Nationally ranked Youngstown Cardinal Mooney handles Warren Harding; Cardinals now 4-0

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Mooney 49, Harding 0
There was an illegal man down field penalty that took back a 21-yard
pass play and that was all that went wrong for host Youngstown Cardinal
Mooney on Saturday. Nationally ranked and undefeated, Mooney struck early and often and
rolled past Warren Harding, 49-0, to improve to 4-0. The Cardinals are
the No. 1 team in the ONN/Ohio High Power Poll. Senior QB Danny McCarthy ran for three TDs and threw for another.


YOUNGSTOWN – There was an illegal man down field penalty that took back a 21-yard pass play and that was all that went wrong for host Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Saturday.

Nationally ranked and undefeated, Mooney struck early and often and rolled past Warren Harding, 49-0, to improve to 4-0. The Cardinals are the No. 1 team in the ONN/Ohio High Power Poll.

After being held to a three-and-out on its first offensive series, Mooney scored the next four times it had the ball, jumping out to a 28-0 lead at halftime. The Cardinals were superior on both sides of the ball in the first half. The offense amassed 225 yards, while the defense limited Harding to 56.

It was the fourth straight dominate performance for Mooney, whose season has already included wins over 2006 Division I state runner-up Mentor, Hoban and Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway in the Kirk Herbstreit Classic. Mooney coach P.J. Fecko believes it’s a great testament to his kids who keep improving.

“We want to get better each and every week,” Fecko said. “Sometimes around Week 3 or 4 you stall out and level off, and we haven’t done that. That’s a tribute to our seniors and their leadership and the work ethic they show each day in practice.”

One of those senior leaders, Notre Dame recruit Dan McCarthy echoed his coach’s sentiments.

“Everyone just gets focused in,” McCarthy said. “We never want to be satisfied. We want to keep improving and getting better every week.”

The defending Division IV state champs were again led by McCarthy. Despite exiting the game midway through the third quarter, McCarthy had 152 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries. He also added a 19-yard touchdown pass.

While the skill players for Mooney such as McCarthy, Michael Zordich (Penn State), and Taylor Hill (Oklahoma) get most of the press, McCarthy will be the first to give credit to his offensive line.

“Our line really has stepped up,” McCarthy said. “We’re going with some young kids up front, and the keep getting better and it makes our team better.”

“We had no returning starters on our line,” Fecko said. “They’ve worked hard and gotten better, and it’s a tribute to them when we put up big numbers. They take pride when everyone has a good night.”

McCarthy got the scoring started for Mooney midway through the first quarter when he broke a 50-yard run on third down.

The Cardinal defense held Harding on its next possession and a special teams error added to the visitors woes. The snap went over the head of punter Dan Sweet and Mooney took over on the Raider 27-yard line. Four plays later, McCarthy found the end zone for the second time.

The next time the Cardinals got the ball, Zordich got in on the action. First the full back broke a 62-yard run down to the Harding 3 yard line. On the next play, Zordich finished off the drive.

The Cardinals added one more score before the half, on McCarthy’s only pass completion on the night in two attempts. McCarthy connected with his tight end Mike Gemma for a 19-yard score, giving the Cardinals the 28-0 halftime lead.

Mooney’s starters played one series in the third quarter, and it was more McCarthy. This time the QB scored his final TD on a 39-yard run.

The Mooney reserves finished out the game and some were just as impressive as the starters. Sophomore Ray Vinopal, who starts on the defense, rushed for 62 yards on six carries, while another sophomore Braylon Heard put in two touchdowns to cap off the Mooney scoring.

On the night Mooney out gained Harding 423-102.

The next challenger for Mooney is D-III power Mentor Lake Catholic. Warren Harding will try to rebound against Lima Senior.

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