AKRON, OHIO – Through the the last two games, the Fighting Irish of St. Vincent St. Mary high school had forced seven turnovers. And it was that exact defense that paved the way for their win against the 2-1 Mooney Cardinals.
Both teams came out early with similar gameplans, run the football! It’s the staple of any Mooney offense, but the Cardinals struggled mightly in the first half to get anything going. After the Irish took their first offensive possession into the endzone, a touchdown run by running back George Linberger, the Cardinals would go three and out despite very good field position. The second offensive drive for the Irish was ended abruptly when Pat Guerrieri picked off Luke Lindsay in the endzone. Depsite Guerrieri taking the interception all the way back, a penalty negated the return.
The second quarter saw more breathing room for the sophomore running back Zy’ere Rogers, who after the first half had already carried the ball 17 times for 75 yards. Rogers ripped off big run after big run, but a fumble inside the 20 yard line ended the best offensive drive Mooney had all game. St Vincent would tack on another rushing touchdown, this one by Joshua Nickerson, and lead 14-0 at the half.
Challenged by his coaches, Guerrieri came out slinging in the second half. After not completing a pass the game before, Guerrieri would finish with 122 yards passing on 11 of 16 attempts. But this Irish defense has lived through turnovers, and in the second half they started to pile up. Another fumble, and a pick six by Darrian Lewis would seal the deal for Irish. The Irish would finish with 415 yards of total offense, 5 total rushing touchdowns and two sacks. Senior QB Luke Lindsay had 196 through the air and also added 17 yards on the ground.
Mooney will look to rebound next week against bitter rival, the Boardman Spartans, and SVSM will take on Hoban.