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Mooney dominates Boardman, 42-14

Cardinals rush for 391 yards in win

September 7, 2013
By LOU CALI JR. - Tribune Chronicle correspondent (sports@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

BOARDMAN - For more than a quarter Friday night Spartan Stadium was quieter than usual. The microphone inside the press box was malfunctioning so the teams played without the usual chatter of the public address announcer.

According to Boardman coach Joe Ignazio, his team is having similar issues thus far this season.

"We've come out two weeks in a row and it's taken us a quarter and a half to wake up," Ignazio said.

The Spartans couldn't afford to do it in a Week 1 loss to Hilliard Darby and they certainly couldn't afford to do it against Cardinal Mooney last night.

The Cardinals, and particularly their offensive line, made plenty of noise. Mooney scored the first four times it had the ball en route to a 42-14 victory. The Cards, who improved to 1-1, ran 50 times for 391 yards (7.8 per carry). C.J. Amill led the way with 116 yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries. Benji Roberts carried 10 times for 115 yards and a score while Mark Handel had 70 yards and a TD on 12 totes.

"Our guys did a good job up front, a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage," said Mooney coach P.J. Fecko. "It allowed us to keep fresh legs in there, use up a lot of the clock and get a lot of yards in the process."

The Cardinals found the end zone on six of its first seven drives. The only time they didn't was because they ran out of time in the second quarter.

Mooney took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards on 15 plays eating up nearly eight minutes off the clock. The march ended with Handel's score from two yards out. Amill scored from a yard out on the second play of the second quarter to make it 14-0. Roberts then followed that up with the most talked-about play of the evening. On an off-tackle run to the left, he was hit about two yards past the line of scrimmage. Several Boardman players joined in to try to bring him down when, suddenly, he broke free and ran 49 yards to paydirt up the left sideline.

It seemed like Roberts dragged Spartans with him every time he carried the ball. The performance of the 5-foot-9, 205-pound junior did not surprise Fecko.

"Not at all," he said. "We have a bunch of good backs all capable of doing the job."

When Boardman finally 'woke up' it showed the ability to give teams fits the rest of the season. Senior quarterback Darius Sanders began an 89-yard scoring march with a 47-yard run. He ended it with a 27-yard pass to Dawan Britt to make it 21-7.

Mooney answered immediately by moving 62 yards on six plays before Amill scored from 10 yards out with 1:45 remaining in the half. Quarterback Jon Saadey completed two passes for 29 yards on the drive.

The Spartans came right back as Isaiah Lyle broke free for an 80-yard score just two plays later to make it 28-14.

Boardman drove to the Mooney 31 to start the third quarter but fumbled the ball away. The Cards took full advantage, scoring seven plays later on a 34-yard pass from Saadey to Tim Durkin to push the lead to 35-14.

"We keep shooting ourselves in the foot," Ignazio said. "It's like we're afraid to take the next jump to help us win football games."

The Cardinals, who had no turnovers or penalties, outgained Boardman 478-300 on the night. Saadey completed 5 of 6 passes for 87 yards. Lyle finished with 103 yards on five carries and Sanders added 68 on 11 attempts, both in a losing effort.