Despite a lackluster second half, Cardinal Mooney had little trouble dispensing with winless Bayshore, 27-2, on Friday night at Balvanz Stadium.
The Cougars improved to 8-2 to end the regular season, while the Bruins finished their season 0-9.
Despite what was in most respects a lopsided win, the Cougars believe there is much to improve before the first round of the playoffs next week.
In the first half, Cardinal Mooney had pretty much everything go its way and took a 24-0 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, Ryan Blechta’s 32-yard field goal was all the Cougars could muster offensively. The Bruins countered with a safety after Kenny Wright tackled Cougars quarterback Tristan Hillerich in the end zone.
“We just have to get better, we have a lot of areas where we need to improve on,” said Cougars running back Bryce Williams. “We have to do better than this to move far in the playoffs.”
Williams, however, was one of the bright spots for Cardinal Mooney as he piled up 93 rushing yards on 14 carries. On the second offensive play of the game, Williams sliced through the Bruins’ defense for a 38-yard score just 23 seconds into the contest. He plunged in from 3 yards out five minutes later for a 14-0 lead.
“The disappointment in the second half wasn’t so much concerning our defense, it’s more our offense,” said Cougars head coach Drew Lascari. “The only way they scored in the second half was because we made a stupid mistake on offense. We have to get better on defense, that’s all there is to it. We can’t play this way against Melbourne (Central Catholic).”
Among the other offensive highlights for Cardinal Mooney in the first half was a 35-yard strike from Hillerich to Meko Mayes for a 21-0 advantage. Blechta accounted for the rest of the first-half points when he booted a 38-yard field goal.
Cardinal Mooney 27,
CM— Bryce Williams 38 run (Blechta kick), 11:37
CM— Williams 3 run (Blechta kick), 6:33
CM— Meko Mayes 35 pass from Tristan Hillerich (Blechta kick), 6:44
CM— Blechta 38 field goal, 1:56
B— Safety, 1:30
CM— Blechta 32 FG, 3:43
Rushing: Cardinal Mooney 30-136: Williams 14-93, Hillerich 7-19, Sam Koscho 6-25, Daryl Crenshaw 1-2, Geno Gardina 2-(3). Bayshore 27-94: Michael Alexander 10-36, Brian Coleman 14-48, Jerry Robinson 3-10.
Passing: Cardinal Mooney 9-14-0, 122: Hillerich 9-13-0-172, Gardina 0-1-0-0. Bayshore 11-20-0, 63: Coleman 11-20-0-63.
Receiving: Cardinal Mooney 9-172: Jack Koscho 3-101, Crenshaw 1-8, Blechta 3-22, Williams 1-6, Mayes 1-35. Bayshore 11-63: Deny Dessin 4-35, Alexander 4-22, Miguel Rodriguez 3-5.
Who: Cardinal Mooney at Melbourne Central Catholic
What: Class 3A region semifinals
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.