Hail Mary hands Cardinals a tough loss

(Above) GHV’s Jace Pringnitz provides excellent coverage as he bats down a pass intended for a Crestwood receiver.  -Reporter photos by Chris Barragy

A defensive battle ended in a loss for the Garner-Hayfield-Ventura Cardinals (4-3, 3-2) at the hands of the Crestwood Cadets (4-3, 4-1) on Friday, Oct. 6.

After four quarters of football, it all came down to the final minute. A missed Cardinal field goal and some hot Cadet passing set the stage for a last-second Hail Mary touchdown to end the game 12-9, advantage Cadets.

The Cardinals received the opening kickoff and wasted no time finding the end zone, as the fourth play from scrimmage was a 44-yard track meet ending with Nick Joynt being dragged down at the six. Joynt got the job done on the next play to put the Cards on the board. The PAT pass attempt was no good, 6-0.

Not to be outdone, Crestwood put their boots on and marched 70-yards into the end zone on a series of short gains. Their PAT run attempt was also no good, 6-6.

The second quarter was a battle of field position, culminating at the midway point when the Cards got in position for a Connor Burke field goal. The 21-yard attempt was good, 9-6.

The Cadets threatened to score just before halftime, getting as close as the Cardinal 30, but a key interception and 53-yard return by Landon Dalbeck sent the Cards into the locker room with the lead.

The Cardinals nabbed two fumbles in the second half, but were unable to convert those opportunities into points.

With less than a minute in the game, Burke came onto the field to try one more field goal, but the 34-yard attempt was no good.

Crestwood implemented the one-minute drill flawlessly. The team passed their way down the field in no time. With the clock ticking down to zero and the Cardinals scrambling to get into their defensive set, a booming 29-yard pass was caught for a Crestwood touchdown to seal the game, 12-9.

“We played a good game and continued to battle,” said GHV Head Coach Scott Van Dusseldorp. “It was a tough loss, but we have to rebound and get ready for a tough New Hampton team.”

The Cardinals had 243 total yards of offense to Crestwood’s 250. GHV took the ground game with 236-yards rushing, while the Cadets preferred the air with 147-yards passing. The team also had 104-yards rushing.

The Cards were penalized heavily Friday night, losing 83-yards on nine penalties. Third down conversions were also a pain point for the Cards, converting on only one of eight tries.

Leading the Cardinal offense was Joynt with 113-yards on 12 carries.  He also accounted for the lone touchdown. Jace Pringnitz added 41-yards on 13 carries. Also getting yards was Ryan Meyers, with 29-yards on six carries; Burke had 29 on seven; and Jack Van Dusseldorp picked up 21-yards on two carries.

Meyers attempted five passes, connecting on one to Colton Schroeder for seven-yards.

The defensive unit was led by Dane Whipple with 13 and one-half tackles. Joynt had six and one-half, to go with a sack; Meyers picked up six and one-half; Pringnitz and Holden Larson had five apiece; Jack Van Dusseldorp ended with four; Anthony Sherwood had three and one-half to go with a sack; Brady Hess ended with two and one-half and Brock Gouge had two tackles.

The Cardinals travel to New Hampton this Friday, Oct. 13, to take on the Chickasaws (5-2, 4-1) in continued district action.

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