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Canfield continues to score against the Red Dragons

October 30, 2014
By Nik Zirounis - Town Crier correspondent , The Town Crier

In 2011, the Cardinals scored 28 points against the Red Dragons. In 2012, Canfield came back with 21 points. Last season, Canfield kicked it up a few notches and put 70 points on the board in a double overtime thriller.

Last Friday night in Canfield, the Cardinals once again scored early and often in a 58-27 derailing of the Red Dragons. That makes 177 points in four seasons for the Cardinals against the rival Red Dragons. The win gives Canfield a pair of wins in the All American Conference and ups their mark to 5-4 overall.

''It was a great competitive game,'' said Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky. This has become a good rivalry in our league. We've made a lot of progress (since week one).''

Mirroring that progress has been Canfield running back C.J. Frost. The junior wasn't a huge part of the equation early this season, but lately he has been the most consistent rusher for the Cardinals' offense.

Frost was in the middle of the festivities for the Cardinals last Friday with a team high of 128 yards including a 9-yard touchdown run. He has given Canfield a boost this season and a reason for optimism in the future.

''C.J. is doing great in his first year,'' Pavlansky said. ''We all have a lot of confidence in him, and we have been able to use him more.''

Of course, Pavlansky is always elated when he gets to use more of his running game. Against Niles, Cardinal running backs came in waves. After recording a safety in the first quarter to cut Niles' lead to 6-2, Drew Rogers capped a scoring drive for the Cardinals with a 2-yard touchdown run to make it 9-6.

Canfield led the game by two touchdowns heading into the second half when senior Luke Whittenberger ran the Red Dragons out of Canfield. Whittenberger ran in from 13-yards away midway through the third period to make it 37-13 then came back on the next drive and rambled 37-yards to extend his team's lead to 31 points. He finished a few yards shy of 100 yards on the night.

Sophomore R.J. Williams then capped the outstanding evening with a 74-yard score late in the game. The Cardinals would total 350 yards rushing.

With the running attack clicking, the Cardinals were able to make smart, controlled plays on the passing end. Quarterback Aaron Jenkins hit on 7 of 9 pass attempts for 114 yards and touchdown tosses of 27 yards to receiver Jake Cummings and 5 yards to tight end Cameron Tareshawty. Toss in that above-mentioned safety and an interception return for a touchdown by Matt Milligan, and you have another enormous night for Canfield against Niles.

''You would like them all to be this way, but it isnt that way,'' said Pavlansky.

Things should be a whole lot different this Friday when Canfield rekindles its rivalry with Poland. It's fitting that this mega matchup will be played on Halloween because it's frightening how fun this annual get together has become over the years. It's also fitting that this game is being played at the end of the season as opposed to the middle of the schedule, where it resided recently.

''We're excited the game is in week 10,'' Pavlansky said. ''It's where it should be. You don't have to worry about getting up for this week.''

Poland has been up most of the year and sports an 8-1 record after hammering East 30-8 last week. Only a loss to Hubbard has kept the Bulldogs from the top of the All American Conference standings. No doubt Pavlansky and his kids would love to derail the Bulldog express and, in the process, end their season above .500.

''We've had a good year overall, and we put ourselves in this position to finish strong,'' Pavlansky said. ,''It is important for us to send our seniors out on a positive note.''



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