Indians knock off the Tigers to stay atop the EOAC


Junior Colton Soukup rushed for 225 yards and scored twice in the Indians victory

WELLSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – Junior end Colton Soukup led the way for the Southern Indians to knock off their arch rival Wellsville Friday 32-20, and to take sole possession of the lead in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference.  Soukup would rush for 225 yards and score two touchdowns on the night.

The victory improves the Indians to 4-2 overall, 3-0 in the EOAC.  The Tigers drop to 2-2 on the year, 2-1 in league play.

“I wasn’t comfortable until we were able to take a knee,” Indians coach Rich Wright remarked.  “They have some explosive players and they got behind us a couple of times.  It’s always a big win.  It gives us a chance to win the league again, and we knew it was going to be tough coming down here.  They were well prepared and they stopped us early.”

Soukup’s big night started on the Indian’s second possession when he raced around the left end 85-yards to give them an early 6-0 lead.  The touchdown came at the 6:20 mark of the first quarter.

“We’ve been working hard in practice to prepare for this game.  We were able to get the lead, and play strong,” Soukup said.

But the Tigers answered right back with a 57-yard, 6-play drive with Tigers senior quarterback Valen Krzyston diving into the end zone from just 1-yard out.  That knotted the game at 6-6 with 3:43 left in the first stanza.

But then the Indians would take advantage of a couple of crucial Tiger miscues to pull ahead.  Following an interception by Soukup at the Tigers 23, Indians quarterback Ryan Exline would connect with Wyatt Morris on an 18-yard scoring pass to make it 12-6 with 11:11 left in the second quarter.  Then following a fumble by the Tigers, Exline would score on a 5-yard run to make it 18-6 with just 3:43 remaining in the first half.

The Indians would add a late touchdown in the half when Soukup scored his second touchdown, this time it was a 42-yard jaunt.  That staked the Indians to a 24-6 lead at halftime.

The Tigers showed a lot of fight in them as they responded to start the second half.  It would only take three plays as they scored on a 4-yard run by Gavin Kountz, plus a two-point conversion to make it 24-14 at the 11:04 mark of the third quarter.

“We just challenged them,” Ramsey explained what he told his team at halftime.  “We told them to come out and play football like they know-how.  We did, but then we shot ourselves in the foot again.”

The Indian’s defense would step up as they stopped the Tigers on their next two possessions before the Indians essentially put the game away with a 10-yard run by Noah Perfetto with 11:06 remaining in the game.  That score, plus a two-point conversion gave the Indians a 32-14 advantage.

The Tigers would make one last charge as Krzyston would connect with Isaiah Greathouse on a 7-yard pass with 7:30 left in the game.  But the Indians would eat up the final seven minutes of the contest to walk off the field victorious.

“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot tonight, missed assignment.  But hats off to coach Wright and his staff for taking advantage of our mistakes,” Tigers coach Robert Ramsey commented.  “We have to come in tomorrow and we have to lift, run, and get ready and game plan for a good Lisbon team.”

The Indians will try to stay undefeated in the league next Friday when they host Leetonia.  The Tigers will try to get back in the win column when they travel to Lisbon next Friday.

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