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Published: Saturday, 11/5/2005

Early turnovers prove too much for Southview

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Southview's Sean Cardone tackles Mansfield Madison's Seth Stringer in the third quarter last night at Cats Stadium. Southview's Sean Cardone tackles Mansfield Madison's Seth Stringer in the third quarter last night at Cats Stadium.
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Southview struggled holding on to the football during last night's Division II playoff game with Mansfield Madison at Cats Stadium.

The Cougars turned the football over to the Rams on their first three possessions and found themselves trying for the remainder of the night to overcome the early miscues.

Madison took full advantage of Southview's mistakes and posted a 35-25 victory to record the school's first playoff win.

The Rams, who produced scoring drives on two of the Cougars' three turnovers in the first half, jumped ahead 21-0 before the crowd barely got settled. It proved to be an uphill climb for the Cougars (8-3) for the rest of the game against Madison (8-3), which will face Central Catholic (10-1) in the next round of the playoffs.

"We fell behind and had to play catch-up, but I thought we did a good job of coming back," Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. "I feel bad for the seniors. We've got a lot of wonderful kids on this team - good leaders."

The Cougars attempted to put together a comeback and made it interesting right down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Southview went on two scoring drives of its own before the first half ended to make it a 21-14 halftime score. Cougars quarterback Andrew Skeels directed Southview on its first scoring drive that covered 70 yards in 12 plays during the second quarter.

He capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run with

4:20 left in the half to make it

21-7.

The Cougars recovered a Madison fumble in Rams territory to set up their second touchdown. Skeels, who completed 9 of 28 passes for 143 yards for the game, connected with Brian Kramer for a 20-yard touch-

down pass with 55 seconds remaining in the first half to pull Southview within a touchdown.

In spite of generating only three first downs in the first half compared to seven for the Cougars, the Rams were able to take a 21-14 advantage into halftime.

"Getting off to a good start was really beneficial to our kids," Madison coach Matt Godsil said.

Southview came out in the second half and crept even closer in its attempt to catch Madison. Kevin Lanning, who had missed wide right on a 31-yard field goal try early in the second quarter when the Cougars trailed 14-0, capped off Southview's second possession after haltime with a 39-yard field goal that made it 21-17 with 3:41 remaining in the third quarter.

However, Southview would get no closer as Madison responded with a seven-play scoring drive that covered 67 yards to re-establish total control. Running back Devin Ohl finished off the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. The biggest play of the drive was a 58-yard keeper by Rams QB Cory Rupert, who was caught from behind by Lanning at the Cougars' 5-yard line.

"It was a double-option play but I kept it and I saw an opening," said Rupert, who finished the game completing 3 of 8 passes for 113 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown strike to Darvell Smith in the first half.

The Rams built their lead to 35-17 when Ohl, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, finished off Madison's final scoring drive with a two-yard TD run, which was his fourth touchdown of the game. Ohl had 51 yards on 11 carries.

Skeels found Kramer on a 19-yard TD pass with 2:30

left for the final score.

"Our offense, we just made too many turnovers,'' said Skeels, who was guilty of throwing an interception.

Southview's Kwesi Kankam fumbled inside the Cougars' 30 to set up Madison's first scoring opportunity.

It only took the Rams six plays to end a scoreless tie as Ohl scored on a four-yard run with 7:57 left in the first quarter. Ohl also scored from two yards out in the first half.

For the game, the Cougars fin-

ished with 12 first downs compared to the Rams' seven.

"Points count, not yards," Mayzes said. "You can't have turnovers. The positive thing was the kids played hard the whole time. I wish we had

another quarter to play and a few more buttons to push."

Contact Donald Emmons at:

demmons@theblade.com

or 419-724-6302.



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