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Little Cardinals open with two shut-outs

September 5, 2013
Special to the Town Crier

The 9- and 10-year-old, 120-pound Canfield Little Cardinals opened the 2013 season with a win over Youngstown Athletic Conference rival Howland, 20-0. Logan Torok had a big day for the Cards with three touchdowns and a fumble recovery, while the Canfield defense stifled the Tiger offense.

Howland took possession to start the game and drove to the Canfield 45 before turning over the ball on downs. In the first play for Canfield, Torok went off tackle right and cut back 55 yards in to the end zone. When the Tigers got the ball back, they fumbled on first down. Canfield took over on the Tiger 33 yard line.

Luke Holland led the drive down to the seven yard line when the Cards fumbled back to the Tigers. The Card defense held and four plays later gave the ball back to the offense on the Tiger 10 yard line. Four plays later, Torok scampered up the middle for a Canfield touchdown. He then rolled right on the extra point and scored two more to make the score 14-0. Jeff Shaughnessy stole the ball away from Howland on the next possession, but the Cards were unable to score again before halftime.

Article Photos

Photos special to the Town Crier
Conor Hritz finds the open field on the Howland defense during last week’s season opener where the Cardinals shut out Howland 20-0 in the 120-pound game.

In the third quarter, Torok had a fumble recovery and a 40-yard touchdown run. Then in the fourth, the Tigers drove down to the Cardinal nine yard line where Gianni Gaetano recovered a Tiger fumble. On the next play, Canfield's Evan Perry went 91 yards to pay dirt only to have the score cancelled by a penalty.

The Canfield Little Cardinals 12-and-under, 140-pound football team mirrored their younger counterparts by opening their 2013 season in true Cardinal championship fashion. The Cards routed the Howland Tigers 48-0 on the road. The Cards opened the game on defense with a three-and-out series ending in a punt to Canfield's Ethan Fletcher who returned for 15 yards. On their first offensive series Fletcher scored on an eight-yard run followed by a two-point conversion when Nick Crawford caught a ball from Santino Marucci. On the ensuing series, Fletcher intercepted a pass deep in Cardinal territory. Marucci ran a three-yard option behind Peyton Kostelic and Seth Hull to score followed by a Crawford two-point conversion to make it 16-0.

The defense was fierce, allowing no yards for the Tigers. On the third offensive series, Marucci hit Crawford on a 25-yard TD pass that was called back on a block in the back. The ball was spotted at the 15 yard line. On the next play, Marucci hit Greg Karas for a 15-yard TD pass thanks to great blocking by Gavin Tareshawty and David Noday. Fletcher earned the extra point run for two. With a 24-0 deficit, the Tigers offense didn't show up again on the following series and the Cards took advantage with Fletcher taking a toss sweep off the left side for a 35-yard TD. The two-pointer was tacked on by Crawford on a run to make it 32-0 at the half.

The Cards stopped Howland on the first series of the third quarter and then Marucci found Crawford deep on a 35-yard TD pass. Anthony D'Alesio scored the two points on a run making it 40-0. D'Alesio recovered a Tiger fumble on the following series. Jake Kowal threw a strike to D'Alesio for a 10-yard TD followed by a Cole Morell run. Card Alex George forced a Tiger fumble and David Reinhart recovered.

In rushing, Fletcher totaled 53 yards, Crawford 30 yards and D'Alesio 30. Marucci and Kowal passed for 90 and 32 yards respectively. For receiving, Crawford recorded 63 yards, D'Alesio, 18, Kowal and Ritenhour had 15 each, and Karas took 12. Crawford, Marucci, and Kostelic each recorded three tackles.

The CLC 100-pound squad has been limited to only a 14 player roster this year. Dom DiDonato, Zach Karas, Phil McLaughlin, and Nick Smyczynski are the only returning players from last year's team as most of the players have moved up to the 120s. Caleb Ortiz has rejoined the team after being off the previous year. The team was overmatched by a dominant, older, and larger Howland team, losing their opener in Howland.



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