Cedar Ridge falls behind early, loses 56-28

Sep. 27, 2013 @ 11:32 PM

Cedar Ridge coach Chris Casey could only lament the first quarter against Cardinal Gibbons Friday night. The Red Wolves found themselves quickly down by three touchdowns and could never recover, losing 56-28 to stay winless in the Big Eight 3A Conference.

“If we could take away those first two or three scores, we would have been in the game,” Casey said. “You can’t give a good team like that those type of opportunities because they are going to finish. We’ve got to get to where they are.”

Cardinal Gibbons racked up 549 yards of total offense. The Crusaders scored on their first five possessions and never looked back.

Led by running back David Smith’s 112 yards on just eight carries, Cardinal Gibbons rushed for 299 yards. Senior quarterback Shawn Stankavage threw for 248 yards  – 210 yards in the first half – and four touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders’ defense held the Red Wolves to 75 first-half yards and less than 200 for the game. However, Cardinal Gibbons also committed five turnovers, which didn’t sit well with coach Steven Wright.

“Yes, those turnovers do stick with me, but I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” Wright said. “I was very pleased with the first half. Our offense executed and our defense played well.”

Cardinal Gibbons (4-1) led 35-7 at the half. Stankavage threw touchdown passes to Chris Gorman (19 yards), James Sriraman (16 yards) and Brandon Loy (22 yards).

The Red Wolves (0-5) put together their best drive of the night -- 12 plays, 75 yards -- that culminated in quarterback Peyton Pappas’ five-yard throw to wide receiver Chris McKoy.

But the Crusaders added two more touchdowns right before halftime on runs by

Smith – 28 yards -- and Peyton Offnick, 15 yards.

Stankavage’s fourth touchdown of the night, this time to Dante DiMaggio, gave the Crusaders a 42-14 lead in the third quarter before Cardinal Gibbons’ defense got in the game. Linebacker Scott Henion intercepted a Pappas pass and returned it 18 yards for a 49-14 lead.

But the Red Wolves didn’t fold.

Cedar Ridge drove 54 yards for a Pappas-to-Julius Walton 29-yard touchdown. The Red Wolves then recovered a Crusaders fumble at their 14. Pappas found Matt Murty from 15 yards out and trimmed the lead to 49-28 with 5:16 left in the game.

But Cardinal Gibbons halted any comeback attempt with DiMaggio’s 19-yard run with 3:50 remaining.

“We just came out flat and couldn’t recover,” Casey said. “But they played hard till the end.”