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Wabash County Sports

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Southwood JH Football Wins Final Game

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The Southwood junior high football team capped off an undefeated season by defeating Peru 42-28 Tuesday.

1st Quarter: The game commenced with Peru taking possession and orchestrating an impressive drive. Their opening drive was marked by an outstanding defensive effort from #67, Stratten Whiteman, who thwarted a run play by Peru, resulting in a 4-yard loss. Nevertheless, Peru continued to press forward and eventually notched a touchdown with a 7-yard run by their quarterback, #2, followed by a successful two-point conversion, propelling Peru to an early 8-0 lead.

Southwood’s offense responded in kind. They executed a well-executed reverse play, affording #24, Kaidan Valdez, an open field to dash 38 yards for a touchdown. The subsequent two-point conversion fell short, and Southwood trailed 8-6 heading into the second quarter.

2nd Quarter: Peru’s offense rekindled their momentum, orchestrating another formidable drive. Southwood’s defense made notable plays during this drive, with Kaidan Valdez making a tackle for a loss, and #21, Carson Harmon, deflecting a pass. Nevertheless, Peru managed to reach the end zone with a 9-yard rushing touchdown by #40, extending their lead to 14-6.

Southwood’s offense staged a comeback. #35, Camden Wyatt, made a significant contribution with a 20-yard gain on an outside run. Shortly thereafter, #15, Blake Henderson, executed a quarterback keeper, dashing 34 yards and getting tackled just shy of the end zone. Henderson promptly followed up with a 1-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Kaidan Valdez carried the ball in for a two-point conversion, leveling the score at 14-14.

With just one minute left in the half, Peru sought to regain the lead. However, Southwood’s defense had other plans. #30, Poncho Lopez, secured a crucial tackle for a 5-yard loss, and on the next play, #59, Connor Height, made an enormous 15-yard sack. The subsequent play saw Camden Wyatt recovering a fumble at the 19-yard line, setting the Knights in a favorable position to seize the lead. Southwood capitalized on the fumble, with Poncho Lopez embarking on a 19-yard touchdown run. Kaidan Valdez attempted his first PAT of the season, and the kick was successful, giving Southwood a 22-14 lead at halftime.

3rd Quarter: The second half commenced with a kickoff, and Kaidan Valdez was electrifying, returning the ball 65 yards for a touchdown. The PAT was unsuccessful, but Southwood stretched their lead to 28-14.

Peru, however, showed resilience. On their ensuing drive, their quarterback, #2, dashed 13 yards for a touchdown, followed by a successful two-point conversion, narrowing the gap to 28-22.

Subsequently, #17, Bray Bassett, stepped in as quarterback for Southwood. His first pass connected with Kaidan Valdez for a 17-yard gain. Bassett’s next pass found Poncho Lopez for a 23-yard touchdown pass, although the two-point conversion fell short, leaving the score at 34-22.

The defensive highlight of the quarter occurred when #15, Blake Henderson, intercepted Peru’s pass. A penalty thwarted what could have been a Pick 6, but the Knights retained possession going into the fourth quarter.

4th Quarter: As the final quarter dawned, Southwood’s #22, Dylan Hurst took a handoff and sprinted to the outside, surging upfield for an 8-yard touchdown. Blake Henderson connected with #19, Eli Shellhammer, for a successful two-point conversion, expanding Southwood’s lead to 40-22.

Southwood’s defense shone once again, with Blake Henderson recovering a loose ball at the 29-yard line. Lucas Drown made a valiant effort to put the Knights in scoring position, breaking free for a 17-yard gain. Unfortunately, the Knights couldn’t find the end zone during that series, and Peru took over.

Southwood’s defense made crucial plays, with #43, Grady Dillon, recording an 8-yard tackle for a loss. However, Peru continued to battle, and their quarterback, #2, connected with #46 for a 19-yard touchdown pass. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, resulting in a score of 42-28.

In the final seconds, #16, Kameron Johnson, ran out the clock during a kick return, ensuring Southwood’s 42-28 victory.

Both the 7th and 8th-grade Southwood teams had successful seasons:

The 7th-grade team finished with a perfect 7-0 record, with 3-0 in full games played.

The 8th-grade team finished with a respectable 6-1 record, with 5-1 in full games played.

[Any game that was not played in full went down a forfeit victory since we were eligible to play both teams every week. All combined games counted towards 8th games]

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