The Ell-Saline Cardinals came into Friday night’s tilt with a 5 and 1 record, so on paper it looked like the winless Sacred Heart Knights wouldn’t have much of a chance at the “W”. However, as the old saying goes, in rivalry games you can throw out the records.
The Knights would take the early lead. With the Cardinals driving inside the Sacred Heart 10-yard line, Ell-Saline would cough up the ball. Knight Junior defensive end Mason Richards scooped it up at the 12 and rumble 88 yards to give Sacred Heart the early 6-0 lead with 8:37 to go in the opening period.
The Knights would lead for over 12 minutes until the 7:47 mark of the second quarter. That’s when Cardinal Senior Owen Bradley ran it in for 5 yards to give Ell-Saline the lead 7 to 6. The Cardinals would get a 2 yard TD run from Junior QB T. J. Morrical late in the first half to take a 14-6 lead into intermission.
The game looked like it was going to get out of hand in the third quarter with Ell-Saline scoring on a 1 yard run by Bradley and a 7 yard scamper by Junior Keenan Drees making the score 28-6 heading into the 4th quarter.
That’s when things got interesting. On the first play of the final stanza, Knight Junior quarterback Mac Hemmer snuck it in from the 1. On the ensuing kick-off, Sacred Heart recovered an on-side kick. On the very next play, Hemmer would find Senior wide receiver Landon Power on a 49 yard touchdown bomb and the Knights were within a 2-point conversion of making it a one score game. The Cardinals would deny that and with 11:45 to go in the contest, the Cardinal lead was cut to 10.
After that, it was the Owen Bradley show. He toted the pigskin in from the 11 yard line with 8:52 left and then delivered the dagger with 2:30 to go in the game on a 50 yard touchdown run, his 4th TD of the night giving him 6 touchdowns for the season.
Ell-Saline heads to Smith Center next week to try and put an end to the Redmen’s perfect season. Meanwhile, Sacred Heart travels to Bellville to take on Republic County with both teams looking for their first victories of the year.