CLEARWATER — Countryside used a stifling defense, efficient offense and touchdown on special teams to down crosstown rival Clearwater in a Class 7A, District 9 game.
The Cougars intercepted Garrisin Bryant three times and forced two fumbles while allowing the Tornadoes (0-6, 0-2) only 50 yards of total offense.
Countryside (4-1, 2-0) led 28-0 after the first quarter and 42-0 after the first half.
It led 7-0 in the first quarter — on Robbie Hicks’ 11-yard run — when converted defensive lineman Chase Coppedge rumbled for a 41-yard touchdown.
After forcing a three-and-out, Countryside defensive back Michael Johnson returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 21-0.
“I knew where my blockers were going to be,” said the senior, who also contributed an interception.
“I just caught it and followed my blocks.”
Later in the first quarter, Steven Czop forced a fumble recovered by Jarrod McClendon in the end zone for a touchdown. McClendon and Damien Howard also added interceptions.
With this week’s homecoming festivities and several district games looming, Countryside coach Jared Davis said he had to keep his team focused.
“We can only control what we can control,” he said. “When we are at practice, it’s time to prepare. It’s time to work."