By Scott Watson
The Garner-Hayfield/Ventura Cardinals (5-1) continued their game of ground and pound this week in a 36-8 win over Clarion-Goldfield (2-4). Despite a slow start, the Cardinals proved Friday night’s Homecoming game was business as usual. They accumulated 277 yards and allowed only 155.
“We came out a little flat and struggled on both sides of the ball. Second half we were able to play much better.
Homecoming week always has a lot of distractions, but I felt our young men were focused all week and did a nice job,” said Head Coach Scott VanDusseldorp.
On the opening drive of the game, the Cowboys drove the length of the field in a time consuming route to the end zone. A two-point conversion pass play was good, putting Clarion-Goldfield up eight in the first quarter. The opening drive was the only successful one of the evening for the Cowboys.
Nearing the end of the first quarter, the Cardinals found their groove and put together a drive that produced seven early in the second quarter on a Spencer Shaw touchdown and Braden Meints PAT kick.
With time running out in the first half, the Cowboys attempted to kick a 27-yard field goal, but missed. The halftime score was 8-7 in favor of Clarion-Goldfield.
GHV came out of the gates hot following the half and quickly found the end zone on a 27-yard Meints touchdown run and two-point conversion.
The Clarion-Goldfield offense spun its wheels on the following possession and was forced to surrender the ball. The Cardinals returned the Cowboys’ kindness with a Shaw touchdown and Meints PAT kick. The score going into the fourth quarter was 22-8, GHV.
Nine seconds into the fourth quarter, Meints broke the Cowboy line for a 34-yard touchdown run, which he followed with the PAT kick.
The wheels came off the Cowboy team as another quick punt was blocked by Meints, who took it to the house for a touchdown and another PAT kick.
Replacements finished the game. The final score was 36-8.
“It was a very good win for us against a quality Clarion-Goldfield football team,” said VanDusseldorp.
The Cardinals had 277 yards rushing on 49 attempts. They attempted two passes neither of which found their mark.
Leading the GHV offense was Meints with 136 yards on 19 runs and two touchdowns. Tyler Buck had 73 yards on 13 attempts. Nic Tusha contributed 37 yards on five attempts, and Shaw had 17 yards on four attempts with two touchdowns.
The Cowboys had 95 yards rushing for the night and 60 yards in the air.
Meints also lead the GHV defense with nine and one-half tackles and a half sack. Colton Knutson had six and one-half tackles. Tusha chipped in five, while Allan Devora and Matt Sonquist each had three.
This week the Cardinals travel to South Central Calhoun (3-3), who defeated Forest City in a close game the week prior.
“Next week we travel to South Central Calhoun to play one of the district leaders. We will not be able to come out flat if we want to be successful,” said VanDusseldorp.