|10/16/2020 9:55:00 AM|
Cardinals double up Ithaca to go 2-0
Highland took the field Friday with a win under their belts the week before against a school three times their size in Altoona.
This week's opponent, Ithaca, was idle last week and was hungry to get going and prove their conference championship last season was no fluke.
But Justin Miller and company refused to be shaken by the strong reputation the Bulldogs brought to the field. What the Cardinals did was double up the Bulldogs score wise with a 28-14 win.
Neither team scored the first quarter then the Cardinals got rolling when Cal Dorota ran 29 yards for a score and Max Oleson kicked the conversion.
Jed Scallon tried to even things up for the Bulldogs with a 65 yard sprint but the extra point was no good, making it a 7-6 Cardinal advantage.
Highland came back with a big play of their own with a 33 yard blast by Owyn Halverson. Oleson's extra point made it 14-6.
Halverson got loose again before the half as he capped a drive with a one yard plunge to make it 20-6.
Neither team scored in the third frame but Scallon got a last gasp for Ithaca with a 12 yard run and then passed to Chase Keller for the conversion.
But Miller guided the Cardinals on one more drive and scored on a seven yard run. His pass to Oleson provided the 28-14 finale.
Miller was eight for 12 passing for 130 yards and Oleson completed the two passes he attempted.
Halverson led the rushing with 20 carries for 72 yards. Dorota lugged the ball seven times for 40 yards. Miller ran for 17 yards on eight caries and Oleson picked up nine on his lone carry.
Isaac Michek grabbed a pass for a 55 yard gain. Dorota hauled in three for 52, Brett McGuire two for 53, Drew Nankey one for nine and Halverson three for 14.
Defensively Halverson came up with two interceptions. Dorota took part in 22 tackles, Josiah Greene 13, Miller seven and Gabe Benish five.
Highland coach Mike Aide was especially impressed with Miller's play and leadership.
"Justin Miller has done a great job leading our team offensively," Aide said. "He has worked hard preparing for each game. Justin is a tough kid who does not like coming off the field and missing any plays."
Aide was also impressed with the job the offense did against the Bulldogs and in the first two games.
"We have a pretty good group offensively." Aide said. "It's a good mixture of the run and pass right now and our offensive line has made that possible. Cal Dorota and Owyn Halverson have done a nice job handling the run and pass game. Miller has made some good reads to allow the playbook to open up. Isaac Michek has played well offensively and has stretched the field to allow other receivers to be open. This help us to be balanced and to keep teams from loading up at the line of scrimmage."
The Cardinals line has been impressive the coach said.
"Our offensive line has done a good job," said Aide. "Josiah Greene, Lucas Welsh, Blake Dax, Gabe Benish , Isaac Biba and Donald Laufenberg have done well with the run and pass so far. We still need to work on containing our blocks longer and playing to whistle blows. I'm happy with the line play and hopefully that will continue."
The Cardinals coach feels playing quality opponents like Ithaca will pay off in the long run for his s quad.
"Playing Ithaca Friday night was a good test for our team," said Aide. "We cannot simulate that type of intensity at practice. This shows that our players can play at a high level at game time. I know our conditioning is not quite where it needs to be right now. Our team did a great job preparing for this game and it showed. Homecoming week can make loose focus on the game sometimes, but we were able to stay focused and get the win."
Aide said he knows the two wins are the result of collaboration among his staff.
"My coaching staff has done a great job with getting our players ready for these games," Aide said.
Next up is a trip to Livingston to provide the Homecoming opponent for Iowa-Grant.
"We need to be ready for a good I-G team," Aide added. "It's their Homecoming and they have a great team and coaching staff that will make sure they are ready to go Friday night. It will be nice not to have to travel a long distance for this game. We need to stay focused and be ready to play a really good team."
Article Comment Submission Form