LHS Cardinals defense dominates SSC at homecoming

Published 5:53 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

Landrum's Jacob Lindsey (19) and Austin Howell (79) zero in on a Southside Christian runner. The Cardinals beat the Sabres 20-14 to remain unbeaten in region play. (photo by Joey Millwood)

The Landrum Cardinals controlled the line of scrimmage and the defensive backs made plenty of big plays en route to a 20-14 win over Southside Christian.
The defense has flown under the radar this season, but it shined in this victory. The front line led by Nic Logan, Austin Howell and Alex Bryant was downright dominant.
That domination was glaring up front for the Cardinals defense, holding the Sabres to just 18 yards on 17 carries.
“We played strong tonight,” Howell said of the defensive line.
The perfect example of just how good Landrum was on defense was in Southside’s final drive.
Sabre linebacker Adam Currin got his fingertips on a Brandon Cannon punt with less than five minutes to go. The Sabres had the ball, down 20-14, on Landrum’s 26-yard-line.
On the first play, Landrum’s T.J. Fincher blew into the backfield and tackled tailback Andrew Mcilwain for a five yard loss.
On the next play, Chasten Thomas tackled Mcilwain for a four yard loss. The Sabres broke through for a first down when quarterback John Walker found Colby Boggs behind the Cardinal secondary for a 21 yard gain. Then the Cardinals had at least four black jerseys in the backfield, but Walker tripped for a 17-yard loss. On 3rd and 20, Jacob Lindsey broke up a Walker pass in the end zone. Lindsey also had an interception earlier in the game. On the final play of the drive, Gavin Bishop dove in front of a Walker pass and tipped it away from Boggs.
“All I was thinking was to stay back,” Bishop said. “I stayed back in coverage and waited for it.”
Mahaffey, who calls the defensive plays, was beaming after the game.
“(It was an) awesome defensive effort tonight,” Mahaffey said. “Our defense really stepped it up.”
One thing that it did prove was that the Cardinals (7-1, 3-0) could win without a dominating performance from its offense.
The Cardinals came in averaging 31 points per game, but were slow out of the gates. Cannon ran in a touchdown in the second quarter from seven yards out.
In the third quarter the Cardinals took a 14-6 lead on two Cole McDowell runs.
The first went up the middle of the Sabre defense for 16 yards. The second punched the ball into the end zone from five yards out. McDowell scored Landrum’s final touchdowns with 11:11 left in the fourth quarter on a three-yard-run.
McDowell finished with 75 yards on 17 carries. He also had five receptions for 67 yards. Cannon threw for 226 yards.
“We made a lot of mistakes (on offense),” Mahaffey said. “We’re going to have to work hard next week.”
Landrum will play Blacksburg at home for senior night next Friday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m.

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