The Harmony Grove Cardinals are 4-0 to start the season.
That is a quote never before muttered – until now.
The 2022 Harmony Grove Cardinals are perfect through four games this season after a dominating win over CAC on the road last week.
Even through the years of leadership under coach Paul Calley, no Harmony Grove team has ever started this well.
“We have a group of juniors that have been successful in the past,” said Head Coach Mike Guthrie. “When they were ninth-graders they won seven games after taking it on the chin in eighth grade.
“The seniors in front of them are extremely hard working. We told them in November that the pieces are here you just have to work for it. They have worked hard in the weight room and the morale is a lot different than it used to be. These kids deserve the good things that are happening because they have put in the work.”
The second-best start for the program was a 3-1 showing in 2019-20.
With plenty of momentum coming into Week 4, the Cardinals welcome Clinton (4-0) to the friendly atmosphere of Everett Stadium in Haskell on Friday in a clash between two of the three teams to have a 4-0 record in 4A to this point.
Clinton won easily last week behind stellar running from Zane Widener, who led with 11 carries, 189 yards and two scores.
Clinton, too, got it done through the air as wide receiver Brody Emberton caught five passes for 127 yards and a pair of scores to boot.
“They are extremely big everywhere,” Guthrie said. “From running back to linemen, if they are on their offense, they are big kids. But we have a pretty good scheme put together. Even though our kids aren’t as big, they still play hard and that makes up for a lot of stuff.”
Coming out of the Wing-T, Clinton expects to use its ground attack to stifle Harmony Grove’s defensive push Friday.
“They are going to make a living on the buck sweep, which is typical of a Wing-T team,” Guthrie said. “This year he has a really good wing back and they have been running a lot of counter stuff with him. We have to adjust for that. On the buck sweep, our linebackers are good at reading and the guard is going to take you to the football. If we can get a half step in front of them, we can get out there and stop that scheme.”
For the Cardinals, the Diamond-T approach has worked to perfection through four games. Harmony Grove throws rarely, but effective when needed so far.
“We have a really good offensive line,” Guthrie said. “What people don’t understand in the stands is ‘Yes, we may run the same play, but we can block it five or six different ways.’ We have a saying that ‘defense is always wrong.’ No matter what you show us, we have an answer. Our line has been together so long that they can change that on their own.”
Junior Peyton Potter caught a 57-yard TD last week, and also broke free for a 72-yard rushing score in the three-score Cardinals win over CAC.
With an undefeated streak on the line for both teams, Everett Stadium will be the place to be Friday under the lights in Haskell.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.