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December 1, 2022

10/14/2022 9:18:00 AM
Cardinals earn post season exploding vs Tigers

Highland football coach Mike Aide knew the Tigers would keep the football on the ground much of the time.
In fact, Hillsboro quarterback Josiah Thyne only went to the air four times Friday against the Cardinals and all four fell incomplete. So Aide charged up the defense to lead the Cardinals to a 47-22 win which clinched a playoff berth, guaranteeing a post season contest.
The 22 points were somewhat deceptive as the Tigers struck twice in the fourth quarter against the Highland junior varsity. They managed eight against the varsity which came on a big play in the first quarter when Thyne ran 73 yards
The Cards had the game in their control by halftime when they completed the first two frames with a 41-8 lead.
Cohen Healy, Cardinal signal caller, ran for the first score with a 15 yard run to make it 6-0.
Thyne then scored and the Tigers added a run for two and a short lived 8-6 lead.
Healy got his second touchdown of the first period with a two yard run. He also found his way in for the two point conversion and a 14-8 lead.
The second quarter saw the Cardinals dominate with 27 points. The first two came on passes from Healy to Caden Lindner from 33 and 14 yards out. Tristin Imhoff passed to Michael Esser for the conversion.
Healy picked up his third run for score on a three yard plunge and a 34-8 lead.
The next score came on a 68 yard punt return by Bryce Bollant and Felipe Souza kicked the conversion. That gave the Cards a 41-8 lead at intermission.
The final Cardinal score came. after half came from Dax Smelzer who took off on a 13 yard scamper that allowed Highland to take a 47-8.
With the JVs seeing much of the second half action Hillsboro got scores from Thyne and Isaiah Stokes for a 47-22 finish.
There were a lot of good things from the Cardinals that impressed coach Mike Aide.
"I thought our Defense played very well Friday night," Aide said. I thought our defensive line demanded double teams at times. That definitely made it easier for our linebackers to read and react to the play."
It also helped limit Hillsboro to zero yards passing and 225 on the ground, many of them late in the game against the reserves.
The Cardinals were in control from start to finish, Aide felt.
"In the first quarter we had a great opening drive with a score," Aide said. "When we went on defense we misread a play that led to Hillsboro scoring a touchdown. We settled in after that and played sound football. We got going as the game went on. Big moment at the end of the second half was when we were on defense and stopped Hillsboro on third down. We called a timeout with :47 seconds left forcing them to punt. Bryce Bollant took over from there and scored on a 68 yard out return for touchdown to give us the lead at 41-8. Special teams did a great job setting up the big return by Bryce."
The Cards got a player back who was on the ineligible list for a year and he had a big night in his second game back.
"We are very happy to have Caden Lindner back in the starting lineup," Aide said. "Caden has worked very hard the last several weeks and brings leadership and experience to this team. Caden has made a difference on offense. He does a great job on run blocking and has also helped our passing game. Defensively Caden is a missile. At the safety position Caden reads and reacts to make big plays. He has made our team better for sure."
Aide discussed the big and key plays that helped the Cardinals take the win.
"Bryce Bollant had a 68 yard punt return for a touchdown. Cohen Healy had a very good night with five scoring touchdowns. Caden Lindner had two receiving touchdowns. Darren Laufenberg ran for 71 yards. Wes Kraisinger had two receptions for 56 yards. Defensively Blake Dax led the team with 11 tackles. Tyson Imhoff, Darren Laufenberg and Colton Frost played very well at linebacker. Dax Smelzer has a sack. Jackson McGuire had an interception," Aide pointed out.
When Aide subbed in the second half the young Cardinals came through.
"Our JV got a ton of playing time in the second half versus Hillsboro varsity and did a good job," Aide said. "I thought Tucker Degenhardt, Jackson McGuire and Michael Esser made big plays on defense. Offensively we tried different things while the mercy rule was in effect for a running clock. We got some good looks at our younger players on Friday night."
The Cards face their neighbor, Riverdale, this Friday to close out the Ridge and Valley regular season.
"Riverdale has had a tough season but they will play four quarters of tough football this Friday," Aide expects. "The Chieftains have thrown the ball around quite a bit as of late. We need to be ready for anything. Defensively Riverdale does a good job reading the play and tackling. It should be a good game"
HIGHLAND STATS
Passing
Cohen Healy. 8/10-150-2 tds
Bennett Smith. 0/2
Darren Laufenberg 0/2
Rushing
Healy 11/63-3 tds
Smelzer 2/18-1 td
Laufenberg 8/71
Bollant 1/13
Receiving
Lindner 3/56-3 tds
John Dreischmeier 1/23
Esser 1/7
Wes Kraisinger 2/56
Colton Frost 1/8





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