MIDDLEFIELD–Cardinal was able to slow down Harvey’s momentum just enough to secure a close 27-21 victory at home on Friday.
Playing a smash-mouth-style game plan, the Huskies were weathered an early storm as the Red Raiders cruised down the field and scored first on a Rick Coleman Jr. pass to Davon Badley made it 7-0 with 7:24 in the first.
Going into the second, the Huskies needed a score, and they were able to find the end zone as Zach Czako punched it in from two yards out, tying the game 7-7.
“The O-line was doing their job, the cut back lanes were open, and that was really it,” Czako said. “They made the holes and I hit them as they were there.”
Cardinal’s Anthony Soltis picked off a Harvey pass on fourth down and the Huskies converted that turnover into another Czako touchdown for a 14-7 lead.
“Czako is a kid that has just battled adversity,” said Cardinal coach Chris Perrotti. “Not being able to play last season due to injury, I for sure missed him. I found him this year that’s for sure.”
Both teams played aggressively in the third quarter and it paid off for Cardinal as JohnRobert Kochy broke a few tackles on his way to a 25-yard touchdown run that increased the Huskies’ lead to 21-7.
Coleman quickly responded with a 99-yard touchdown to pull the Red Raiders to within 21-14.
Showing confidence, the Red Raiders fearlessly drove down the field and Coleman found himself in the end zone again, this time on an eight-yard run that tied the score at 21-all with 11:24 left in the game.
“The offense is built around his athleticism,” Harvey coach Mickey Mohner said. “We like giving him opportunities to roll out and throw on the run as well as also having the option to run too.”
Cardinal closed out the scoring midway through the fourth as Logan Strever found Ethan Detweiler, and Detweiler did the rest shedding and juking out defenders on his way to the end zone. After a missed extra point, the final score was 27-21.
“I am so proud of this team,” Perrotti said. “We were coming off a really bad loss last week against a good Hawken team, and this game was back and forth, nothing but grit, I loved it.”
With the win, the Huskies improved to 3-2. They travel to Beachwood on Friday. Harvey fell to 2-3 and will host Grand Valley on Friday.