HASKELL — The Harmony Grove Cardinals heading into their second season as a football team. With a finishing record of 2-8 last season, including blow-out wins over Poyen and Cutter Morning Star, the Cardinals are looking to double their wins and try to stun some teams in 2011.
The preseason for the Cardinals ended on Thursday with a three team scrimmage at Cardinal Stadium. With Woodlawn and Cutter Morning Star participating, the Cardinals looked to get some much needed work in. That's exactly what they did.
The Cardinals opened the scrimmage against Woodlawn on the defensive side of the ball and did not allow one positive yard. Forcing the Bears to go three-and-out, the Cardinals stopped them for a minus four yard gain.
After a 30-yard pass by quarterback Matt Houlsey took the Cardinals to the Bears 10-yard line, starting running back Jarrod Robinson finished his teams first drive with a touchdown.
After another three-and-out for the Bears, the Cardinals took back over on offense but were also stopped after a 4-and-4 attempt failed.
The Cardinals defense almost looked unstoppable early after topping the Bears for a third straight possession.
Houlsey then started doing what he does best once again when he completed a 30-yard strike to Ben Mizenhimer before heading into the second quarter against Cutter with a 7-0 lead. The Cardinals started the second quarter off on the wrong foot after being forced to fumble the football.
But the momentum did not stay with the Eagles long. On 3-and-19 Mizenhimer made a sensational play for a 70-yard pick-6 interception giving the Cardinals a 7-0 lead and 14-0 for the Scrimmage.
The Cardinals went on to force two fumbles in the second quarter with one leading to a touchdown and a 21-0 overall half time lead.
The first play from scrimmage to open the second half looked like someone had hit rewind when Houlsey hit his receiver for another 30-yard gain.
He then followed with a 31-yard completion to Robinson setting a 19-yard touchdown reception by Mizenhimer to give the Cardinals a 28-0 scrimmage lead.The Cardinals finished the scrimmage with four more three-and-outs against the Eagles and only gave up a single touchdown on the night. Robinson added another touchdown one 3-yard scrum.
After one more touchdown the Cardinals finished the game with a 42-6 win heading into the final week of preparation before heading to Poyen on Sept. 2.
There was also more than just a game for the Cardinals the fans to cheer about. Head coach and football legend Red Parker was back in the stadium. Though he was not on the field, he was in the press-box still giving orders. He was also very pleased about his teams performance. “I thought our defense player really well at times,” Parker said. “We still have some hole that we need to feel, but by-and-large we played well.” Even though the offense score 42 points, Parker was not as happy with that side of the ball.
“We did not block anybody all night,”Parker said. “Our running backs are trying to score touchdown instead of hitting the holes that they need to hit. We are not play anybody that we can run the ball on if we do not block.” Parker, who has been off the field due to heart surgery earlier this year, is not saying if he will be on the sidelines come Friday or not.
“I am not making any plans at this time,” Parker said. “I have got to wait and see how I survive and we will go from there.”
As for assistant head coach Benji White, he was very please with his team as well. “We were not just trying to tackle tonight,” White said. “We were trying to hit people.” The Cardinals are looking forward to opening night. “We are ready for next Friday,” White said. “It is going to be an exciting night.”