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Another big night for Girard offense in win

October 26, 2013
By BOB ETTINGER - Special to Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

JEFFERSON - Girard coach Nick Cochran likes to keep his opponents guessing. He did a pretty good job of it as the Indians toppled the Falcons, 55-13, Friday night at Falcon Pride Stadium.

"They keep you off balance," Jefferson coach Jimmy Henson said. "They get you outflanked. They're very good at it and they've got kids who can make plays. That's the reason they've had the No.-1 ranked offense in the conference the two years we've been in it.

"(Cochran's) very good at seeing what you're in and countering it with the no-huddle stuff. We've seen the no huddle in the past, boy they're efficient at it."

Girard (5-4, 4-2 All-American Conference) netted 581 yards of offense and did not hold the ball longer than 2 minutes on any of its possessions until midway through the fourth quarter when it was trying to work the clock.

"The kids have been executing the last so many games," Cochran said. "We try to play fast and not let the defense set up. The O-line played well. We work on getting a hat on a hat."

The Falcons (2-6, 2-5) started well. They drove 66 yards in almost 5 minutes on their opening possession and took a brief 7-0 lead on Cody Campbell's 10-yard touchdown reception from Lucas Hitchcock with 7:04 to play in the opening period.

Girard answered with a six-play, 62-yard drive that was capped by a 13-yard run by James Cupan.

Then Jefferson gave the Indians an opportunity to take the lead by losing a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. Cupan raced 17 yards to put the Indians up, 14-7, with 4:27 left in the first quarter.

"We said all week they were good," Henson said. "You can't give them opportunities. As soon as we made a couple of mistakes, we were down.

"We were real good on our opening drive. They answered, then we dropped the kickoff."

"That first kick after we scored to make it 7-7 was big for us," Cochran said. "Getting that kick was huge. Getting people on their heels is good for us, especially on the road."

The Falcons got to within a point, 14-13, after Hitchcock scored from the two, with 9:42 left in the half.

Nick Cardiero scrambled for an 18-yard score with 7:28 to play in the second quarter and the rout was on. Cupan added touchdown runs of 3 and 4 yards as Girard took a 34-13 lead at the break.

Cardiero scored on a 22-yard run, and Cupan added his fifth touchdown run, this one from 10 yards out, before Cardiero hooked up with Jordan Graziani on a 22-yard strike to close the scoring.

Cardiero was 21 of 23 passing for 300 yards and a touchdown. Graziani caught seven passes for 143 yards and Chris Vince had seven receptions for 67 yards.

Cupan rushed for 178 yards on 23 attempts and caught five passes for 76 more yards.

"They have very good receivers and he's got a good system," Henson said. "In a coaches' meeting, (Cochran) has the pen last and who has the pen last, wins."