Rainwater leads Cougars’ charge

soccer_ball_clip_art_13012By Jonathan Wise

Pontotoc Progress

PONTOTOC – It was a tale of offense, offense and more offense Tuesday night for South Pontotoc.

The Cougars rolled into the 3A North soccer semifinals with a dominating performance, blanking Independence 7-0.

Austin Rainwater had a huge game with four goals and an assist, with fellow offensive standout Manuel Almazan chipping three goals of his own. Defensively, the Cougars were also superb, allowing a mere four shots on the part of the Wildcats.

Coach Chance Kitchens thinks South, who has been a force to be reckoned with all year with an 18-3-1 record, is starting to perhaps peak at the right time.

“Every time you get on the field you want to play better than the time before,” Kitchens said. “Starting the playoffs this week that is even more important. Tonight we might have played our best game all year. We did a great job passing, staying spread out, and finishing on our shots.

“We have had a good run this year, and hopefully it will continue on deep into the playoffs.

Independence (5-12), in only its second year as a program, was outmatched by an experienced South club.

“They are a real good team with a lot of speed; we knew they would be,” said Wildcat coach Chris Faulkner. “We are just excited to be here (the playoffs), and we are trying to build for the future.”

(G) South Pontotoc 12, Strayhorn 1: The Lady Cougars (16-2-2) put on an even more impressive scoring display in the opening contest, jumping out to a 8-1 halftime lead and cruising to an opening round win.

Judith Mills and Northwest signee Tristan Kitchens led the way with four goals apiece, with Lexie Ward adding three of her own. Mattie Mills recorded South’s other netter.