- Val T.
Farr and away: QB accounts for 4 TDs, leads Southwood past Zebras
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
Alex Farr threw for 73 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 99 yards and two scores, including a 44-yard run on the last play of the first half, to lead the Class 1A, No. 3 Southwood football team to a 35-0 win over Rochester at Barnhart Field Friday.
Southwood won their 31st consecutive regular season game and improved to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the Three Rivers Conference. They can clinch the TRC title outright with a win over Tippecanoe Valley this Friday.
RHS fell to 0-6, 0-6. They lost for the second straight week by shutout. That’s the first time the Zebras have not scored in back-to-back games since 1984.
It also marked the second straight year that Southwood shut them out. The Knights beat RHS 31-0 at Southwood last year.
Carson Rich caught both of Farr’s touchdown passes, and he also made all five of his extra-point tries as a kicker. When he kicked the extra point after Farr’s touchdown run on the final play of the half, the IHSAA Mercy Rule was instituted, and the final two quarters were played with a running clock.
Neither team scored in the second half.
“They’re very good,” RHS coach Sean Kelly said. “It’s a good football team we were playing tonight. We didn’t execute some things, just some assignments, that we had harped on all week, and we gave up big plays. We didn’t get people on the ground, when we needed to, and that play at the end of the half was just demoralizing, especially when we’ve been working on tackling. We just got to get them on the ground.”
RHS added two players to the varsity lineup in senior Landon Kelly and sophomore Peyton Luhnow. Landon Kelly received the bulk of the carries at tailback and had 19 carries for 71 yards.
“He became eligible this week,” Kelly said. “Obviously, this being his first game, he was a little rusty. He’s getting into the flow of it.”
Landon Kelly’s presence in the lineup was nothing like what Southwood had prepared.
“I thought 32 (Kelly’s uniform number) being back for them really made them a heck of a lot better offense tonight,” Southwood coach Dave Snyder said. “We didn’t see hardly anything tonight that we had seen on the prior two films of them, other than when they get in that T (formation) look. We had seen different formations and stuff and got a little bit of a handle on what they were doing and was able to take it away, I think, midway through the second quarter.”
Meanwhile, Antonio Schlosser replaced Reece Renie at quarterback for the Zebras in the second quarter. Coach Kelly declined to name a starter for this week’s game at Maconaquah.
“I don’t know where we’re going to go with that right now,” he said.
RHS also switched from their typical 4-4 alignment to a 3-4 set-up with two safeties in Landon Kelly and Schlosser. In addition, freshman Brady Beck saw action at defensive end in addition to his center duties on offense. While Beck has been a mainstay at center, this was his first extended action on defense. Coach Kelly said he was “physical” and has “a good motor.”
“They obviously have an all-conference quarterback,” coach Kelly said. “They want to throw the ball deep. It was a way for us to drop eight into coverage and try to cover that. I think we did a decent job against the pass. We had some breakdowns against the run. We had some opportunities where we could have made plays and didn’t. He’s very elusive back there. When we did get some pressure on him and he was able to scramble, again we’ve got to get him on the ground.”
Southwood 35, Rochester 0
Southwood 7 28 0 0 – 35
Rochester 0 0 0 0 – 0
SW – Carson Rich 8 pass from Alex Farr (Rich kick)
SW – Tristin Hayslett 10 run (Rich kick)
SW – Rich 32 pass from Farr (Rich kick)
SW – Farr 46 run (Rich kick)
SW – Farr 44 run (Rich kick)