Cardington rush game overwhelms Worthington Christian


Prior to Cardington’s season-opening football game against visiting Worthington Christian, the school honored the 2017 softball team for their trip to the state semifinals in the Division III tournament.

The football team then ensured the celebratory mood would continue, overcoming a slow start to overwhelm the Warriors by a 53-14 margin, getting Beau Wolford’s tenure as Pirate coach off to a good start.

“We’ve got a lot of things to get better at on both sides of the ball, but the kids played hard and the coaches coached hard,” said Wolford. “That’s all you can ask for.”

The Pirates struck first in the game. After forcing a WC fumble on the opening kickoff, they started with the ball on their opponent’s 30. Four running plays, three by Mason Goers, pushed the ball into the end zone for a 6-0 lead.

Cardington wouldn’t have much luck offensively after that drive until the midway point of the second quarter, as penalties and a fumble of their own short-circuited drives. During that span, the Warriors were able to take the lead on a touchdown and extra point kick.

“We have a lot of young guys who have to learn the ropes of the game and to turn the switch on at the start instead of waiting a couple minutes,” said Wolford.

At the seven minute mark of the second quarter, that switch was officially turned on. After a Warrior punt, they took the ball on the WC 44. Quarterback Daniel Kill scrambled for three yards on the first play of the drive and Goers took the handoff on the second play 41 yards for six points. Branden Steckel added the extra point to put Cardington up 13-7.

“He’s a quick kid,” said Wolford of Goers. “One of the faster backs I’ve seen in my coaching career.”

After forcing a three-and-out, Cardington got the ball back in Warrior territory at the 47. Kill immediately hit Garrett Wagner for a 37-yard gain and then found Cade Ruehrmund for four more, moving the ball to the two-yard line. Goers then finished the drive with a touchdown run and Steckel made it a 20-7 game with 2:36 remaining in the half.

Another defensive stop gave the Pirates the ball on their own 39 with just over 90 seconds remaining. That would be enough time for the Pirates, who wound up in the end zone again on a short run by Kill. Steckel’s kick gave them a 27-7 edge heading into the locker room.

Getting the ball coming out in the third quarter, Cardington wasted no time in adding to their lead, as a 77-yard run by Goers boosted their advantage to a 34-7 margin. WC would move the ball deep into Cardington territory, but Bryden Ratliff ended that drive with an interception in the end zone.

The Pirates then drove 80 yards in nine plays to get another scoring run by Kill to move in front 40-7 with 5:43 remaining in the third quarter. On the drive, Kill hit Wagner for 25 yards and found Ty Landon for nine more.

That score boosted Cardington’s lead to more than 30 points, so the clock started to run constantly afterwards. The Pirates made sure WC wouldn’t be able to trim their deficit to fewer than 30 by forcing a quick fumble and then getting a 25-yard scoring pass from Landon to Ratliff. Landon then added a 70-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter before the Warriors ended the night’s scoring with a late touchdown.

Cardington finished the game with 533 yards, with 374 of that total coming on the ground.

“We have a veteran offensive line, so our strong suit is running the ball,” said Wolford. “At the end of the day, the OL is our strength.”

Goers finished with 223 of that rushing total, while Landon added 83 and Kill finished with 58. Kill had 99 yards through the air on six completions, while Landon completed three for 52 and Goers had one completion for eight yards. Both Wagner and Ratliff had three receptions in the game.

After the team graduated a lot of skill position players from the 7-3 2016 team, getting a convincing victory in their 2017 season opener was a definite positive for Wolford, who noted that his team was fired up to show that they were reloading instead of rebuilding.

“I had no doubts the kids would come out tonight and bring everything they had to play,” he said. “They wanted to prove they’re not the shadows of the 2016 team and I think they did.”

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Prior to Cardington’s football game against Worthington Christian, the school’s 2017 softball team was honored for their trip to the Division III Final Four.
http://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/web1_cardsbhonored.jpgPrior to Cardington’s football game against Worthington Christian, the school’s 2017 softball team was honored for their trip to the Division III Final Four. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Cardington’s Mason Goers had a huge game against Worthington Christian, rushing for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
http://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/web1_masongoers.jpgCardington’s Mason Goers had a huge game against Worthington Christian, rushing for 223 yards and four touchdowns. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

Daniel Kill looks for yards while scrambling in Cardington’s opening-week win over Worthington Christian.
http://www.morrowcountysentinel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/29/2017/08/web1_danielkill.jpgDaniel Kill looks for yards while scrambling in Cardington’s opening-week win over Worthington Christian. Rob Hamilton | Morrow County Sentinel

By Rob Hamilton

roberthamilton@aimmediamidwest.com

Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS