By BRYAN GASKINS Kokomo Tribune
---- — Southmont was the squad making the long road trip, but the Mounties looked right at home against winless Taylor on Friday night in the opening round of Class 2A Sectional 35 play.
The Mounties rolled to a 56-12 win in their highest-scoring game since 1997.
The Mounties scored on their first six possessions and led 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and 42-6 at halftime
“I was very pleased with the start,” Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “We had kind of taken the perspective that if we’re going to be on a long road trip like this, we’re going to treat it like a business trip. We didn’t want to worry about anything other than what’s going on right here in this game. We wanted to focus on winning and doing the things necessary to win.
“It was nice to see the kids coming out with great energy, great enthusiasm. You could just tell they were ready to play as soon as the game started,” Hannum added.
The Titans, meanwhile, offered little resistance.
“We just didn’t match their physicality,” Taylor coach Eric Davis said.
Southmont improved to 4-6, snapping a four-game losing streak during which it scored just 46 points. The Mounties lost their starting QB to a season-ending injury during that stretch. They played several sophomores in key roles in Friday’s game.
Southmont moved the ball at will in the first half against Taylor, rushing for 276 yards on 25 attempts and gaining another 40 yards on 2-of-2 passing. Nathaniel Farabree had a pair of rushing touchdowns, Chance Brown and Zach Worm ran for a score each and QB Jarrett Todd had TD passes to Farabee and Brown.
The Titans, meanwhile, had just 120 yards in the first half. Southmont’s Hunter Isenberg ended a pair of Taylor drives with interceptions.
The Titans cracked the scoreboard in the final minute of the first half. After the Titans forced the Mounties into their first punt, Dayne Tomlinson had a nice return to the Southmont 42 — and on first down, Tomlinson hauled in a pass from QB Jordon Lazaro and scored on a 42-yard catch and run.
“I think we had two reasonable drives in the first half. I think one resulted in points and the other fizzled out,” Davis said. “It’s just one of those situations where we just didn’t make plays. We tried to change some schemes up, do some things differently than what we did the previous week. We thought that would be better for us and it just didn’t work out.”
In the third quarter, Worm had another rushing TD, Darian Stone had a 16-yard TD reception from Lazaro, and Southmont’s Scott Madison had a rushing TD. Southmont led 56-12 at the close of the quarter. The teams did not score in the final quarter.
The Mounties finished with 391 rushing yards.
The Titans’ Lazaro completed 13 of 28 pass attempts for 160 yards with two TDs and four picks. Tomlinson had eight catches for 116 yards and a TD and Stone had three for 56 and a score.
Taylor finished 0-10, its second straight winless season. The Titans have lost 26 straight games.
“We have to start building the program and part of that has to be our kids going out and being three-sport athletes and developing the relationships with the other athletes and bring them into the program,” Davis said, noting he wants the players to promote the program whenever possible. “... If we make the right big decisions, I think we can get this going in the right direction.”