Having Covington Academy and Camp Jewell House as their first two opponents on the football field, the Southern Prep Fighting Rangers knew they should be in good shape. Covington is just in its second year of having a football program, while Camp Jewell is in Year 1.
But what they didn’t expect was to defeat their opponents by a combined score of 101-0.
“(Joseph) Reese, our old quarterback, has been keeping in touch with me and texting me after every game,” Southern Prep coach Roland Bell said. “He asked me the other day, ‘Are the other teams that bad or are we just that much better?’ I said, ‘Last year’s team probably would’ve won both of those games, but it would’ve been close.’”
These games were anything but close. After winning by 40 points in Week 1, Southern Prep earned a 61-0 victory over Camp Jewell on Friday night. It was the first time since 1993 the school has posted back-to-back shutouts.
Having the addition of Yogi Barker and Ny Dowell has helped Southern Prep (2-0) immensely on defense.
“Last year we did a lot of blitzing to try to create something because the defense is at a disadvantage (in 8-man football),” Bell said. “With those two at outside linebacker, we felt like we could just sit back and read and let the line and the middle linebacker handle runs inside and let those two run free on the outside. We’ve also got two pretty good cover corners, so that’s what’s worked so far.”
Barker and Dowdell, along with Braxton Cook and Travis Miller, led a defense that finished with six sacks, seven tackles for a loss and one interception Friday night.
But it’s obviously not just Southern Prep’s defense that’s keeping the Rangers in games. Southern Prep exploded for 34 points in the first quarter alone and only added onto it despite the fact most of the starters were rested after the opening 12 minutes.
The 61-0 victory set a school record for margin of defeat.
Justin Wallace was once again a dual threat at quarterback, throwing for 118 yards despite going just 4-for-8. He had three passing touchdowns, and that went along with 21 rushing yards on three carries.
Offensively, Barker needed only five carries to gain 108 yards and three touchdowns, and he also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass.
“Yogi is controlling everything on his half of the field on defense and on offense, he had some pushing runs,” Bell said. “They had him with three or four guys wrapping him up and he kept his feet moving and broke free and scored. That’s not something that we’re used to seeing.”
Dowdell scored in two different ways also. He had three attempts for 32 yards and a touchdown and also had just two catches, one of which was a touchdown, and added 52 receiving yards.
Logan Lewandowski scored a 37-yard receiving touchdown and Daniel Tampa also scored once; he had three rushes for 48 yards.
Felipe Pegram went 5-for-7 on point-after attempts and also scored on a 41-yard rush.
Nick Johnson had three carries for 29 yards; Garrett Peebles added 17 yards on a pair of carries; and Malachi Roberts gained 15 yards on three attempts.
Although Southern Prep hasn’t necessarily played the best competition, Bell said it’s definitely a confidence builder to win that big two games in a row. It’s going to continue to get tougher moving forward, but if the Rangers continue to stick to their assignments and do their jobs, Bell is confident in how the season will turn out.
“Discipline — it all boils down to that,” Bell said. “If they do exactly what we tell them to do and not try to get off on their own mindset, that’s when they usually get in trouble. If they do what we’re coaching them to do then things are going to go well.”