The Panthers trailed throughout but pulled within 28-21 with 9:49 left behind a terrific performance from junior quarterback Jake Schneider. But the Cougars responded with an 80-yard drive and put it away with a quarterback sneak to prevail 35-21 before their homecoming crowd at Cats Stadium.
The teams combined for 769 yards of total offense. Southview rushed for 350 yards on 58 attempts (6.0 per tote).
Senior quarterback De'Nard Pinckney led the Cougar rush attack with 161 yards on 22 carries (7.3).
“It was a slugfest,” Pinckney said. “There was a lot of hard hitting. This is huge. They beat us last year and we wanted redemption. It's just such a pay off to win.”
The decisive drive was done all on the ground and it took 6:13 off the clock. Junior Jordan Meehan then sealed it with an interception.
PHOTO GALLERY: HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Maumee vs. Sylvania Southview Oct. 8, 2010
The Cougars (7-0, 4-0 NLL) seized a stranglehold on the race for the league title. They have captured six of the last seven.
“That was a great war and both sides are tired,” Southview coach Jim Mayzes said. “What a wonderful night. It was our kids' homecoming and it was a beautiful night. But it was a lot of points to give up. That last drive was so important for us to punch it in.”
Maumee (5-2, 3-1) suffered its first league loss despite racking up 300 yards of offense, including 239 through the air.
Pinckney scored on an eight-yard run for an early 7-0 lead and made it 14-0 on an eight-yard pass play to Ja'Darian Bowers. Nick Jozsa rushed for 72 yards, J.Q. Bowers finished with 54 and scored on a 16-yard run. His senior brother Ja'Darian finished with 32 yards rushing.
Senior QB David Vandercook, who alternated with Pinckney, threw for 111 yards. He also rushed for 30 yards and scored on the late QB sneak.
“This senior class wants this NLL title so badly,” Pinckney said. “I'm just glad my boys got it done. It was tough. They have a lot of fast guys. I have a lot of respect for them.”
The Cougars are firmly in the driver's seat with games remaining against winless Rossford and two teams with at least two losses (Bowling Green and Northview).
Schneider proved to be a one-man wrecking machine for Maumee. He finished 20 of 32 for 239 yards and two scores. Schneider also rushed for 60 yards and another score.
The Panther wideouts, Jordan Lane (91 receiving yards), Robbie Cole (69 yards, TD), and Corbin Frankhouse (50, TD), all did damage. But Maumee failed to convert twice when it got into the red zone. The Panthers fumbled at the 3 and failed to convert a fourth and four at the 6.
“That was the difference from a pure scoreboard standpoint,” Maumee coach John Boles said. “We were down there a couple times and we didn't score. We were able to do some things. We just didn't do enough.
“We had to execute when we had a chance to score. They did a nice job running the football and controlled some things. We knew we would struggle stopping them and we did.”
Southview held a 21-7 lead to start the third quarter and then went up 28-7 with a 94-yard drive highlighted by Pinckney's 46-yard run. Junior lineman Andy Clark then recovered a fumble by J.Q. Bowers that popped up into the air at the one and dove in.
Schneider then had a 71-yard TD run called back on a penalty. But Maumee still scored on his 9-yard strike to Frankhouse and it was 28-14 late in the third.
Maumee then forced a three and out and a high snap on fourth down resulted in a sack by Al Bryant. The Panthers took over at midfield and scored two plays later when Schneider burst up the middle and sprinted in for a 25-yard score.
“That No. 2 is a special athlete,” Mayzes said. “He looked like he was shot out of a gun.”
Southview answered with a methodical 11-play drive.
“I think we were a little tougher up front than they were,” Mayzes said.