Southeastern is off to their best football season start in many years, following a 28-12 win against four-time defending SVC Champ Zane Trace. The Panthers are (3-0) in the SVC and (6-0) overall, setting up a possible title tilt next Friday against co-leader (3-0/5-1) Unioto.
While Southeastern's offense dazzled the crowd, their defense might have been the biggest difference in the win Friday night. SE's "D" shutout the Pioneers' offense on all four second half possessions, taking over on downs in Panthers territory each time.
The Panthers compiled 391 total yards, with 344 on the ground from their "three-headed monster backfield" of Lane Ruby, Carson Stauffer and Dakota Houser. Many times it was difficult to see which of the three players had the ball coming from their tight wing formation. Stauffer ran 28 times for 147 yards and a TD, Ruby had 11 carries for 99 yards and a score, while Houser had 10 carries for 99 yards and a TD. Mikey Castle scored the other touchdown on a 10 yard TD pass from Ruby.
Zane Trace had 269 total yards, with 188 in the air on Ty Shanton's 12/24 passing. The usually strong Pioneers running attack was held to 88 yards on the night.
The Pioneers were hurt by penalties, being flagged 9 times for 75 yards, while Southeastern had one for 10 yards. Southeastern committed two turnovers and Zane Trace had one.
Southeastern got the scoring started at 8:32 of the first quarter, when Lane Ruby ran 66 yards on a right end sweep for the TD. Carson Stauffer's PAT kick made it 7-0.
Zane Trace answered quickly, scoring on a 43 yard pass from Ty Shanton to Jake Geno, who found an opening down the right sideline for a score. The PAT kick was missed, leaving SE with a 7-6 lead.
The Panthers made it 14-6 at 10:26 of the second quarter when they drove 70 yards in 9 plays, capped-off when Ruby hit Castle for the 10 yard TD- followed by the PAT kick.
Zane Trace fumbled the ensuing kick-off, but later intercepted a pass in the end zone to stop another Southeastern scoring threat. The Pioneers then drove 80 yards in 8 plays, scoring at 6:51 of the second period when Shanton ran a TD from one yard out, completing an 80 yard drive in 8 plays. The two-point conversion try failed, leaving Southeastern with a 14-12 lead.
The Panthers added another TD at 2:05 remaining in the first half, when they drove 72 yards in 9 plays, capped-off by Carson Stauffer's 8 yard TD run and PAT for a 21-12 lead at halftime.
The only second half score came at 2:26 of the third quarter, when Dakota Houser darted 42 yards for a TD, completing a 64 yard/7 play drive. That score would hold-up as the final.
(3-0/6-0) Southeastern hosts (3-0/5-1) Unioto next Friday. The Shermans were a 41-7 winner over Paint Valley. Unioto's last SVC Football championship was a co-title in 1998 with Adena and their last undisputed crown was 1982. Southeastern shared the crown with Zane Trace in 2001 and their last undisputed championship was in 1988..
The Unioto-Southeastern game will be the Herrnstein Hyundai SVC Game of the Week on 94 Country WKKJ.
To hear the podcast of the Zane Trace vs Southeastern game, click on our podcast link seen below.