Weather proved to be the biggest obstacle to the Colonel Crawford and Cardington football teams on Friday night.
During halftime, lightning was seen in the area, beginning what turned out to be a two-hour, 40-minute weather delay that ensured the game would not end until near midnight.
At the time of the delay, the Eagles had a 26-7 lead. They would maintain a sizable advantage when the two teams took the field again and wound up on top by a 46-14 margin — something that the team’s coach, Ryan Teglovic, welcomed after their week two setback against North Union.
“It’s good to get back on the winning side after the tough loss last week,” he said. “It’s been a long week. Our guys were ready to get back out on Friday night. I’m happy for them.”
The Eagles scored on each of their first four possessions to take control of the game, mixing in a few passes to go with the punishing running of Tristan Cross and Ethan Suter.
The team’s first touchdown came from the arm of quarterback Brock Ritzhaupt, as he connected with Jordan Fenner for a 21-yard score early in the first quarter. Ritzhaupt also ran for a pair of first-half touchdowns of 10 and nine yards and also hit Carter Valentine for a 31-yard scoring play.
“We’ve got two good backs I’ve felt have run the ball well for us and they did that last night,” said Teglovic. “We hit a couple passes, too, which is good for us going forward. Overall, it was a good night.”
Cardington’s first half started promisingly. Trailing 7-0, they got a 25-yard scramble from quarterback Nate Hickman to get near mid-field, but a pair of penalties drove them backwards and forced a punt.
After giving up CC’s second touchdown, they were able to respond, as Hickman hit Trey Brininger on a pair of passes, including a 32-yard touchdown play that allowed the team to cut their deficit in half.
However, their next two possessions ended in punts and their final one of the first half resulted in an interception to keep the team at seven points going into the extended halftime.
Plumley, whose team has been battling some key injuries this season, noted this his players have been working hard to fill those holes.
“I think our kids have done a pretty good job at moving parts,” he said. “The kids are fighting. There’s still a lot to learn, but I’m seeing improvement.”
A seven-yard touchdown by Cross and a short dive by Suter boosted the Eagle lead to a 38-7 margin in the third quarter and started a running clock.
Cardington would fight back, though. Kaden Beach took the field as quarterback and connected with Brininger for 11 yards before running the ball for 30 yards. Ashton Plowman finished the drive with a four-yard scoring run.
Plumley looked at that drive as a nice thing to see, as his team wasn’t content to ride out the game, despite being down by 31 points late at night.
“The kids have a lot of fight,” he said. “Right now, we’re making a lot of mistakes that hurt us, but physically, our kids play hard. We just need to limit mistakes.”
The Eagles would finish the game with a touchdown, as Tyler Christman scored on a short run with three minutes left in regulation to provide the final margin of victory to improve to 2-1 on the season. Cardington finishes the non-conference part of their schedule still looking for their first win of 2019.
Rob Hamilton can be reached at 419-946-3010, ext. 1807. Connect with him on Twitter at @SportsMCS