Cards come close, but fall on road


The Saline Courier Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Con­nor Good­son

MALVERN — The Har­mony Grove

Car­di­nals (3-2, 1-1) and their win streak was snapped at three after a 29-24 loss to 7-4A Con­fer­ence foe Malvern (2-3, 1-1) on Fri­day night.

“When two teams are this closely matched, (if) you lose the turnover bat­tle, you aren’t go­ing to win the foot­ball game,” said a vis­i­bly up­set Cardinal Head Coach Mike Guthrie after the game. “It wasn’t just the turnovers though, we kept mak­ing men­tal mis­takes all night.”

After fum­bling the open­ing kick­off, the Cardinal de­fense held the Leop­ard of­fense to a three-and-out. Then, the Cardinal of­fense would re­spond with a 45-yard run by se­nior Jayce Har­ri­son to put Har­mony Grove on

the Malvern 5-yard line. Har­ri­son would then punch it in two plays later with a 2-yard touch­down run. A 2-point con­ver­sion would give the Car­di­nals an early 8-0 lead, but things would quickly change.

Late in the first quar­ter Har­mony Grove would punt it away to Malvern where Leop­ard ju­nior Day­lan Ross would take it to the house to make it 8-7. On the en­su­ing kick­off, the Car­di­nals would fum­ble the ball again, giv­ing Malvern ex­cel­lent field po­si­tion.

A few plays later, Malvern fresh­man quar­ter­back Cedric Sim­mons would find se­nior Dal­las Lewis for a 33-yard touch­down to put the Leop­ards on top 14-8 after the first quar­ter.

That lead would hold through the sec­ond and third quar­ters un­til Har­mony Grove’s sopho­more quar­ter­back Hunter Wil­liams would cap off a lengthy drive with a 2-yard touch­down drive. An­other suc­cess­ful 2-point con­ver­sion would give the Car­di­nals the lead, 16-14, but Malvern would an­swer.

The en­su­ing pos­ses­sion would see Malvern’s quar­ter­back Sim­mons again find re­ceiver Dal­las Lewis for a 39-yard pass com­ple­tion, to set them up from 2 yards out. Sim­mons would score the next play, and a suc­cess­ful 2-point con­ver­sion would make it a 22-16 ball­game.

How­ever, a fum­ble by Cardinal quar­ter­back Hunter Wil­liams and en­su­ing touch­down by the Leop­ard of­fense with only min­utes left would serve as a mo­men­tumkiller for the Car­di­nals. A late touch­down and re­cov­ered on­side kick by the Car­di­nals proved to be too lit­tle, too late, as they would drop their first game since Week 1.

Coach Guthrie is ready to see whether his team is ready to re­spond again. “We’re go­ing to find out how they’ll re­spond on Mon­day… if they show up ready to prac­tice and re­spond then we should have a good show­ing next Fri­day night.”

Har­mony Grove will have an­other road test next Fri­day as they travel to take on ri­val Baux­ite Min­ers (4-1, 2-0) at The Pit.

GREG Davis/spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Har­mony Grove ju­nior de­fen­sive line­man Cay­den Childers, 54, dives for a tackle of a Malvern Leop­ard in a 29-24 loss to Malvern on the road Fri­day.

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