Cardinals Football keeps things Close on Homecoming, Winning 28-24
Sean Robinson, Tower Staff
October 27, 2011
Filed under Sports
The Cardiac Cards won again after a late turnover by Emory and Henry and a last-second touchdown run on their way to a 28-24 victory this past Saturday. Safety Miniard Culpepper was the hero of the game, recovering a fumble with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, which led to a Mike Pitsenberger one-yard touchdown run with 21 seconds remaining.
Culpepper, the ODAC Defensive Player of the Week, was overjoyed after the game. “Not only did we win our first ODAC game and beat Emory and Henry, we got to show the alumni, especially the class of 2008, that this team is hungry for the playoffs,” he said.
Culpepper was referring to his freshman year (2008), when the Catholic football team went 9-2, but missed the playoffs on the last game of the regular season.
The Cardinals’ offense was back after a slow week against the Apprentice School, gaining 463 total yards this week. Quarterback Greg Cordivari had his second 400+ yard game and a career-high 64 passing attempts. He completed 46 of the attempts for 401 yards and three touchdowns. Cordivari’s completions and attempts are new school records, breaking the former record of Keith Ricca, who completed 34 in 2005 and attempted 61 in 2007.
Wide receiver Drew Ouellette had a big day, catching 12 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Keefe had seven catches for 111 yards while Wes Stringfield had 10 catches for 59 yards and a touchdown.
The running game was slow again with only 27 rushing attempts for a total of 62 yards. Mike Pitsenberger carried 18 times for 66 yards and a touchdown. Running back Nick Cortese was inactive due to an injury.
Defensively, Catholic played well and performed their bend-but-not-break routine. They allowed 398 total yards: 200 on the ground and 198 through the air. Culpepper led the Cards’ defense with five tackles, one pass break up, and a fumble recovery. Linebacker Marc McEvoy had seven tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss while Connor Stueckler added nine tackles. Defensive end Anthony Albanese had 10 tackles and one tackle for loss. Cornerback Ryan Kline made five tackles and broke up two passes.
“It was an all-around team effort that got us this win. The defense played well and allowed the offense opportunities when it counted. The offense kept the ball moving the whole game and when it came to the key moment in the game, they delivered,” said junior offensive lineman Andrew MacDonald.
The Cardinals, now 5-2 (1-2 ODAC) will be on the road this Saturday to play ODAC opponent Washington and Lee University. Washington and Lee is 7-1 on the season and 3-0 in the ODAC. They currently have a five-game winning streak and made the Division III playoffs this past season.
They are led by two-time ODAC Offensive Player of the Week quarterback Charlie Westfal, who has completed 61 of 98 attempts for 1141 yards and 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 602 yards and 6 touchdowns. On the season, Washington and Lee has rushed 457 times for 2643 yards and 31 touchdowns, which will be a challenge for the Cardinals’ defense.
After a huge homecoming win, the Cardinals look to take their momentum to face the conference leader Washington and Lee and to keep their playoff hopes alive.