Setting up a defense across the line of scrimmage against Southview s offense is one thing.
Attempting to shut down the Cougars spread attack is entirely something else.
Anthony Wayne found out last night the difficulty of trying to stop a fully loaded offensive machine capable of moving the ball by air or ground.
The Cougars pounded the Generals 41-17 in a league opener at AW in their first step toward defending their Northern Lakes League championship.
Quarterback Alex Pidcock directed the Cougars on six scoring drives, including three in the second quarter to help Southview take the momentum and a 20-10 lead into halftime.
He completed 9 of 10 passes for 255 yards, including touchdown passes of 63 and 58 yards. The 6-foot-2, 214-pounder, also rushed for 81 yards on 19 carries, including touchdown runs of 17, 2 and 5 yards.
However, Pidcock s most significant play of the night came right after AW s Aaron Keyer hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Pindoley to cut into Southview s lead and make it a 13-10 contest with 1:44 left in the second quarter.
He needed only one play from scrimmage to connect with Paul Murphy for a 63-yard touchdown completion with 1:28 left in the first half.
The quick strike by Pidcock, who rolled out of the pocket to find Murphy wide open, doused any momentum the Generals had hoped to take into halftime.
That play was big, AW coach Craig Smith, said of the Cougars TD late in the first half. We just had a tough time matching up against them.
Shaun Joplin also did his part in creating havoc for AW s secondary.
The 6-3 wideout caught five passes for 149 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter to give Southview a 27-10 advantage.
Joplin played with passion tonight, Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. He wasn t just an athlete tonight. He was a football player tonight.
That s what we want out of Joplin.
The Cougars leading receiver also had catches of 6, 28, 12 and 45 yards.
Our line is doing a great job of blocking, Joplin said, offering credit to his teammates. It s been a lot easier for me this year because I m getting the ball more and I know what I m doing this year.
That s perhaps not something Southview opponents want to hear.
We had a couple of breakdowns and with their good athletes they made some big plays, Smith said. I give them a lot of credit.
AW s James Pollex rushed for 106 yards on 21 carries, including a TD run of 22 yards.
The Cougars (4-0, 1-0 NLL) actually trailed in the early going against the Generals (2-2, 0-1 NLL).
AW registerd the first points after the Generals defense stopped the Cougars first drive of the night by denying Pidcock on a keeper on a fourth-and-one play at AW s 25.
The Generals took over possession and relied on their productive running attack to move into field goal range for placekicker Ben Barrett, who booted a 25-yard field goal with 3:57 remaining in the first quarter.
AW took the 3-0 lead into the second quarter.
However, after initially having trouble moving the ball against AW s defense, the Cougars started to click on offense in the second quarter with Pidcock leading the comeback.
Pidcock gave the Cougars a 7-3 lead when he finished off their first scoring drive with a 17-yard keeper with 7:43 to play in the second quarter.
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