By Chris Zadorozny
If you think a 28-7 win for the Melvindale Cardinals over the Carlson Marauders is a blowout, you’ll have to think again. It was anything but a blowout, as both teams battled on the ground and in the air all night long until the fourth quarter, when the Cardinals slipped away, to come within one win of clinching a playoff spot.
“We’re very happy to come out with a win. That’s a ton of adversity we faced,” said Cardinals Coach Jason Carriveau. “We took more injuries than we’ve taken all season. We’ve had more two’s playing than we’ve had all season, and they responded.”
Cardinals quarterback Jason Doyle had a terrific night, as he was 16-for-24, with 267 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions on the night. As for his teammates, wide receiver Malik Boynton had eight receptions for 214 yards and one 88-yard touchdown reception.
Running back Quincy Gibbs has 22 carries for 142 yards and a two-yard touchdown run.
For the Marauders, the only touchdown was a 49-yard reception by senior wide receiver Alex Rahming on the second play of the game for Carlson.
After that early touchdown by Carlson, the Cardinals responded with a long, drawn-out drive that encompassed 12 plays and five minutes of time. The drive ended with a Kle’Sean Clark one-yard touchdown run to tie the game at seven.
The rest of the first half was back and forth, but both teams went into halftime tied at seven.
Carlson had the ball to end the first half, and also began the second half with the ball.
A scary moment occurred just three and a half minutes into the second half during a run by Marauders senior AJ Gary.
Melvindale lineman Cameron Perryman was caught somewhere in the middle of the play and was knocked out cold. He was that way for a few minutes until the coaches and trainers were able to bring him back to consciousness.
“I was talking to him the whole time, he was responsive (after coming back to consciousness). I don’t know how much of it was precautionary from our trainers, but his hands (and feet) were moving,” said Carriveau. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and waved his hand as he headed toward the ambulance.
The crowd started chanting, “Win it for Cam!” The Cardinals did just that, and powered their way the rest of the second half for the win. That Carlson drive that Perryman was injured on resulted in a turnover on downs, but the Marauders defense stood tall and forced Melvindale to also turn the ball over on downs.
Still tied at seven, one team was going to break through, and it looked like the Marauders were going to do just that. Starting at their own 36-yard line nearing the end of the third quarter, a couple of runs by junior running back Marvin Franklin made it to near midfield. On a 4th and 8, they gave it to Franklin again, but Rodrick Tubbs stuffed him in the backfield for a loss of about eight.
This was the turning point, as the Cardinals came out on that very next drive and went 69 yards down the field in just four plays to score the go-ahead and game-winning touchdown.
Doyle found wide receiver Devin Wise for a 10-yard touchdown run to take the lead with just 34.5 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing kick, the Marauders fumbled it. Cardinals wide receiver Demetrius McKinney recovered it and the Cardinals once again capitalized.
Gibbs found the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run to cap a seven-play, 75-yard drive to put Melvindale up by two touchdowns.
Carlson couldn’t muster another touchdown and turned the ball over on its remaining three drives with an interception and two fumbles, respectively.
The Cardinals scored once more as Doyle found Boynton for that 88-yard touchdown reception, capping the night with the longest touchdown of the game.
Despite the loss, Marauders Coach Kent Sikora was proud of the way his team came out and performed. “I couldn’t be more proud of a group of kids. This is a high character group of kids that played their tails off for 48 minutes tonight,” said Sikora. “We just gave a great football team with a lot of weapons a couple too many chances, and that ended up being the difference tonight. We went toe-to-toe and slugged with them all night and I’m proud of this group, I love this group.”
Up next for the Marauders is their homecoming game next week against the Anderson Titans at 7:00pm. “Every game is a competitive game in this league and our kids, they like to show up and play football, so we’ll be ready to go,” said Sikora.
As for the Cardinals, their homecoming win puts them one win away from clinching a playoff spot. They’ll look to their game next week against Trenton, but their thoughts are with Perryman in the short-term. “At least for tonight, we’re going to focus on seeing how Cam is, we’re going to focus on the positives we can take away from this, and celebrate those, and we’re going to come right back to work and we’re going to focus on getting that sixth win against Trenton,” said Carriveau.
To see the original post that appeared in The News-Herald on October 5, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald