• Val T.

Week 8 football preview: Southwood QB can throw it Farr, but RHS also working on sustaining blocks

BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS

Sports Editor, RTC

Southwood (7-0, 5-0 Three Rivers Conference) at Rochester (0-5, 0-5), 7 p.m.

The Rochester defense’s job has changed in the span of a week. Last week, they had to play Northfield and their option offense.

They wound up losing 62-0.

Now they will face Class 1A, No. 3 Southwood and their spread attack. Quarterback Alex Farr threw for 240 yards and four touchdowns last week in a 36-17 win over Peru. Farr averaged 22 yards per completion, and he completed passes to six different receivers.

“Farr has a very good arm and great escapability,” RHS coach Sean Kelly said. “At times it looks like he is sacked, and he finds ways to keep plays alive and make plays. He is a three-year starter, I believe, and has been all-conference.”

Kelly also said that Southwood has “talented, experienced receivers with good speed,” including twin brothers Carson and Connor Rich, Logan Barley, Tristin Hayslett, Cole Winer and Mason Yentes.

Defensively, the Knights are allowing only 11 points a game and have recorded two shutouts.

“They are not a huge defense, but they run to the football very well with, again, good athletes,” Kelly said. “They have very good speed on defense. … I think all three levels compare very well to Northfield.”

As for the Zebras, Kelly said they have focused on sustaining blocks in practice this week.

“We had issues staying on blocks and blocking people in space,” Kelly said. “Northfield has very quick athletes that we struggled blocking. We worked hard sustaining blocks and adjusted some of our schemes this week.”

RHS’ young roster gets a boost with the return of Kaleb Shaffer and Alex Deming to the lineup. Shaffer missed last week’s game with an illness, and Deming has missed the last two games with a shin injury.

“The players’ work ethic has been good this week and has been pretty consistent all year,” Kelly said. “We must maintain this during fall break, which started (Wednesday) and goes through next week. I think we’d like to see some consistency in the lineup. It seems like every week we have had to make several changes due to injuries and other issues.”

Southwood has won 30 consecutive regular season games. Their last regular season loss was to North Miami in September 2017. They have won the last two meetings with Rochester, including a 31-0 win in Wabash County last year.



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