By STEVE WILAJ
Boardman vs Cardinal Mooney
It wasn’t a quick start that concerned Cardinal Mooney head coach P.J. Fecko.
His Cardinals had no trouble jumping out to a two-touchdown lead before Boardman gained a first down. Instead, Fecko’s concern was maintaining that early energy.
“The key to it is keeping after it,” he said. “Sometimes you jump out to a fast start and then fizzle out a little bit. But I think our guys did a nice job to keep applying pressure to them and keep moving the football.”
Mooney never did let up, as the Cardinals scored early and often to defeat the Spartans, 42-14, Friday night.
“I think we did a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage tonight,” Fecko said. “We had a bunch of backs that we could move in and out and keep fresh legs in there.”
Using seven different backs, the Cardinals (1-1) rushed for 388 yards.
Benji Roberts led the way with 117 yards on 10 carries, while C.J. Arnill had 114 yards on 10 attempts. Mark Handel also had 72 yards on 12 carries.
“We practiced hard all week and came out and played the same way,” Arnill said. “I have to give a big shout out to our line. We couldn’t do it without them and they did extremely well today. We just came out and did what we had to do.”
The Cardinals’ opening drive covered 69 yards in 7 minutes, 50 seconds and ended with a 3-yard run by Handel.
Arnill then scored on a 1-yard run and Roberts ran 50 yards to the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
“We’ve come out two weeks in a row and it’s taken us a quarter and a half to wake up,” said Boardman head coach Joe Ignazio. “We gave up 21 points on things that can’t happen — blown coverages, don’t cover a pitch man and we don’t wrap and tackle.”
Boardman (0-2) answered in the second quarter when Darius Sanders connected with Dawan Britt for a 27-yard touchdown. And an 80-yard TD run by Isaiah Lyle after a 10-yard score by Arnill cut the halftime deficit to 28-14.
But Mooney put the game away in the third quarter, scoring on a 34-yard pass from Jon Saady to Tim Durkin and an Arnill 61-yard run. He finished with three touchdowns.
“There was a hole every time, so I just hit the crease and got yards,” Arnill said. “This is a big win for us. There were some transfers over there and some friends, so this game means a lot.”
Mooney’s final two scores came after the Spartans lost a fumble on the opening possession of the second half.
“We keep shooting ourselves in the foot and it’s like we’re afraid to take the next step that we need to take to win football games,” Ignazio said.
Lyle led Boardman with 102 rushing yards, while Sanders passed for 46 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 64 yards. Saadey was 5 for 6 for the Cardinals, passing for 85 yards and a TD.