By Brad Morris
It’s a mathematical formula that has now paid off twice in as many weeks for the Circleville Tigers.
Attitude + effort = success.
“Our kids are really hungry and I’ve been extremely pleased with their attitude, effort and how hard they are working,” first-year Circleville coach Steve Evans said. “They want to win and be successful, and it’s been a tremendous positive for them to see their hard work pay off here in the first couple of weeks in the season.”
Circleville leaned on its defense Friday to give its offense time to get going. The Tigers then used an 18-point outburst in the second quarter to take control of a non-league tilt and rout visiting Southeastern 39-8.
With the win, the Tigers are 2-0 for the first time since 2015.
The Panthers ran 24 plays during the first half, but were only able to amass 18 yards of total offense and one first down.
“It starts with flying to the ball, having good pursuit and getting 11 jerseys to the football,” Evans said. “It’s a message that our kids have embraced and it shows with giving up only eight points in our first two games.
“It also helped defensively that Southeastern runs a double-wing and that’s the offense Circleville had run for the last two seasons, so our kids are familiar with it and did a great job of executing our game plan.”
The Tigers churned out 233 of their 319 yards of total offense on the ground, led by Angelo Travis gaining 64 yards on 17 carries and scoring a pair of touchdowns. Scott Moats used eight totes to cover 63 yards with a pair of scores and Colin Michael turned in six carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.
Moats was also 6 of 13 passing for 86 yards.
“We started a little slow and I made a bad play call on one of our early drives, but our kids really got going there in the second quarter,” Evans said. “Our offense isn’t the easiest thing to grasp with the timing, reading and learning to understand all the detail, but the kids are getting a grasp of how it’s supposed to work and what we want to do out there on the field.”
A high snap on a Southeastern punt gave the Tigers good field position, just 35 yards away from the end zone.
Facing second-and-11, Moats dropped back and then took off to his left and down the visiting sideline for a 36-yard touchdown run. The first of four extra points off the foot of Nick Burns gave the Tigers a 7-0 lead with 17 seconds left in the opening quarter.
Circleville doubled its lead a third of the way through the second quarter, using five plays to cover 66 yards. Carries of 22 yards by Travis and 25 yards courtesy of Moats set up Travis for a six-yard run up the gut to give the Tigers a 13-0 lead.
The ensuing Southeastern possession ended with another high snap on a punt that sailed out of the end zone, resulting in a safety and a 15-0 lead for the Tigers.
Michael increased the CHS lead to 22-0 with a one-yard plunge over the goal line later in the period and Burns capped off the first half with a 29-yard field goal to send the Tigers into a lengthy intermission due to a lightning delay with a 25-0 advantage.
Southeastern (0-2) took its opening possession of the second half and finally reached the scoreboard on a 26-yard run by Caleb Cutright on fourth-and-10. Josh Lee added the two-point conversion to make it 25-8.
The Tigers rebounded to shutdown the Panthers for the rest of the game and added a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns on runs of seven yards by Travis and two courtesy of Moats.
“Give credit to Southeastern for putting together that drive,” Evans said. “That drive gave them a little momentum, but I was pleased with the way our kids responded. We drove down the field to score and Southeastern couldn’t get anything else going against our defense for the rest of the night.”
Southeastern finished the game with 131 yards of total offense.
Circleville completes its Scioto Valley Conference portion of the schedule next week with a trip up state Route 56 to Westfall (0-2), which lost 51-0 to Logan Elm last night.
“It’s a process of continuing to get better and cleaning up some of the mistakes we are still making,” Evans said. “We wanted to get better from Week 1 to Week 2 and we want to get better from Week 2 to Week 3.”
Score By Quarters 1 2 3 4 F
Southeastern 0 0 8 0 8
Circleville 7 18 0 14 39
CV — Scott Moats 36 run (Nick Burns kick), 0:17.
CV — Angelo Travis 6 run (kick failed), 8:26.
CV — Safety, 6:44.
CV — Colin Michael 1 run (Nick Burns kick), 3:25.
CV — Nick Burns 29 field goal, 0:00.
SE — Caleb Cutright 26 run (Josh Lee run), 4:36.
CV — Angelo Travis 7 run (Nick Burns kick), 11:46.
CV — Scott Moats 2 run (Nick Burns kick), 2:31.
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