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Cardinals clobbered by NDCL in Chardon
September 25, 2019

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In the week leading up to the Canfield football team's clash with Notre Dame Cathedral Latin, Cardinal head coach Mike Pavlansky warned that the prideful Lions would be playing this game like it was a playoff tilt.

Cathedral Latin started the season shaky with a 1-2 record and knew that it needed to pile up some playoff points sooner rather than later. That would start against a powerful, playoff type team like Canfield. True to Pavlansky's fears, this was a very hungry pack of Lions that welcomed his boys to Chardon last Friday night. The hosts scored a touchdown in each of the first two quarters then put the game completely out of reach with a 21-point third period. The Lions lambasted the Cardinals 38-0 to drop the local kids' record to 2-2.

"We were outcoached and (NDCL) outplayed us in all facets of the game," said the Canfield head coach last weekend.

In this 38-0 whitewash there wasn't really anything worth talking about on the Canfield end. The only statistic in which Coach Pavlansky mentioned were the number of mistakes his offense committed that killed any attempt at building momentum. One of those was a fumble that was returned for a Lions' touchdown.

"We had four turnovers versus a playoff caliber team," Pavlansky said. "You just can't do that. We need to keep control of the football. We'll run drills (in practice) to improve."

Canfield better improve quickly because there will be one angry Alliance team awaiting them this Friday. The Aviators and Cardinals have staged some fun games over the years, but lately, all of the joy has come on Canfield's side. Pavlansky's group has hammered Alliance by a total combined score of 149-41 over the past four seasons. That crazy total doesn't faze Pavlansky though.

"(Alliance) is a different team," he said. "We've had success but that was then, and this is now."

Proving the coach's point is how much grit the Aviators displayed in their victory last week against West Branch. Alliance was trailing by 16 points in the second half and overcame 162 penalty yards to come all the way back to win 28-10. Overall, the Aviators are 2-2 with their other triumph coming over Hubbard. According to Pavlansky, the Alliance player most likely to do damage to his defense is junior quarterback Brandon Alexander.

"He's a dynamic quarterback that can throw and run very well," said Pavlansky about Alexander.

The junior signal caller can hurt you with both his right arm as well as his two legs. He outran West Branch to the tune of 175 rushing yards and threw for 100 yards to boot. Alexander also accounted for two total touchdowns. With a potent offense and a defense that is coming off of a shutout, these Aviators will be ready to snap their four game skid against the Cardinals.

"It'll be a major challenge," said Pavlansky. "Our goal is to leave this game with a win and be 3-2 heading into the last five games of the season."

Another goal will be to end the week healthier than the Cardinals were entering this week of practice. No doubt, NDCL did a number on the Canfield players so the coach is cognizant that some younger Cards may be on the field this week at home.

"We're physically beat up," Pavlansky said on the eve of the practice week. "(NDCL) knocked us around pretty good. We have some guys that we're not sure of their status (for the Alliance game). The next guy we'll have to step up if they're not able to play."

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