Cardinal Mooney opened its season with a 46-15 victory against visiting Bishop Verot.
Bryce Williams led the way for the Cougars, racking up 152 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.
The night started with a scary moment: Cardinal Mooney’s Tommy Onufrak was hit hard by Bishop Verot’s Joel Webb and had to leave the field via ambulance. After the game, Cardinal Mooney head coach Drew Lascari said Onufrak was moving and his prognosis was good.
“It was an emotional time for us,” Lascari said. “We consider ourselves close-knit, and I was proud of how the kids played their tail off for Tommy.”
The targeting penalty called on Webb set the tone for a game filled with penalties on both sides of the ball. The physicality throughout the game saw big hits delivered on both sides.
Cardinal Mooney quarterback Tristan Hillerich moved the ball well through the air and on the ground. He scored on a 52-yard run and connected with Ryan Blechta for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
After being held scoreless offensively, scoring only on a safety as Blechta kicked the ball out of the end zone after a bad punt snap, Bishop Verot found the end zone in the third quarter when Korey Besse found Deven Thompkins for 47 yards. The two connected on another score of 80 yards in the fourth quarter, with Besse showing off his arm strength and accuracy. Besse was able to find open receivers multiple other times in the game, but costly drops kept the game from being closer.
Besse finished with 179 yards passing to go along with the two scores. Thompkins put up a great statistical evening, with two scores and 131 receiving yards. He showed off many great open field moves throughout the contest making Cardinal Mooney defenders miss on multiple occasions.
Prior to the contest, Bishop Verot head coach Bill Shields said, “they are a well-coached team on the other sideline and we will have a challenge ahead of us.” His words proved to be prophetic as Cardinal Mooney controlled the pace of the game throughout.
Cardinal Mooney 46, Bishop Verot 15
BV— Safety, 2:26
CM— Ryan Blechta 42 kick, 6:26
CM— Blechta 13 pass from Tristan Hillerich (Blechta kick), 10:33
CM— Vinny Conetta 7 run (kick failed), 9:43
CM— Blechta 36 kick, 0:03
CM— Bryce Williams 31 run (kick failed), 9:44
CM— Meko Mayes 12 run (Blechta kick), 8:01
BV— Deven Thompkins 47 pass from Korey Besse (Logan McLeod kick), 4:24
CM— Williams 12 run (Blechta kick), 0:00
BV— Thompkins 80 pass from Besse (kick failed), 7:36
CM— Hillerich 53 run (Blechta kick), 5:23
RUSHING: Bishop Verot: Brayden Cook 6-11, Besse 8-9, Tequon Chatman 1-0, Thompkins 3-(-1), Total 18-9. Cardinal Mooney: Williams 21-152, Hillerich 6-53, Conetta 2-17, Mayes 1-12, Sam Koscho 2-8, Daryl Crenshaw 4-0, Gene Giardina 1-3.
PASSING: Bishop Verot: Besse 9-27-1-179, Total 9-27-1-179. Cardinal Mooney: Hillerich 9-20-0-112, Total 9-20-0-112.
RECEIVING: Bishop Verot: Gabriel Garcia 1-11, Thompkins 6-131, Messery 1-35, Brayden Cook 2-2, Total 9-179. Cardinal Mooney: Blechta 3-36, Williams 3-39, Jack Koscho 1-4, Mayes 1-20, Sean White 1-13, Total 9-112.