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Cards unbeaten after clobbering Hilltoppers

September 12, 2018
Nik Zirounis , The Town Crier

Last year when the Canfield football team met mighty Chardon on the gridiron the Cardinals clobbered the Hilltoppers 31-14 on the road.

Chardon was certainly gunning for revenge when it traveled to Canfield last Friday night. Apparently, the Canfield kids really didn't care. The Cardinals played rude hosts to their friends from Geauga County stomping the Hilltoppers for the second straight season 35-13. Canfield is now 3-0 this year and hasn't lost a regular season game sine Week 9 of 2016.

"I'm really proud of our effort," said Canfield head coach Mike Pavlansky last weekend.

Article Photos

Photos by Cindy DeRose, Town Crier
Canfield’s Richie Herrera cuts to the side escaping being tackled by Chardon defenders in action last Friday that ended in a 35-13 Cardinal victory over Chardon.

Coach Pavlansky was at his proudest when his kids were rushing the football. The Cardinals rushed the ball 42 times for 275 yards against Chardon. Included in that total were three touchdown totes by junior Nick Crawford. Senior transfer Mehlyn Clinkscale accounted for 159 yards and two long touchdown runs. His first score was from 31 yards out. His second was an 89-yard scamper to kick off the second half.

"I like the improvements we made on offense from the first two weeks," Pavlansky said. "The offensive line did a great job picking up stunts and moving (Chardon's defensive line) off the ball. There are still areas we can get better, but we did a much better job."

Receiver Matt Zaremski also aided the offensive effort bringing in four balls for 104 yards. Kicker Jad Jadallah was a perfect 5 for 5 on his extra point attempts.

The Cardinals took what looked to be a commanding 14-0 lead after one quarter, but were stunned midway through the second stanza when the Hilltoppers picked off a pass deep inside their own territory and returned it almost the length of the field for a score. Chardon's only other touchdown came after a Canfield fumble. Pavlansky was upset that unforced errors allowed the visitors to stay in the ballgame.

"The only points (Chardon) scored were directly off of our turnovers," said the coach. "We also had 10 penalties for 100 yards. We have to get better in those areas."

Canfield should have the luxury of working out some of those kinks in live action this week because its opponent is 1-2 Ashtabula Lakeside. The Dragons have been blowing smoke since joining the All American Conference bringing up the rear every season. Their only win this season was a Week 1 54-7 blowout of Edgewood. Sometimes, though, playing the "easy" teams are some of the toughest ones to play.

"It's always hard when you're playing a team everyone says you're supposed to beat," said Pavlansky. "We really don't care who we are playing. We have to worry about ourselves."

The Cards had very little to worry about in last September's showdown when they doused the Dragons 35-6. In fact, Canfield has come one point shy of laying 100 on Lakeside over the past three matchups. It wouldn't be like Coach Pavlansky, however, if he didn't feel at least a little concerned this week.

"Taking the hour and a half bus trip (to Ashtabula) is a challenge," said the coach. "We will need to keep improving in the run game and cut out the penalties. If we do that we'll feel better about ourselves."



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