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Canfield Cards lose opener to Louisville

September 4, 2014
By Nik Zirounis - Town Crier correspondent , The Town Crier

It took less than three minutes for the Canfield football team to take its first lead of the new season.

Senior Canfield quarterback Aaron Jenkins shook free on a keeper and sped 55 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead, sending the pro Cardinal crowd into a frenzy.

Unfortunately, those would be the only offensive fireworks shot into the air by the home team the rest of the evening. Visiting Louisville would score the final 24 points of the game to send the Cardinals to a season opening 24-7 setback.

''We played a really good team (last Friday night),'' said veteran Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky. ''We had our chances early to stretch the lead, but we didn't.''

Louisville, on the other hand, did not have the same problem. The score was tied 7-7 at halftime, but the Leopards used a huge defensive stop to start the second half as a springboard for success.

A 47-yard touchdown run by Louisville's Walter Schrock on the Leopards' first possession of the third quarter pushed the guests ahead 14-7. A field goal and a sensational 75-yard scoring run by Schrock shook up the game in the fourth quarter.

Canfield's inability to put caps on drives and Louisville's long plays combined to keep the Cardinals from a much-desired home opening win.

''We need to finish plays better,'' said Pavlansky. ''(Louisville) hung around in the second half and made big plays. You can't give up big plays on defense like we did.''

Jenkins was the big playmaker for Pavlansky's team, totaling 121 yards on the ground and going 8-13 passing. Overall, the Cardinals were outgained by the Leopards on offense by almost a two-to-one margin, leaving Pavlansky with a lot to work on in practice this week.

''There were four times we could have scored and only scored once,'' said Pavlansky. ''We need to work on our red zone offense.''

Canfield's defense wasn't horrible in the home opener, but it wasn't exactly dominating either. The long runs by Schrock showed that poor tackling technique can lead to even worse results.

''We need to tackle better,'' Pavlansky said. ''We have to do better with our pursuit angles. It's all correctable stuff, though. We need to have a short memory and get to work on some of these things.''

The Cardinal are set to play Alliance Friday night. The Aviators smacked around Southeast in their season starter 33-13 last week. All 33 of those points were scored in the first half, so this Alliance team knows how to keep its foot on the pedal once it takes an early lead.

Quarterback Aeyron Williams is one of Alliance's most awesome weapons. He scored three times last weekend and was a perfect 7-7 passing the football.

The Cardinals better have their tackling issues corrected when Williams has the ball, or it may be a less-than-perfect road trip for the Redbirds.



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