Cardinals face ‘must win’ match against Bismarck

The Harmony Grove Cardinals have fallen victim to the loss three weeks in a row dating back to Week 2 of the football season. Sitting at 1-3 on the year and winless in conference play, the Cardinals are still continuing to get better week in and week out.
Last week, the Cardinals fell to rival Glen Rose at home by a final of 48-21. Though the loss was rather large, much should be noticed about it. The 21 points put up by Harmony Grove was the second highest total scored on the Beavers this season. Only Malvern has posted more, coming in the Beavers only loss, a 31-28 heartbreaker in Week 1.
“We felt like we could have played a whole lot better than we played,” Head Coach Red Parker said.
“We had a couple of people that didn’t play to the best of their ability, which you get when you play against a great team like Glen Rose. My only regret is not losing the game, but having a lot of miscues.”
Quarterback Zane Anderson has rose to the top of the Cardinals offense as the starter. Anderson completed 7 of 15 for 124 yards and a touchdown against Glen Rose.
The Beavers are ranked No. 1 in 3A heading into Week 5.
Now that the midway point of the season is here, the Cardinals get a little bit of a break when they travel to Bismarck on Friday. Last season’s match between the two looked as if the Cardinals would be the most dominate one, but that was not the case as the Cardinals fell at home 20-6.
Harmony Grove was a preseason favorite over Bismarck but the two are neck and neck heading into Friday’s battle.
“This is a game that both teams really need to win,” Parker said. “We will not be satisfied unless we play the very best game that we have played all season.”
The Lions have been outscored 177-59 thus far this season. Bismarck currently sits at 0-4 after losing to Jessieville last week, 42-8. But Week 4 is setting up to be a good battle between two teams that need a win more than ever.
For Bismarck, the Lions return 10 starters from last season’s 3-8 squad. Senior quarterback Trace Pee leads the offense for Bismarck after completing 65 of 120 passes a season ago. Pee threw for 751 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. Pee also runs the ball very effectively, finishing last season with 152 carries for a total of 955 yards and 10 TDs. Pee was named all-conference after last season’s performance.
Junior Justin Taylor returns as the starting running back after posting 62 carries and 357 yards last season. Taylor found the end zone six times during last year’s campaign.
As for what the Cardinals are planning to do, Assistant Head Coach Richard Moore said that his team has had two good practices so far this week as they continue to work on defense.
“We have been getting after each other in practice and have been getting good looks on both sides of the ball,” Moore said.
“Defensively, we are going to have to stop the run (on Friday). Bismarck has a big back and they run the ball well. Offensively, we are going to do what we do. We are going to run some option at them and try to get in the right position.”
The Cardinals and Lions are set for a crucial match this Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.