With state-sanctioned shortened season by the COVID outbreak and the Ohio High School Athletic Association, the Shaw High Cardinals came into their 2020 season with a lot to prove. Under new head coach Bruce Coffey jr., the Cardinals went into Saturday’s game against the Garfield Heights Bulldogs looking to show they are a team to pay attention to this season.

Despite not being able to play true home games at historic Shaw Stadium, the Cardinals have made their temporary home at Euclid’s Sparky DiBiasio Stadium a tough place to play so far against Youngstown East and now Garfield Heights.

Sporting their trademark red uniforms, the Cardinals looked to take control of the game as returner Da’Shaun Watley (24) took the games opening kickoff for a touchdown, but was called back on a questionable penalty. From there the Cardinals moved the ball deep into Bulldog territory, but couldn’t punch it in. Another turnover gave the Cardinals another chance to score, but they again came up short.

At the halftime, Coach Coffey gave his thoughts about what halftime adjustments needed to be made and here’s what he said.

“Once we start playing with some passion and enthusiasm. As long as we execute and play tough, Then we should be alright.”

In the second half, play tough is exactly what the Cardinal defense did as they kept the Bulldogs out of the endzone all game. Leading the charge on defense was defensive end Roderic Williams with five tackles and two sacks coming in the second half.

With 3:30 left to go in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals found themselves in scoring position and made the best of it as running back Da”Shaun Watley scored on a 10-yard touchdown run and extra point to make the score 7-0. The Bulldogs turned the ball over on downs on a last-ditch effort to score. This left the Cardinals to only take a knee once to end the game.

When asked about his team’s performance, Coach Coffey had this to say:

“We didn’t need to make any adjustments. We just needed to play hard-nosed defense, play through the whistle Be disciplined, And run the ball. Our conditioning would take over and it showed.”

The Cardinals are now 2-0 and will travel to Warren to play Howland High next week at 7 p.m. Howland will come into next week’s game 1-1 as they defeated Youngstown Chaney, 13-12. Kickoff will be on Friday night¬† at 7 p.m.

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