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Lake County Sentinel
Red Raiders fall 27-21 in back and fourth battle with Huskies  

Both the Cardinal Huskies and Harvey Red Raiders entered their CVC matchup on Friday night looking to rise above the .500 mark. Only one team could leave Cardinal Huskies Stadium with a winning record, as both teams played themselves to a 2-2 mark in their first four games.

After a back-and-fourth affair under Friday night lights, the Huskies used a late touchdown to escape with a 27-21 victory over Harvey, pushing their record to 3-2.

“I think it’s similar to last week (against Crestwood) when we just didn’t come out ready to play in the first half,” Harvey head coach Mick Mohner said. “We can’t always play with our back against the wall. Eventually when you play with your back against the wall, you’re going to get bitten and that’s what happened tonight.”

After forcing Cardinal to go three-and-out on their first drive, Harvey got on the board quickly with a seven-play, 42-yard drive, capped by a Rick Coleman Jr. eight-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Davon Badley. The Red Raiders led 7-0 less than four minutes into the game and at the end of the first quarter.

The Huskies were driving as the second quarter began, but junior running back Joshua Soltis suffered a leg injury after finding early success on the ground. There didn’t seem to be much drop-off when senior Zachary Czako filled in for Soltis, as he immediately had several big runs on the drive, including a one-yard rush that helped the Huskies tie the game at 7-7.

Harvey invaded Cardinal territory on the ensuing drive and moved the ball to the Huskies’ 24-yard line, but an interception on a 4th-and-4 attempt halted their progress. On the next Cardinal drive, Czako took a 14-yard run into the end zone that allowed Cardinal to take a 14-7 lead with 2:50 to play until halftime. Sophomore quarterback Logan Strever competed several beautiful balls on the drive that got the Huskies into Harvey territory, and Cardinal took the seven-point advantage into the half.

Receiving the ball to open the second half, the Red Raiders drove 30 yards to the 50-yard line after a touchback, but the drive stalled and Harvey was forced to punt. Cardinal capitalized and immediately used an eight-play, 78-yard drive to take a 21-7 lead. The drive concluded with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Strever to JohnRobert Kochy, who broke a tackle around the 20-yard line and scampered to the end zone.

It appeared as if the game was getting away from Harvey, as the Cardinal score came with three minutes remaining in the third quarter, but Coleman took the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to the house to bring the Red Raiders within a 21-14 deficit 15 seconds later.

After Harvey intercepted a pass in Cardinal territory on the next drive, the Red Raiders scored less than a minute into the fourth quarter on an eight-yard quarterback keeper from Coleman to tie the game at 21. But just when it seemed like Harvey had taken back the momentum, Cardinal used an eight-play, 52-yard drive to take the lead. Strever capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass to receiver Ethan Detweiler, who broke a tackle to get into the end zone. The Husked missed the extra point and led 27-21 with 6:20 to play in the game.

Harvey’s next drive stalled around midfield, and the Red Raiders were forced to punt the ball back to Cardinal with 4:08 remaining. The Red Raiders never got the ball back, as the Huskies picked up two first downs and ran out the rest of the clock.

“There’s a lot of things we need to improve,” Mohner said. “And I think our overall want to and our care have to improve as well.”

Cardinal entered Friday’s contest with polarizing results, experiencing very different outcomes in their wins and losses this season. In their first two wins this season, the Huskies defeated their opponents by a combined score of 87-0. In their two losses, they came up on the short end by a combined score of 99-13.

Meanwhile, Harvey (2-3) entered Friday on a two-game winning streak after dropping their first two games this season. They’ll host Grand Valley next week with a chance to get back to .500.

Cardinal will travel to Beachwood next Friday with momentum for a matchup against a tough opponent.
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​POSTED 09/17/2021 23:08
                                                              Photo by Stone Lexington