Cards Complete Comeback For Win

Tim Komer
Posted 9/8/21

The Clinton Cardinals played the Odessa Bulldogs on the road Monday, Sept. 6. The Cards had a lot of fans follow them to offer support. The Cardinals started with the ball on the 45 yard line and …

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Cards Complete Comeback For Win

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The Clinton Cardinals played the Odessa Bulldogs on the road Monday, Sept. 6. The Cards had a lot of fans follow them to offer support. The Cardinals started with the ball on the 45 yard line and drove the ball down to the nine using nice runs from Carson Roskop and receptions by Emrie Neal. Collin Berry was at QB for the Cards as Kanden LaFarge was out with an injury. Both teams traded penalties forcing the Cards to try a fourth down play on the nine yard line. They came up short and turned the ball over to Odessa. Odessa took the ball over and using the running game marched down the field. They used a Cardinal penalty to score a TD on their first drive with 8:39 left in the second quarter. They missed on their PAT attempt. The score was 6-0 Bulldogs.
Berry returned the short kickoff. The Cards started their second possession. #25 Carson Roskop was still the running back. #19 Payton Sales made a nice first down catch. #15 Collin Berry connected with #4 Emrie Neal with a long pass and the Cards scored with 6:24 left in the half. #9 Dylan Bloom added the PAT and the Cards led 7-6. Shockingly the Bulldogs scored on the deep kickoff. It was a 90 yard return. Odessa went up 12- 7.
Having trouble with the kick off the Cards started deep on their third drive. Berry using the shotgun completed a screen pass to Roskop. With 3:30 left in the half Neal made another long circus catch. The Cards made great plays but ended up turning the ball over to Odessa on downs. Odessa with very little time left in the half made a run at another score. Sales knocked down a Bulldog pass. Odessa had very good clock management, but came up short. The half ended with the Bulldogs leading 12-7.
The Cards attempted an on-side kick but the Bulldogs handled the squib kick from Bloom. Using the short field the Bulldogs scored a TD and added a two point PAT. The game now at 20-7 seemed to be getting away from the Cards.
The Cards again drove the ball relying mainly on the pass. They were aided by a defensive holding penalty. #28 Richie Brown came in at running back and got some calls and nice gains. Neal made another nice catch on a fourth down play. The Cards got down to the 1-yard line but fumbled. Two plays later the Cardinal defense stepped up and pushed the Bulldogs back to score a safety (2 points) making it 20-9 Bulldogs. The ball was kicked off to the Cards and they marched down the field. Berry had to come out of the game for a play with an equipment issue. Using more key passes to Neal and runs from Brown the Cards got the ball down to the five yard line. On a nice slant play #2 Cameron Mertz pulled in the TD pass from Berry. The Cards decided to go for two after the TD and were successful. That made the exciting game close, 20-17 Dogs. The Cards would not go away. The teams seemed very evenly matched. The third quarter ended 20-17 Bulldogs.
#52 Monte Bullock got into the Bulldogs backfield and made a key tackle for a loss. Odessa’s drive stalled and they performed a quick QB punt trying to surprise the Cards. It was a bad punt. Berry got sacked but later got a pass off to Brown for a first down. Brown had a another long run. With 6:34 left in the game the Cards sent Bloom out to try a long field goal from the 37. The attempt was blocked. With the Cardinals needing the ball back the energy on the field and in the stands was building. The Cardinal defense stiffened again and the Dogs turn the ball over on downs with 3:04 left in the game. #56 Phillip Harrison and the whole line did their job. The Cards mounted another solid drive. Neal pulled in another catch at the 30 yard line. Mertz pulled in another catch to the 14. A hand-off was fumbled on the next play! Odessa took over the ball with 2:30 left in the game. The Cardinals used their time outs. The Odessa drive stalled. The intensity was now through the roof. The Cards took over the ball with only 23 seconds left in the game. A pass to Neal missed. The Cards scored with a great pass to the wide open Mertz. (As they say, the crowd went wild.) With the PAT the Cards went up 24-20 with eight seconds left. A great game with a great finish. The Cards were able to overcome mistakes and still got the win. The game ball would have to go to Emrie Neal, Collin Berry or Cameron Mertz. You pick. The Cards go 2-0 on the season. They play Holden next Monday on the road. Game stats posted on the Democrat’s Facebook page asap.

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