The Big Reds traveled to Cadiz on Friday evening looking to rebound from their initial loss of the season and used a bruising ground game and some special teams magic to return home with a 27-19 victory.
AJ McCarthy got the evening off to a fine start for the visitors as he hauled in the opening kickoff at the 28-yard line and raced 72 yards to paydirt. After the PAT missed just wide right, the Big Reds had the early 6-0 lead. McCarthy tied former Big Red’s standout and current assistant Shawn Valloric for career kickoff returns for touchdowns with two.
After holding the Huskies to a three-and-out, the Big Reds took over but on the third play of the drive, the Huskies Trevor Carman stepped in front of a Bobby Roth pass and intercepted it. The Huskies proceeded to cover 49 yards in 12 plays culminating in an eight-yard touchdown run by Cale McAfee. After the Huskies missed a PAT of their own, the score was all knotted up at 6-6.
The Big Reds took the lead right back on their next possession needing just six plays covering 58 yards with Roth carrying the pigskin across the goal-line from four yards out. After a successful Cole Porter PAT, the Big Reds led 13-6. The key play on the drive was a 26-yard hook-up from Roth to Trace Sechrest.
Once again, the resilient Huskies battled back on the ensuing possession using two long pass plays from QB Kobe Mitchell to Carmen to eventually tie the score at 13. They connected on a 59-yard pass play from deep in their own territory to keep the drive alive and finished it off with a 24-yarder on 4th-and-ten to tie it up.
Both offenses stalled for the rest of the half and the teams entered halftime 13-13. In the second half, the Big Reds turned to reliable Cole Porter and he did not disappoint. After a three-and-out by the Huskies to start the second half and a six-yard punt, Porter needed only four carries to cover all 38 yards and put the Big Reds ahead 20-13 after the 8-yard TD run.
Both defenses held steady until the Big Reds took over at their own 34-yard line with just under eight minutes to go in the game when Porter galloped 66 yards for the deciding score. The Huskies scored with just over four minutes left but could get no closer as the Big Reds held on for the 27-19 victory.
Porter finished with a game-high 173 yards rushing, 118 of those coming in the second half. TJ Bell led the was defensively with two sacks and two forced fumbles.
The Big Reds return to action Friday evening when they travel to newly renovated Monarch Stadium in Moundsville to face John Marshall.