to play on the defensive line last week and the junior soccer player has looked like a natural after switching from the pitch to the gridiron.

On the first defensive play after Wisloski’s score, Carter recovered a fumble setting up the 29-yard jaunt by Barnes.

“At defensive end, I am getting more comfortable coming off the ball. They ran that option formation as they try to read what the defense gives them. I was glad to be in the right place at the right time to recover the fumble,” Carter said.

Carter would also recover a fumble in the third quarter which led to a four-yard TD run by Wisloski to put the game into the Mercy Rule at 41-0.

The touchdown prior, Barnes recorded a pick six that he took to pay dirt from 26 yards out after making the interception with a one-handed grab.

“They ran a backside screen a few times that we saw on film, so playing at outside linebacker I knew that coming in. When he lofted it, I just stepped in front of it and took it back for the touchdown,” said Barnes.

The final touchdown of the game also came on defense. Starting tight end Ryan Kerstetter worked in with the second unit at linebacker, and the senior picked off a pass and took it 58 yards for a touchdown.

“I got in on defense a little bit, and they were running most of their plays to the other side of the field. I just knew I had to stay in position, and I had a good read on the throw. It was amazing seeing my teammates come up to congratulate me after I scored. That’s something I will always remember after we took care of business up front blocking on offense,” Kerstetter said.

Southern’s defense forced seven turnovers in the victory over the Trojans. The lone negative for the Tigers was a brawl that started with a late hit by a Troy defensive back, and two-way starter Louden Murphy retaliated.

The officials threw both Murphy and Justice Chimics, who had a late hit on Wisloski before appearing to kick him while he was on the ground, out of the game.

Murphy, who rotates at halfback with Carter Madden who was injured early on in the game, will now be out for the District 4 final at Mount Carmel Area. The Tigers will also need to fill in his void at safety

“There’s no question that our team is stronger now than we were a month ago. Unfortunately, we will be without Louden next week after he retaliated to Braeden Wisloski being cheap-shotted. The rule is the rule, but I do think the extra game suspension in the case of what happened is a bit overboard,”. said Roth. “As much as you hate to see it, anybody that saw first-hand would understand why Louden was so upset after seeing his teammate get whacked after the play. That’s a time though where you can’t react because the second guy almost always gets caught.”

The top-seeded Red Tornadoes come in undefeated as they will host the gold medal game at the Silver Bowl but when they beat the Tigers 35-21, Barnes was in street clothes.

“I wasn’t able to play against them the first time around, so I am definitely motivated heading into next week’s championship. I think the way that we have been playing, we are entering this game with a lot of confidence,” said Barnes.

Southern 48, Troy 12

S — T

First Downs: 13 — 9

Rushes-yds: 39-271 — 34-153

Passing yds: 18 — 127

Total yds: 289 — 280

Passing (C-A-I): 2-6-1 — 7-11-3

Penalties: 9-70 — 6-46

Fumbles-lost: 1-1 — 4-4

SCA (9-3) 0-27-14-7 — 48

TROY (9-3) 0-0-6-6 — 12


First Quarter:


Second Quarter:

S — Braeden Wisloski 8 run (Isaac Carter kick), 11:05.

S — Wes Barnes 29 run (Carter kick), 10:39.

S — Barnes 6 run (Carter kick), 1:31.

S — Barnes 5 run (kick blocked), 0:12.

Third Quarter:

S — Barnes 26 interception return (Carter kick), 11:02.

S — Wisloski 4 run (Carter kick), 9:38.

T — Clayton Smith 67 run (two-point failed), 9:09.

Fourth Quarter:

S — Ryan Kerstetter 58 interception return (Carter kick), 6:49.

T — Lincoln Chimics 33 pass from Joseph Frye (kick blocked), 3:14.



Southern: Wes Barnes 12-136, 3 TD’s; Braeden Wisloski 14-96, 2 TD’s; Louden Murphy 4-17; Tyler Arnold 1-7; Anthony Martino 1-7; Jack Beirmaas 1-5; Blake Wise 1-4; CJ Swank-Dworchak 2-3; Brayden Andrews 2-2; Brady Arnold 1-(-6).

Troy: Clayton Smith 16-92, TD; Evan Woodward 9-27; Kael Millard 3-11; Jackson Taylor 2-7; Noah Ellis 1-6; Mason Woodward 1-4; Jack Burbage 1-4; Brendan Gilliland 1-2.


Southern: Blake Wise 2-5-0, 18 yds; Tyler Arnold 0-1-1.

Troy: Evan Woodward 3-5-2, 64 yds; Joseph Frye 4-5-0, 63 yds, TD; Mason Smith 0-1-1.


Southern: Kyle Christman 1-13; Wes Barnes 1-5.

Troy: Lincoln Chimics 4-88, TD; Jackson Taylor 1-22; Brendan Gilliland 1-7; Cam Harwick 1-10.

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