Thursday, June 8, 2023

Huskies dominant in win at Pymatuning Valley

Unsatisfied with their performance in last week’s three touchdown win at Garrettsville Garfield, the Cardinal Huskies set out to play a complete game in Week 2 at Pymatuning Valley.

KC Cress scored on the first play from scrimmage

The result: a 48-0 rout over the Lakers.

“I thought it was a very workman-like win,” said Cardinal head coach Eric Cardinal. “We stressed all week to play four quarters. Last week, I thought we had a pretty good outing. We won the game 33-14 and I thought we won three quarters but they won the second quarter and almost took the momentum away from us. Our point of emphasis this week was to play four full quarters and I think that’s what we did.”

KC Cress ran for a 50-yard touchdown on the Huskies’ first play from scrimmage and Lester Troyer quickly added a 52-yard scoring run. Kyle Simms and Zach Retych then connected for a 17-yard scoring pass to make it 19-0 in the first quarter.

Troyer added a 45-yard touchdown run and Kyle Gubanyar’s extra point made it 27-0 at halftime.

The Huskies had a big second half but they didn’t need it.

Their defense held the Lakers to 14 yards rushing and just 56 through the air.

“I thought the defense played a smothering game,” Cardinal said. “They wanted to run and I don’t know that they had a rushing first down. We played really well. A lot of their running plays got stuffed. They had a few decent runs to start but I thought it was just a good all-around effort.”

The biggest play in the second half came from Clark Thurling, who picked off a Laker pass and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown.

“He drifted back, got under the route and picked it off,” Cardinal said. “He then used his running back skills to take it back.”

Bobby Mrosko caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Simms and Chris Guinn ran one in from the Laker 1 to close out the Cardinal scoring.

After throwing just one pass in his debut last week, Simms completed 3-of-7 passes for 43 yards with two touchdowns.

“He’s a rookie, a sophomore, and the idea was to get his feet wet, hopefully in a successful way,” Cardinal said. “He threaded the needle on the touchdown pass to Zach Retych in the second quarter and then upstairs we noticed how they weren’t really covering the middle of the field so we ran a boot, a waggle, and had our tight end go straight up the shoot. He was wide open and Kyle hit him in stride. It was a nice baptism of quarterbacking.”

Troyer led the Huskies’ ground attack with 146 yards on six carries. Thurling ran five times for 50 yards, Cress had one carry for 50 and Cody Purpura ran for 49 yards on three carries. As a team, the Huskies ran for 365 yards on 28 carries.

Thurling led the defense with 11 tackles and Brant Zemelka had seven. The Huskies recorded 10 tackles for loss.

Despite the 2-0 start, the Huskies aren’t taking anything for granted when they host Atwater Waterloo on Friday.

“It was a good game in all phases,” Cardinal said. “We were happy to get the victory. Our mantra here is now the worst we can be is 2-8. You’ve got nothing after week two. You can just as easily go 8-2 as you can 2-8. It’s just the beginning of the season. There’s a long way to go.”

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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