Just two seasons into their varsity program, the Harmony Grove Cardinals are once again staring at a 1-0 record after winning their season opener last week.
The Cardinals beat the Poyen Indians in their first ever game last season by a score of 35-14. On opening night, the Cardinals repeated history after they beat the Indians for the second year in-a-row, this time by a score of 32-23.
The Cardinals totaled over 400 yards of offense on Friday but turned the ball over twice in the late quarters.
“We ran the ball well and threw the ball when we had to,” said assistant head coach Benji White. “The problem was that we turned the ball over twice, late.”
White added that was the time his team should have been putting the game away. “Going into this week that is one thing that we have to be able to bare down on,” White added. The Cardinals are looking like a whole new team from a season ago. They went from being able to throw the ball short, to throwing it long. From hitting people with hands and arms, to putting a body on someone and putting that person on the ground. The Cardinals are not the team from 2010. They are a new and improved big red fighting machine.
In the off-season, the Cardinals set a goal for themselves and for the regular season. To double their wins is something they have used as motivation since the end of last season. The Cardinals finished the 2010 season with a 2-8 record beating Cutter Morning Star on the last day of the season in a romp, 41-0.
On Friday, the Cardinals take back to the field but this time on their home turf. They play host to the emotional team from Gurdon. Earlier this year the Go-Devils lost one of their own during practice. Montel Williams collapsed and was pronounced dead earlier this year.
Since then, every team has been taking precautions in making sure no one gets over heated and everyone is hydrated.
Heading into week two, the Cardinals are not going to have it as easy as they did in Poyen.
“Gurdon has got a very fast and talented team,” White said. “We have got to do a much better job tackling because Gurdon is going to force us to tackle in the open field.”
The game plan is simple for the Cardinals heading into Friday night. With two senior running back ins Jarrod Robinson and Austin Traylor, it is obvious that the plan is to run the ball and run it effectively.
“Of course our offense is geared toward long sustaining drives and controlling the football,” White said.
“As long as we are controlling the ball and we are making long drives, we can keep the other teams offense on the sidelines. That is pretty much the plan in a nutshell.”
The Cardinals are set to battle with the Go-Devils on Friday at Cardinal Stadium. Opening kick is set for 7 p.m.