It was a good night to be a Cardinal, as Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (1-0) showcased a well-rounded team in a 56-0 route of the West Hancock Eagles (0-1) Friday night on the Cardinal field.
GHV took a commanding 34-0 first quarter lead, which allowed Head Coach Scott VanDusseldorp to give his younger players valuable varsity experience.
“The guys played well. We were able to play a lot of players tonight which will help us down the road,” said VanDusseldorp.
Logan Miller opened the scoring with a seven yard run. Braden Meints connected on the PAT for a 7-0 lead. Meints found the endzone next on an 11-yard run. His kick was also good, 14-0. Quarterback Spencer Shaw found wide receiver Shawn Murphy for a 19-yard TD. The kick failed, 20-0. Zac Scholl was the next Cardinal to score with a 48-yard interception run. The kick by Meints was again good, 27-0. Shaw scampered in for a TD and the Meints kick was good to finish the first quarter with a commanding 34-0 lead.
The Cardinals picked up one more touchdown in each remaining quarter of play. Meints scored in the second quarter on an 18-yard run. The kick failed, but the team managed a safety, 42-0. Colby Reid scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter and the kick by Meints was good, 49-0. Ezra Marroquin recorded the final Cardinal TD on a 45-yard run. The PAT was good for the final 56-0 trouncing.
The Cardinal offense finished the night with 322 total yards on 54 rushing attempts and one pass. The defense had an equally impressive night, allowing 11 total yards of offense from West Hancock.
West Hancock was held to one first down, while GHV racked up 15.
With 67 yards on six carries and a 45-yard touchdown, Marroquin was the leading rusher for GHV.
Meints contributed two touchdowns and six points after touchdown field goals on two carries and 29 rushing yards.
Miller chipped in 62 yards on six carries, while Harley Forry had 38 yards on seven carries and Tyler Buck evened out the rushing with 31 yards on five carries.
Murphy got into the end zone on the only passing attempt with a 19-yard pass from Shaw.
Keeping the Eagles’ offense to 30 yards rushing was a stout Cardinal defense. Leading the way was Nic Tusha and Murphy with six tackles apiece. Mark Wellik added five tackles, while Ryan Sonquist and Meints had three and two respectively.
A high turnover rate plagued the West Hancock offense all night. The Eagles lost two fumbles, which were recovered by Buck and Tusha. Interceptions were made by Colton Knutson and Zac Scholl, who took it to the house for a pick-six.
“I am very proud of how they played as a team,” said VanDusseldorp. “We need to have a great week of practice to get ready for a tough Osage team.”
The Cardinals travel to Osage on Friday.