After slow start, Cardinals fly over Bears
Fiorenza, Breinz connect to keep offense going
By alexis bartolomucci
The Cardinals’ defense proved their strength as they added one more shutout to their record and helped the team continue their undefeated season.
Canfield hosted the East Golden Bears at Bob Dove Field and defeated them 24-0 Friday night.
“Our defense did a tremendous job stopping their offense,” Canfield quartback Vinny Fiorenza said. “Once our offense started rolling, we were in good shape.”
Opening the scoring for the game was Fiorenza when he saw an opening his offensive line created for him and ran 20 yards into the end zone. East’s defense was able to prevent the Cardinals from scoring for the rest of half.
“We held them off, but we made too many mistakes,” East head coach Brian Marrow said. “We just don’t capitalize on our breaks. We have miscommunications.”
Canfield’s defense continued to hold strong throughout the entirety of the game. East was within Canfield’s 10-yard line at the end of the first quarter, but wasn’t able to cross the end zone line.
“East is always tough, they always play us tough,” tailback Paul Breinz said. “We came in with a good mindset and I think we did pretty good.”
It wasn’t until the second half when Canfield starting connecting with each other on passes and finding the holes in East’s defense to run through. Kicker Sam Accordino added three points in the third off a 25-yard kick to bring the Cardinals up 10-0 at the end of quarter.
“We were going to run the ball a lot and that the middle of the field was open on the pass game is what we saw on film,” Fiorenza said.
“Defense played an outstanding game from start to finish,” Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky said. “Offensively we were slow in the first half. In the second half we played very well and were able to pull away.”
Fiorenza was able to connect with his teammate Breinz on a 42-yard pass in the fourth quarter. This was the first of two touchdowns Breinz scored for the Cardinals.
“Vinny’s got an arm so I trust him to get me the ball,” Breinz said. “I just run and hopefully get the ball.”
Although Canfield started off slow offensively, they really showed what they could do in the second half. Three minutes after his first touchdown, Breinz finished off the scoring with a 10-yard run.
“I think us realizing they’re not gonna lay down and die, they’re not gonna roll over for us,” Pavlanskly said. “What changed is ours guys deciding to execute a little bit better and focus.”
Marrow said going in to the game his team tried to mix things up when it came to their playing style. They tried to do different things that Canfield hasn’t seen to try to catch them off guard.
“We go in expecting to win every game,” Marrow said. “We have some athletes, we just have to get everybody on the same page and move forward.”
Canfield looks to take the season one game at a time and continue to stay undefeated. Pavlansky said his team needs to have a great week of practice as they move onto the next game against Howland — who defeated them last year for the league title. He said they need to play their best game of the year if they want to win.