CLEARWATER — Countryside quarterbacks were sacked six times as the Cougars suffered their first loss, 27-0 to Palmetto on Thursday night at Cougar Field.
Palmetto attacked Countryside’s front seven with a strong rushing game, led by 5-foot-10, 210-pound Joshua Hicks, who had 93 rushing yards in the first half. Hicks (16 carries, 110 yards) had scoring runs of 2 and 26 yards during the first two quarters. The Cougars (2-1) went into intermission down 13-0 and were outgained by the Tigers 192-144.
After Countryside starting quarterback Robby Hicks (11 of 16, 127 yards) was picked off in the third quarter, Hicks was replaced by sophomore Trent Chmelik, the younger brother of former Cougars quarterback Jimbo Chmelik. Chmelik completed all four attempts for 44 yards in a little more than a quarter.
The Tigers (1-2) stymied the Cougars’ run game and held them to minus-12 yards on 27 attempts. Countryside’s passing game went 15 of 20 for 171 yards, and the Cougars finished with 159 yards. Palmetto finished with 327 yards, 177 coming on the ground.
Palmetto 7 6 14 0 — 27
Countryside 0 0 0 0 — 0
P — Joshua Hicks 2 run (Kitchell kick)
P — Joshua Hicks 26 run (kick failed)
P — Williams 30 pass from Allison (Kitchell kick)
P — Joshua Hicks 11 run (Kitchell kick)