In the first three games of the season, points were at a premium for the Southwest College football team.
The Cougars had scored only 19 points going into Saturday's Western State Conference game against Compton, but they surpassed that total by the third quarter and won their first game, 30-3.
"We were 0-3 and we came out on mission today," Coach Henry Washington said. "The kids have been playing hard and we needed this one badly."
The Cougars (1-3, 1-2 in conference) have had difficulty finishing drives, but they were efficient from their opening possession against Compton (1-3, 1-2).
They went 65 yards on the drive, which ended with a seven-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Bradley Freeman to fullback Earl Franklin. Sheldon Anderson's conversion attempt was blocked.
Compton pulled within three points midway through the second quarter with an 84-yard drive ending with Clyde Wilkerson's 29-yard field goal.
The series started after Compton defensive back Deon Hampton intercepted a pass by Freeman to stop a Southwest drive at the Tartar four-yard line.
Southwest had another opportunity to score on its next possession, only to stall on fourth down at the Compton 17 when a Freeman pass fell incomplete.
But on the ensuing play, a pass by Compton quarterback Tyrone Phillips was intercepted by linebacker Corey Theus, who returned it 22 yards for a touchdown. A two-point conversion attempt failed and Southwest settled for a 12-3 halftime lead.
"We kind of sputtered early in the game," Washington said. "We thought we had a chance to put them away in the first half."
The Cougars secured the victory in the third quarter by scoring touchdowns on two of their first three possessions for a 24-3 lead. Running back Katia Ransom plunged in from a yard with 10 minutes 21 seconds left in the quarter and Darren Walton ran in from two yards with 3:35 remaining.
Defensive back Darrell Cooley intercepted a pass by Compton backup quarterback Lenny Washington and raced 107 yards for a touchdown on the game's final play.
The Southwest defense, which was ranked third in the conference, held the Tartars to 220 total yards, only 33 rushing.
"We thought we could put some pressure on them and we did," Washington said. "But the most important thing was we put the ball in the end zone. That's what we needed to do in the worst way."
Southwest finished with 283 yards, 223 rushing. The Cougars were led by Ransom, who had 16 carries for 114 yards.