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Canfield falls to Louisville at seaon opener

The Cardinals prepare to battle against the Alliance Aviators Friday at home

September 3, 2015
By Nik Zirounis - Town Crier correspondent , The Town Crier

After a couple of subpar seasons, Canfield's football team has a very good chance at getting back to its winning ways in 2015.

Unfortunately, the Canfield boys will have to dig out of a 0-1 hole for that to happen.

The Cardinals traveled to Louisville for their season opener Friday and ran into a powerful Leopards outfit. Louisville played rude hosts to the kids from Canfield with a 40-14 triumph.

''(Louisville) is a tough team to start with,'' Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky said. ''They are a perennial playoff team and were clicking on all cylinders. They are really good and we didn't respond.''

It was hard for Pavlansky's kids to respond after they found themselves trailing 14-0 after one quarter. Six minutes into the second quarter, Canfield dented the scoreboard for the first time this season.

Senior running back C.J. Frost capped a nice scoring drive for the Cardinals with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to cut his team's deficit in half. Twelve unanswered points by the Leopards made the score 26-7 and forced Canfield's coaches to search for answers at halftime.

The solution to slowing down Louisville's offense never came because the Leopards were too adept at throwing the football. One of the most inexperienced units on the Canfield defense is in the secondary. That bunch had trouble slowing down Louisville quarterback Jacob Adams, who threw for 298 yards and four touchdowns. Three of those four TD tosses were bombs of 30, 40 and 50 yards, giving Canfield's defensive backs a lesson in pass coverage.

''The back end of our defense learned a lot,'' Pavlansky said.

The secondary should be back in school again 7 p.m. Friday when the Cardinals play host to Alliance. The Aviators like to throw the football and then throw some more.

''(Alliance) is another pass-first team,'' Pavlansky said. ''They have a good quarterback who is a three-year starter. They are tough to slow down.''

One way Canfield can curb the Aviators' offense is by keeping that gang off the field. Pavlansky loves controlling the line of scrimmage as well as the clock by running the football effectively.

Frost had 60 yards rushing last week in Louisville. Junior back Jared Clark led the Cardinals with 67 yards on the turf, including a 15-yard touchdown run. That still wasn't enough to slow down the Leopards.

''We ran the ball well at times,'' Pavlansky said. ''I was pleased at times where we were on offense. We'll need to control the ball better (this week).''

Not only would the veteran coach like to see ball control on offense, but he would love to see his defense control the line of scrimmage better as well. With the defensive backs as green as they are, a good way to alleviate some pressure from that young group is to get some pressure on the quarterback.

''We need to continue to get better and pass rush better,'' Pavlansky said. ''We have a long week (of practice) ahead of us.''



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