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Cardinal Mooney falls to Linsly

Staff photo / Brian Yauger Cardinal Mooney senior Davontae Miller runs for a gain Saturday evening during the Cardinals’ matchup with Linsly (WV). Miller rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns.

MINERAL RIDGE — After holding strong early in the game, Cardinal Mooney lost control in its home-opener at Mineral Ridge, losing 35-21 to Linsly, a West Virginia prep school.

“We didn’t execute,” Cardinals coach Carl Pelini said. “We came out and we looked really sharp. When we executed, we played good football, moved the ball right down the field and put points on the board. Then in a lot of instances, it’s not what our opponents were doing, it’s what we were doing.

“Turnovers and penalties. They just continued to bite us. Until we develop that discipline and learn how to play a clean game, it’s going to continue to haunt us.”

Saturday was the first Cardinals home game not at YSU’s Stambaugh Stadium since the stadium was built in 1982. Mooney is now playing at its new home, E.Z. Whittaker Field at Mineral Ridge High School.

“I just think it’s a better high school atmosphere for a school that has 310 students,” Pelini said. “I felt like last year playing at YSU you just kind of felt like you were in a vacuum. … I think the crowd enjoys being closer to the field and like I’ve said all along, as we continue to rebuild this program, we’ll evaluate all that stuff at the end of the season and we’ll figure out if it’s the way to stay or if we should go back to YSU.”

Senior running back Davontae Miller christened the new field for Mooney and had a solid game, rushing for 126 yards.

Miller kicked the scoring off for Mooney, getting the team on the board midway through the first quarter, pounding the ball in from 1-yard out.

Later on in the third quarter, Linsly was able to stall a Mooney drive, forcing a fumble on their own 17-yard line.

The Cadets drove right down the field to score on a quick drive, turning what could have been a 21-all tie into a 28-14 lead for the West Virginia school.

Late in the game, junior quarterback Alec DelSignore subbed into the game for sophomore Ashton O’Brien and had a good performance. On four completions, DelSignore threw for 77 yards including a 44-yard touchdown pass to Tyrin Howell to cut the gap to 35-21.

With Week 4 in the books, Mooney is still giving both players the chance to prove that they’re the right man to start at quarterback.

“It continues to be a battle every week and both of them are going to get some time and both of them will play and we’ll continue to evaluate that position every day,” Pelini said. “Ashton had some good throws early to get us down for a score and Alex had that great throw at the end.

“We’re not settled anywhere. We’re not there yet as a football team to be settled at any position. So that battle continues.”

As they keep finding themselves as a team, Mooney hopes the mistakes are in the rearview as the Cardinals continue their homestretch, hosting Austintown Fitch on Friday.

“We’ve just got to keep working,” Pelini said. “We’ve got to keep getting better and eliminate our mistakes. We don’t even give ourselves a chance because of our mistakes, if we can eliminate our mistakes and if we throw our best game on the field, whatever happens, and I’ll be satisfied with that. We haven’t done that yet. That’s on me and that’s on the coaching staff.”

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