A dogged defensive effort and two long, timely drives enabled Southview to remain undefeated and survive a Northern Lakes League showdown Friday night, setting up another key conference clash next week.
The Cougars (6-0 overall, 3-0 NLL) handed Perrysburg (5-1, 2-1) its first loss with a 21-7 triumph before a capacity crowd on the Yellow Jackets' homecoming night.
Southview jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a 60-yard drive, capitalized on a Perrysburg fumble to make it 14-0, and put it out of reach by marching 62 yards in the fourth quarter.
Southview held Perrysburg to negative three yards rushing and 147 overall. The Cougars forced a pivotal fumble, five punts, and had four sacks. Southview also forced the Yellow Jackets to turn the ball over on downs twice toward the game's end.
Senior quarterback De'Nard Pinckney scored on runs of 10 and eight yards in the first half. The Cougars' thoughts turned immediately to another fierce battle with Maumee (5-1, 3-0) at home next Friday.
Perrysburg's Tyler Gordon is tackled by Southview junior JQ Bowers, left, and junior Jay Fisher.
“We expected this,” Pinckney said. “We respect Perrysburg and they came at us with their best blows. We're in the driver's seat.
But we're not the top dog yet. We have to get by a great Maumee team.”
Southview rushed for 125 yards and threw for 58 yards.
“Obviously we're in the driver's seat and it's a good place to be,” Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. “But Maumee is up next and Maumee is a great team. That will be a great showdown. The only way you win every one of them is to look at the one in front of you.”
Perrysburg pulled within one touchdown early in the third quarter and it remained 14-7 entering the fourth quarter.
Senior quarterback Matt Slocum (10 of 19 for 150 yards) hooked up with his sophomore brother Steve on a 54-yard pass play. Steve Slocum, who led the team in receiving (54 yards) and rushing (15 yards), broke two tackles after the catch to set up the Yellow Jackets' only score.
Southview's Jay Fisher turns the corner to gain yardage against Perrysburg in Friday night's NLL showdown.
Matt Slocum scored three plays later on a one-yard sneak to make it 14-7 with 8:04 left in the third quarter.
But Southview orchestrated a 10-play drive that covered 62 yards to put it away.
Junior running back Nick Jozsa came in for injured starter Jay Fisher (44 rushing yards) and had runs of 21 and 12 yards on the decisive drive.
“He had a couple of huge runs,” Mayzes said. “His brother was our running back in '08 and his dad was a great running back at Whitmer. So it's in his genes. He rose to the occasion.”
Pinckney turned in the other big plays, a 10-yard run and a 10-yard pass. Junior J.Q. Bowers finished it off with a seven-yard scamper around the end for a 21-7 Cougar lead with 8:35 left in the game.
The stingy Cougar defense then forced two turnovers on downs to seal it.
Perrysburg running back Alec Gaston fumbled at his 12-yard line late in the first quarter. Southview scored two plays later for a 14-0 edge.
The Yellow Jackets had opened the game with an impressive drive, but it stalled with a missed 28-yard field goal.
Southview senior running back Ja'Darian Bowers is trippedup by Perrysburg's Steve Slocum.
“They are better than us athletically,” Perrysburg coach Matt Kregel said. “So you have to play flawless. I thought we played a little tight [early]. Once we got through that we played the way we knew we could. We just had too many mental mistakes. But we have a tough group of kids and we battled right to the end.”
After the Perrysburg fumble, Pinckney rolled right looking to throw, pulled it down, changed directions and wound his way in for an eight-yard score.
Southview put together a 14-play, 60-yard drive to open the scoring. The Cougars converted twice on third down and once on fourth down.
Late in the second quarter, the Cougars missed a 38-yard field goal attempt, but still led by two scores at intermission.
“That was very important to get ahead [early],” Mayzes said. “In the third quarter they came after us and played better than we did.”
Contact Mark Monroe at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6354.