Garner-Hayfield/Ventura (5-2) lost Friday night to South Central Calhoun (4-3) in a game where big plays made the margin. Each of the Titan touchdowns came on a passing play of 20 yards or more. Cardinal legs kept the run game pumping as hard as ever, but despite productivity, they couldn’t keep up with the Titan pass game.
“South Central Calhoun played a very good game and we came out flat,” said GHV Head Coach Scott VanDusseldorp. “We made some critical errors that you cannot make when you play a good football team.”
The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and began what seemed to be a typical drive. The steady grind of the Cardinal offense trudged forward until a fourth down conversion failed, giving the ball to the Titans.
After testing the strengths of the GHV defense, SCC found the weakness in the secondary, picking up their first touchdown on a 53-yard pass play. The point after touchdown kick was good.
A test of wills ensued as the teams’ defensive fronts squandered several drives. But midway through the second quarter, SCC broke the cycle. It began by forcing a GHV fumble. The Titan offense, persistently attempting to develop a passing game, finally found success on third and 10; completing a 56-yard pass for a touchdown. The PAT kick was good.
In the following drive, the Cardinals were again successful at moving the ball, but were ultimately forced to resign possession of the ball to the Titans. After successfully moving the ball 50-yards on the merit of their own run game, SCC broke free with a 23-yard passing touchdown to close the half with a score of 21-0, Titans.
The third quarter was another scoreless battle for field position. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Cardinals capitalized on the yards they gained. Braden Meints punched in a touchdown on a three-yard rush. The Shaw-Shawn connection was alive again as Spencer Shaw converted the PAT on a pass to Shawn Murphy for two points.
SCC quickly retaliated with a 50-yard passing touchdown and PAT kick for a 28-8 final score.
GHV totaled 213 yards of offense, 181 of which were rushing and 32 were passing. SCC totaled 316 yards of offense, 109 of which were rushing and 207 were passing.
Meints lead the Cardinal rushing attack with 163-yards on 36 attempts and one touchdown. His long for the night was a 13-yard rush. Nic Tusha had 16-yards on six attempts. Meints attempted two passes, connecting on one for nine yards.
Shaw attempted seven passes of which three were received, accounting for 23 yards.
Murphy was the primary GHV receiver with two catches for 22 yards.
GHV’s Meints had seven tackles, Zach Scholl five, Murphy four, Tusha three and one half and Logan Miller had three tackles and a sack.
The Cardinals play in Garner this week against Lincoln Central (2-5).
“If we want to make the playoffs, we must come out and play well and pick up the win,” said VanDusseldorp.