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McCarthy-led Mooney crushes Hoban, 40-13



Published: Sat, September 9, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Junior fullback Mike Zordich had 114 yards on 13 carries.

By JOE SCALZO

VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF

YOUNGSTOWN -- When Mooney junior Dan McCarthy was converted from running back to quarterback this summer, he had quite a legacy to live up to.

The last three Cardinal quarterbacks -- Ron Stoops (Michigan State), Kyle McCarthy (Notre Dame) and Derrell Johnson (Iowa) -- earned Division I scholarships, although all of them were recruited as defensive backs.

On Tuesday, the number grew to four -- Dan McCarthy got a letter in the mail from Ohio State coach Jim Tressel offering him a full-ride -- but McCarthy hasn't lost his focus.

Self-restraint

"I was very excited about the offer," said McCarthy, who hasn't yet decided on a college. "But I'm just trying to concentrate on this season."

He didn't seem to have any trouble on Friday, running for six touchdowns to lead Mooney (3-0) to a 40-13 win over Akron Hoban at Stambaugh Stadium.

"Did he really have that many [touchdowns]?" Mooney coach P.J. Fecko said. "Honestly, I didn't know that."

What Fecko did know was that losing Johnson to graduation left a big hole for his team at quarterback entering this season. Last year's backup, Tony Brunetti, was better suited at wideout.

McCarthy's athletic ability, meanwhile, was perfectly suited for Mooney's run-first offense, Fecko said.

"Danny's a pretty good athlete," Fecko said. "He's still learning and he's still figuring things out. But at this point, the only thing he's lacking is experience."

Not perfect

McCarthy wasn't perfect -- he fumbled a punt return and threw an interception into double coverage in the end zone -- but he certainly didn't play like it was his third start at quarterback.

"I'm just taking it week by week," said McCarthy, who said that his brother's decision to play at Notre Dame won't have any effect on his own. "Our line opened up some great holes and our fullbacks got the tough yards. I was just fortunate enough to get outside."

McCarthy finished with 152 yards on 16 carries and completed 3 of 4 passes for 65 yards, including a 42-yarder Vinny Petella.

Junior fullback Mike Zordich, an outstanding linebacker who is also getting interest from Division I schools, added 114 yards on 13 carries as the Cardinals finished with 361 yards on the ground. (Running back Brandon Beachum injured his ankle and did not play the second half, but the injury was not expected to be serious.)

"We're working on putting a full game together," Fecko said. "We've seen glimmers of what we can do."

Mooney took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, only to turn the ball over on three straight possessions in the second quarter, giving Hoban new life.

Knights within eight

The Knights (1-2) pulled to within 21-13 late in the third quarter and stuffed Mooney on its first three plays of the next series. Problem was, a Hoban defender got flagged for a personal foul on third down, giving Mooney a first down.

Five plays later, McCarthy scored his fourth touchdown and Hoban never again threatened.

Hoban senior running back DeAnte Johnson, who was carrying a bigger load due to the injury to running back Steven Yoak, finished with 97 yards on 25 carries and a touchdown.

"We did some things that I think we can build on," said Akron Hoban coach Ralph Orsini, whose team also lost to Walsh Jesuit. "You just can't get in a hole against a team like Cardinal Mooney.

"They're a really tough team," Orsini said. "Anybody who beats them this year is going to have to play awfully well."

scalzo@vindy.com




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