SALINEVILLE -Mike McKenzie had seven carries for 115 yards and two touchdowns, while J.J. Napierkowski had four catches for 54 yards and two touchdowns as Southern Local made short work of East Palestine 48-20 on Friday night.
The Indians (1-0) went up 48-6 at one point and had a lot of time to give younger players a shot in the final two quarters.
"It's nice to know you worked hard enough to get into a situation where the younger guys can play, but it was sort of sickening to see (East Palestine) put up points late in the game," Napierkowski said.
East Palestine’s Austen Reiser (1) goes up for a catch against the Southern defense, including Jared Shilot (11). (Photo by Patti Schaeffer)
Southern quarterback Luke Griffith was sharp as he went 8 for 12 for 125 yards and three touchdowns.
"We all worked together in that first half and when we do that we can put up points," Griffith said.
The game was so out of hand that Griffith was having a game of catch with the ball boys on the sidelines as the fourth quarter rolled around.
"It's nice to be in that situation because you get to have a rest and see how the younger guys can do," Griffith said. "It's good to see."
Griffith said he and his teammates are on a mission to improve on a 9-1 season which saw the Indians miss the playoffs and finish second in the Inter-Tri County League lower tier last season.
"We had that great season last year, but we want to follow it up and make a statement," Griffith said. "We don't want to be in the same place this year."
East Palestine was plagued by many mistakes in the early part of the game and struggled to get anything going.
"We made a lot of mistakes defensively and had some personnel breakdowns," East Palestine coach Gare Mattes said. "It cost us. We gave up some big runs and big scores. We moved the ball well in spots offensively, but our passing attack was really weak."