It wasn’t perfect but the Cardinal Huskies will take it.
Cardinal overcame several unforced errors, including two drive-killing penalties and three fumbles, to defeat host Pymatuning Valley, 18-6, on Friday.
“Each week we hope to get a little better, a little sharper,” said Cardinal coach Eric Cardinal. “We're extremely young and inexperienced, and it shows from time to time. But the guys got better in every phase of the game tonight.”
Cousins Nate Peters, a senior, and Trey Shirkey, a freshman, led the charge for the Huskies. Shirkey rushed for 123 yards on 11 carries and Peters toted the rock 18 times for 121 yards. Both scored a touchdown.
The Huskies ran for 261 yards on 47 carries.
“Credit Jesse McCormick, Austin Klatik, Noah Farmwald, Bryn Havel, Hunter Olah and Justin Warren for opening holes for our backs all night,” Cardinal said of his offensive linemen.
Pymatuning Valley struck first when quarterback Steven Blascak connected with Kegen Hoopes on a 37-yard touchdown with 7:50 left in the first quarter. The Lakers failed to convert a two-point conversion attempt.
Cardinal responded three minutes later when Kyle Simms and Jake Francis hooked up on a 34-yard touchdown strike.
Peters’ 29-yard touchdown run with 10:15 left in the third quarter gave the Huskies their first lead and Shirkey ran for a 38-yard touchdown midway through the fourth to close out the scoring.
The Huskies failed to convert all point after attempts, two two-point conversion tries and a missed extra point.
“We got a little greedy there and tried to exploit a mismatch but didn't quite execute,” Cardinal said.
Simms completed just 2-of-5 passes for 49 yards but he made the most of his opportunities when he hit Francis to tie the game.
“We saw that route was open on the first series and after talking a little bit with Kyle on the sideline, came back to it on our next possession,” Cardinal said. “Kyle hit Jake perfectly and Jake did the rest, dragging the PV defensive back that last three yards with him into the end zone.”
Cardinal outgained Pymatuning Valley, 310-244.
Havel led the Husky defense with 6 ½ tackles. Lester Troyer and Jimmy Wilcox both recorded sacks.
The Huskies, who improved to 1-1, travel to Atwater Waterloo next Friday.