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Published: Saturday, 8/23/2008

Southview Cougars roll past Bowsher Rebels

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Southview football coach Jim Mayzes must be a tough guy to please.

He watched his team throttle Bowsher 42-0 last night in the season opener for both teams, with his squad piling up 495 yards of total offense while posting a shutout on the Rebels' home field.

And what kind of grade did he give his team's effort?

'I thought we spitted and sputtered a lot,' Mayzes said. 'It's the first game, and there's a lot of things going on. We'll do well once we get going.

'I thought we were 60 percent, based on percentage of execution. When we execute, our talent will produce points. Right now we're not firing on all cylinders.'

If that's so, watch out when the Cougars do have all cylinders firing. They shredded Bowsher for 248 rushing yards and three TDs on 41 carries and completed 9-of-17 passes for 245 more yards and three more scores for an average of 8.5 yards per offensive play.

And if that's not scary enough, consider this: Southview made liberal use of four quarterbacks, with seniors Alex Pidcock and Michael Hehl seeing the majority of the action.

'I like all four of our quarterbacks,' Mayzes said. 'I think all four of them could play on the varsity somewhere. Actually we have five, but we didn't get the fifth one in.'

Pidcock got the Cougars rolling with a 38-yard scoring strike to James Hall on Southview's first possession. On their first possession of the second quarter, Pidcock maneuvered the Cougars into position for Shaun Joplin to kick a 35-yard field goal.

Late in the quarter Southview got the ball on its own 12 and raced 88 yards on eight plays to score with just five seconds left.

Pidcock hit Joplin with a 54-yard pass for much of that yardage, then connected with Hall on a 27-yard throw down the middle for the TD.

In the second half the Cougars were even more dominant, scoring on all four possessions and piling up yards and first downs with Pidcock, Hehl, junior Thomas Stichter, and sophomore DeNard Pinckney all seeing action.

'We've been working hard all summer, and we've been waiting a long time for this game,' said Pidcock, who led Southview with 75 rushing yards on 11 carries while completing 4-of-9 passes for 136 yards and two TDs. 'We executed well, got jacked up, and tried to leave it on the field.'

Meanwhile, Bowsher did have its moments, finishing with 235 yards of total offense. But 225 of those yards came on 33 rushes, and 114 of those rushing yards came on two long runs.

The longest was a 72-yard run by Greg Hannibal that set up the Rebels' best scoring chance of the night. Bowsher pushed the ball down to Southview's 1 midway through the final period but fumbled into the end zone with the Cougars' Travis Mexinko recovering the loose ball to end the threat.

'We're young, and we took some lumps,' Bowsher coach Rob Garber said. 'We're trying to work on some things, and we're so young. We're still learning. We did hang in there and fought.

'But they execute everything so crisply. It's like they've been practicing forever. They're so good at what they do.'

Garber said there's one lesson he wanted his young team to learn.

'Our program wants to be their program,' he said. 'We got an up-close look [at their program]. When you've got the scars and bruises that tell you what a good program is like, it also reminds you what you want to be.'

Contact John Wagner at: jwagner@theblade.com or 419-724-6481.



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