Thursday, December 7, 2023

Cardinal runs to win over rival Berkshire

Cardinal ran for 355 yards in a 28-8 win at rival Berkshire on Friday.

With the win, the Huskies won their second straight over the Badgers and increased their advantage in the series to 33-31-1.

“There was a lot of emotion on both sides because of the game that it is,” Cardinal coach Eric Cardinal said. “It was funny because they were jawing back and forth and there was some pushing and shoving and then the game is over and they were posing for pictures with each other. It’s the best kind of rivalry. It’s the enemy you love to hate and you hate ’em but you love them. It’s good all the way around but it’s always better when you win.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Brice Hogue gave the Huskies a 6-0 lead with his two-yard touchdown run.

Cardinal failed to convert a 4th-and-goal from inside the Berkshire one but the Huskies trapped the Badgers in the end zone on the next play for a safety that increased the lead to 8-0 with 3:19 left in the first half.

Berkshire took the momentum heading into the locker room when Jacob Brown threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Griffin Urban and Ryan Pennypacker ran in the two-point conversion to tie the score at 8-8 with 35 seconds left before the break.

“We kind of gift-wrapped it a little bit,” Cardinal said of the touchdowns. “We had a penalty and then another penalty and then we gave up a pass and then another penalty. They certainly earned it and got the two-point conversion but we kind of gave them half the field.”

Cardinal challenged his squad at halftime to step up in the second half and the Huskies responded.

“We had a bunch of unfinished drives,” Cardinal said. “They played stout defense, the Badgers did in the first half, but we shot ourselves in the foot. We finished one drive inside the 10 and another one inside the one with nothing to show for it. We talked about it at halftime. We didn’t do much strategizing, we just said we had to finish drives and take care of the ball. When we went back out it was a bit of a rainstorm so it was important to do that.”

Trey Shirkey dominated the final 24 minutes of his high school career.

“It feels great,” Shirkey said of his big night. “It’s a moment that will stick with me the rest of my life. We fought hard this game. The first half was a fluke then we locked in the second half and took care of them. They had no response the second half at all.”

He opened the second half with an 18-yard touchdown run and later added a 10-yard touchdown.

Shirkey finished the game with 37 carries for 214 yards and the two scores.

“He had a year that wasn’t really satisfying,” Cardinal said. “He’s a senior and wanted to go out with a bang. There were high expectations and then he broke his leg and missed five games. I told him, ‘I want you to ball out and go and play. This is the last 24 minutes you’ve got, run with abandon and what you wanted to do all season, do it this last 24 minutes.’ We rode him in the second half.”

Matt Carney added a three-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter for the Huskies.

“We basically ran off tackle left, off tackle right and it worked,” Cardinal said. “We were able to drive the length of the field twice and they wore down just like anybody does toward the end of the game. We just took care of business in the second half and we were able to pull away.”

Hogue finished the game with 87 yards on 11 carries and Robby Granny and Casey Horner both picked off passes for the Huskies, who closed out the year at 4-6.

Pennypacker led the Badgers (1-9) with 37 yards on eight carries and Brown finished the game 6-of-17 passing for 98 yards.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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