Updated Thu, Sep 12, 2013 3:38 pm
After two blowout wins on the road, the Southern Tornadoes finally come home, welcoming the 1-1 Belpre Golden Eagles. The Golden Eagles are in need of a breakout game from tailback Matthew Calden, who will take over for the injured Manny Tullius. Coach Greg Adams will also need a big game from sophomore Quarterback Tavian Miller. Miller has been rock solid thus far, directing his team to an average of 41 points per game.
Despite the depleted offense, Coach Adams still says the defense will be the key to walking out of Southern with a win.
"We have been preaching all week the importance of defense,” Adams said. “Southern has been consistent on the offensive side of the ball, we must make stops.”
Another factor that Coach Adams said would decide the game, is how his young bunch of players fair against the big boys.
"Southern is full of seniors,” he said. “We play a lot of sophomores and juniors. They have to grow up one possession at a time.”
Mental toughness may be the most important aspect of Friday’s game. The Golden Eagles have only 24 players on the roster, now 23 with loss of Tullius. Belpre must put its foot on the gas early and take the advantage. If not, a fatigued road comeback will be highly unlikely.
Southern has a thin two-deep as well, however the Tornadoes boast a seasoned roster full of players that have been playing together for the last 4 seasons. The Tornadoes possess a senior-laden offensive line, which opens up holes for running back Tyler Barton. Barton, who was already a workhorse last season after rushing for over 1,000 yards, added to his repertoire of skills after gaining 30 pounds in the offseason. Wideout Trenton Deem complements Barton on offense as a key player. Deem was huge for the Tornadoes last season and has shown his value in each of the first two games.
Southern has shown in each of its first two games that they are for real. After building steam, winning 3 out of their last 4 games last season, the Tornadoes now turn their attention to the TVC-Hocking crown.