Cardinals soar at jamboree

By Andrew Alexander

Cardinals soar at jamboree

The Cardinal football team tuned up for the regular season with a 14-0 victory over the Eagles of Jackson Christian School at the Star Physical Therapy Jamboree at Chester County High School Friday night.

With touchdowns runs courtesy of sophomore Zak Neary and junior John Reed Odom combined with a stifling defensive performance that held the Eagles’ offense to eight total yards, the Cardinals seem to be flying high as they open the season as the eighth ranked team in the Jackson Sun’s Preseason Dirty-Dozen.

“I wasn’t happy with our effort at Waverly,” Head Coach Brandon Gray said about a previous scrimmage in an interview Saturday morning. “I just didn’t think we came out and played with any heart, and I thought we showed a little more heart last night.”

The heart-filled Cardinal performance Friday night began with a  forced punt on the opening Eagle drive of the game. 

AHS could not get the ball moving on their first offensive possession and promptly punted after a three-and-out.

The Cardinal defense stepped up on the Eagles’ next possession, recording consecutive sacks on second and third down to force a fourth and 24 punt by JCS.

The AHS offense came to life putting together scoring drive that included a fourth down conversion on their next possession and was capped off by a four yard touchdown run by Neary with 8:30 left in the game.

Junior kicker Dustin Plunk converted on the extra point to make the score 7-0 Cardinals.

AHS Linebacker Seth Killingsworth came up with a clutch play by breaking up a pass on third and 12 forcing the Eagles to punt with under five minutes remaining in the ballgame. 

On the second play of the Cardinals’ following drive, Odom found a hole in the defense after an excellent block from junior offensive lineman Blake Elrod that allowed him to streak down the sideline, flying past Eagle defenders for a 59 yard touchdown run.

Another converted point after touchdown for Plunk gave the Cardinals a 14-0 lead with 2:25 left in regulation.

 The Eagles were successful on a fourth down conversion with six seconds left on the clock as they tried to put points on the board before the game ended, but a sack by junior defensive lineman Daniel Milford on the next play wrapped up the Cardinals’ win as time ran out for JCS.

Adamsville played a penalty and turnover-free game, and gave up only one first down to the Eagles’ offense while recording five of their own on three offensive possessions.

The Cardinal running game accounted for all of AHS’s 112 yards of total offense.

Neary had five carries for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Odom had one carry for 59 yards and a touchdown.

Junior defensive lineman Josh Chappell led the Cardinal defense with three sacks in Friday’s jamboree contest.

Milford and sophomore defensive lineman Dustin Wilson also recorded a sack a piece.

AHS will open its regular season on the road against the 4A Chester County Eagles who were also victorious in the jamboree, beating Riverside High School 13-0.

“Chester County has always been good,” said Gray. “The biggest thing for us is to stay focused and just play our game. Do what we do. That’s what we tell our kids... As long as we do that we have a chance to win. We’re not going to go up there and fold.”