Southview approaches the Northern Lakes League portion of its schedule riding a massive wave of momentum.
For the third week in a row the Cougars rendered another smothering performance against a City League team.
Southview, looking to record a third straight shutout, held Start scoreless for nearly three quarters before play was halted by game officials due to lightning. The Cougars took a 23-0 advantage into the locker room when inclement weather forced the stoppage of play with 4:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Play resumed more than an hour later.
However, the delay didn't seem to slow Southview from its mission. The Cougars left Start's rain-soaked field with a decisive 43-0 win.
"It's a big deal for us to get the shutout," said Southview backup quarterback Alex Pidcock, who scored on a five-yard touchdown run before halftime for one of the Cougars' four offensive touchdowns.
Greg Isley returned a blocked punt 25 yards for a score and James Hall intercepted two passes after the lightning delay, including one he returned 65 yards for a touchdown.
"We're getting a heck of a lot of momentum," said Vinnie Meehan, who blocked the punt that Isley retrieved and turned into a score. "The defense is feared."
The Cougars established their dominance early in the game, producing four scoring drives before intermission.
A school-record 48-yard field goal by Shaun Joplin was among the early highlights and epitomized the kind of near-perfect first half for the Cougars. Joplin, who also kicks off and punts for Southview, had a brisk wind at his back to help him break the old school mark of 47 yards set a few years ago by Kevin Lanning.
"I really didn't know if it was going to be good or not," said Joplin, who hammered three kickoffs in the first half deep into the Spartans' end zone.
Prior to Joplin's career-long field goal, which gave the Cougars (3-0) a 9-0 lead over Start, Southview had opened the game with a momentum-building scoring drive.
With starting quarterback Griff Whalen and Pidcock splitting time as the Cougars' signal-caller on the opening drive, they marched 79 yards on 15 plays with Whalen finishing off the possession with a one-yard plunge into the end zone. The drive took up more than six minutes of the opening quarter.
Heavy rainfall came before the lightning and most of the second quarter was played in soggy conditions. Yet, the Cougars responded by outscoring the Spartans 17-0 during the period to take a 23-0 advantage into the second half.
Following Joplin's kick, the Cougars increased their lead to 16-0 when Whalen found Mike Bass wide open near the corner of the end zone for a nine-yard touchdown pass off a fake field goal try with 6:36 remaining in the half. The drive started deep in Spartans' territory thanks to the Cougars' defense not allowing the Spartans offense to ever get on track before halftime.
Again, Southview benefited from good field position that led to Pidcock scoring his touchdown on a keeper with just under 30 seconds remaining in the first half.
The lightning delay led to many of the fans on both sides of the field leaving the stadium and never returning. Nevertheless, the Cougars and Spartans returned to the field one hour and 20 minutes after play was stopped to resume the game in front of a handful of fans.
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