CLEARWATER — It was expected Countryside would handle Clearwater. It was expected the Cougars defense would stymie senior quarterback Rob Yarbrough. It was expected senior running back Diomi Roberts would trample Clearwater.
Well, scratch the last two.
Countryside got it done through the air, especially in the first half, beating Clearwater 35-0 Friday.
“It started early getting short completions and we were able to build confidence from there,” Cougar senior quarterback Gray Crow said. “Soon after, we were clicking on all cylinders.”
Crow was 10 of 18 for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
Yarbrough had a much tougher outing, but despite overwhelming pressure went 14 of 23 for 100 yards. He also rushed for 20 yards.
The Tornadoes had no answer for the Cougars’ skill players, Marrieo Taylor and Roberts. Roberts finished off two long catches with two short touchdown runs in just the first quarter. He finished with 60 yards rushing and 75 receiving. Taylor was just shy of 75 yards receiving with a touchdown.
The Cougars were up 28-0 when they sent in wildcat quarterback, junior Mike Tsalickis, to grind it out. And grind it, the Cougars did behind a staunch offensive line.
“Jeff Albert is out anchor up front,” coach Jared Davis said. “(Zach) Rosinski and Jake Smith played great, too. We’re pretty confident in sending six guys (offensive linemen) on the field.”
The swarming Cougar defense held the Tornadoes to just over 150 yards of total offense.
“Clearwater makes you cover the whole field and we were able to do that,” Davis said.