By RYAN LEWIS
Akron Beacon Journal
None of the current Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary players were alive the last time the Fighting Irish came out on top against Cardinal Mooney. But no one would have guessed that was the case in the rain Friday night.
The Irish used a stifling defense and the legs of Parris Campbell to out rush Mooney 399-0 to cruise to a 25-0 win at John Cistone Field at Green Street Stadium.
Campbell, a senior, ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns.
Akron SVSM (4-0) had won just one meeting with Cardinal Mooney (2-2) in the past 22 meetings, and it hadn’t beaten the Cardinals since 1988, 25 years ago.
“They’re an outstanding football team,” Cardinal Mooney coach P.J. Fecko said. “We knew that going in. They’re a team that that has the ability to go a long way and I predict they will.”
As SVSM’s losing streak continued against Cardinal Mooney, Boarman upped the pressure on his players. This week, he treated it like the next game and nothing more.
“We’ve approached it a lot of different ways,” Boarman said. “We’ve made this game very important, almost putting too much pressure on the kids. We took the pressure off them.
“We’ve had the ‘Mooney Monkey’ on our back since I got here. It’s just been a strange phenomenon. One of the things, they’re a fine football team. ... State championships speak for themselves. They’re a physical football team, and we knew to beat them we were going to need to be more physical.”
Cardinal Mooney couldn’t do much of anything on offense, particularly in the first half. SVSM held the Cardinals to just one first down (which came with six seconds left in the second quarter) and five yards of total offense in the first half. In the second half, the Irish forced turnovers on two of the first three plays from scrimmage. In the end, Mooney had zero yards rushing on 32 attempts and just 86 yards overall.
“We had done a poor job in turnovers and field position,” Fecko said. “Give credit to them, they played really good defense. We weren’t able to move the ball, move the sticks, the things we needed to do to win.
“I think we’ve gotta do a better job up front offensively. On the defensive side we’ve given up some big plays. Those guys, in some really poor field positions, came up with some stops and limited the amount of points.”
Campbell ran for touchdowns of 12 and 75 yards and added two more carries that went for at least 30 yards, finding holes in Mooney’s front seven and using his state championship track speed to break runs open. Campbell needed just 15 carries to rush for his 178 yards.