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Tigers hand Cardinals 21-0 defeat

Coach, team motivated for showdown with Bulldogs

October 27, 2016
By Nik Zirounis - Town Crier correspondent , The Town Crier

The playoff hopes of the Canfield High School football team took a mighty hit Friday at home against Howland.

The Tigers prowled into Canfield and handed the Cardinals a horrific 21-0 defeat.

Not only did the loss put the 6-3 Cardinals playoff aspirations in peril, but it also clinched the All-American Conference Red Tier championship for Howland. That means the Cardinals will not defend their league crown from 2016.

Article Photos

Photos by Cindy?DeRose, Town Crier
Canfield senior quarterback Jake Cummings (7) hands off to junior Paul Breinz (4) during Friday’s home game Friday against the Howland Tigers. The Tigers shut out the Cardinals, 21-0.

Canfield will have to knock off rival Poland in Week 10 and get a truckload of help if it wants to play in Week 11.

It was well documented that the Tigers enjoy running the football just as much as the Cardinals. The unfortunate thing for the home team Friday night was that the visitors their running much better.

Howland's rushing attack handed it to Canfield's defense all evening, totaling more than 200 yards. Tiger tailback Tyriq Ellis almost single-handedly eliminated the Cardinals from playoff contention with 30 carries for 134 yards.

It was Ellis' two scores in the first half that helped build Howland's almost insurmountable 14-0 halftime advantage.

Another short touchdown plunge late in the fourth period put the game played on a chilly night in Canfield on ice.

Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky gave a ton of credit to the readiness of the Tigers' staff

"(Howland) is well coached," Pavlansky said. "They were better prepared than we were. We couldn't get our offense going and that's tough when you're playing for a league title."

Now all Pavlansky's kids are probably playing for is pride. That won't be a hard feeling to conjure up, however, because this week is the annual showdown with arch nemesis Poland.

"There's something wrong if we have to motivate our kids this week," Pavlansky said about the yearly showdown. "We know it's a one-game season. We prepare for Poland all year."

When the Bulldogs bounce into Canfield, Cardinal Nation may have a hard time recognizing them. The first change is that Ryan Williams will be roaming the sidelines instead of longtime Poland head coach Mark Brungard.

The other notable difference is that these Bulldogs are just 4-5 and are not the powerful force they have been in recent seasons.

Canfield's coach doesn't believe Poland's sub par .500 standing is indicative of how well it has performed in 2016.

"(Poland's) record doesn't reflect how good they are," Pavlansky said. "They had three losses where they held the lead. They just can't close out games."

The Bulldogs were beaten by Hubbard 17-7 last weekend for their second straight loss. They also will try to avoid a second consecutive setback to the Cardinals, who edged them 7-6 in Week 10 a year ago.

That tremendous road victory snapped Poland's season-long winning streak and vaulted the Cardinals into the postseason.

Another triumph this week over their rivals will almost assuredly not do the same for the Cardinals. With both schools staring at the postseason from the outside, it seems certain that they will be playing this contest as if it were the Super Bowl.



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