Unbeaten WGH faces run-happy Mooney

The Warren G. Harding Raiders all still undefeated and are currently ranked No. 1 in Division II, Region 5. But, even with all of the successes that 2016 has brought thus far, the Raiders aren’t resting on their laurels.

“(There’s) no concerns (about complacency),” Raiders coach Steve Arnold said. “You just take every opponent for what it is. We practice well and we’re just taking things one game at a time.”

Harding (7-0) is not only leading their region, but it’s also second in the state, according to the Associated Press. The Raiders currently control their own destiny and will finish the regular season with home games against Mooney, East and Howland.

In seven games, the Raider defense has allowed just 68 points, with three shutouts. Harding will need to continue to play stingy defense as they’ll face a fierce Mooney rushing attack tonight at Mollenkopf Stadium.

The Cardinals (4-2) are averaging 264.2 rushing yards per game, with nearly 178 coming from the tandem of Jaylem Hewlett and Ray Anderson. Hewlett has 543 yards on 50 carries (10.9 average) and six scores, while Anderson has 437 yards and is averaging 6.9 yards per carry, with four scores.

According to Arnold, his Raiders have their eyes on the tandem.

“We watched film on them all week,” Arnold said. “They’re big, strong physical men. They are more elusive than they appear.”

Mooney is currently ranked sixth in Division IV, Region 13, just one spot behind Hubbard. Needless to say, the Cardinals, who are coming off of a 31-14 loss to Buffalo (NY) Canisius, need a win to stay in playoff contention, as their schedule doesn’t get much easier with Ursuline and Austintown Fitch still to come.

“They (Mooney) want to establish the run game (against us),” Arnold said. “If we allow them to do that, it could be a very long night for us.”