Cardinal defense keys 21-14 win over St. Joseph’s

Published 10:00 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Landrum’s Rashaun Brown (#11) has just caught a pass from Turner Ussery, and is dashing to a touchdown against visiting St. Joseph’s Catholic.

Landrum’s Rashaun Brown (#11) has just caught a pass from Turner Ussery, and is dashing to a touchdown against visiting St. Joseph’s Catholic.

Prior to their game Thursday evening, October 6 (moved up a day to avoid Friday’s probable rain ahead of advancing Hurricane Matthew), Landrum’s Cardinals might have been the best two-and-four football team in the area. Keeping that record after their game against St. Joseph’s Catholic was not an option, so the Cardinals won, and might now have the best three-and-four team in this area. 

They’re now 1-1 in region play, with St. Joseph’s falling to 2-5 and 0-2, respectively.

 With the score 14-14 early in the fourth quarter at Cardinal Stadium, St. Joseph’s went for broke on fourth down. 

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When the inspired Cardinal defense forced a St. Joseph’s fumble on the play, Landrum’s Nathan Hyder covered the ball, and the red jerseys were in possession– a possession that produced a game-winning touchdown, as the Cardinals topped the Knights, 21-14.

 “Believe in yourself,” Landrum head coach Jason Farmer told his players after the game. “You won the game . . . I’m proud of you.” 

Farmer credited the Cardinals’ stubborn defense with allowing the offense to score. “What a huge play for us,” was Farmer’s assessment of the defense forcing the Cardinals to cough up the ball on that fourth-down play.

 “I can’t be more proud of my kids,” Farmer emphasized. Farmer reminds everyone that his starting quarterback, Turner Ussery, is only 14 years old, but is “getting better each week.”

Ussery has displayed the poise of a more experienced player. 

Thursday’s first quarter ended with no score, as the two teams traded punts, but could not sustain a drive. The Knights got on the board first, when running back Luke Bikulege went up the middle for a 13-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. 

With 1:17 left in the half, Ussery hit Rashaun Brown with a short pass. Brown evaded tacklers clear to the Knights’ end zone for a TD. The Cardinals declined a face-mask penalty against the Knights on that play. The point after was good, and the game was tied at seven, where it remained through the half.

 Landrum’s “Red Curtain” defense initially smothered the Knights’, but the guests eventually scored on another try by Bikulege, and St. Joseph’s led, 14-7.

 On the Knights’ next possession, the Cardinals’ Wrenn Pierce sacked St. Joseph’s quarterback, putting the guests in a third and seventeen hole at their own 23. Once again, Landrum’s defense held, and the Brown returned the Knights’ punt to the St. Joseph 45.

 Ussery hit teammate Kericho Mcauley on a long pass, which Mcauley hauled in, taking the ball in for another score. With the score 14 apiece, Landrum’s defense forced the fumble that Hyder recovered.

 Ussery hit McAuley on a screen, with McAuley sprinting to the Knights’ 13.

 From the three, Dalton Kuykendall forced his way into the end zone for the game’s final TD, with 10:25 left in the game. 

The kick was good, and the scoring stopped at 21-14. 

This Friday (Oct. 14) evening, the Cardinals visit Christ Church Episcopal (Greenville) for a 7:30 start.