Cardinals Get it Dunn Against Hornets

Cardinals Get It Dunn Against Hornets
Dave Dunn's first win snaps a three year road losing streak for the Cards

The Dunn era began with a bang Thursday night as the CUA Cardinals traveled to ShenandoahUniversity to take on the Hornets on the first night of the 2006 college football season.  The 17-6 win featured CUA’s impressive defense and showcased the pair of quarterbacks that will lead the Cards this year.  Catholic University snapped a road losing streak than began during the 2003 season, it also marked the Cardinal’s first win in week one since 1998.

CUA struck first with a field goal at 14:47 in the second quarter.  Sophomore sensations Keith Ricca (Poolesville, Md.) and Nick Olivero (Fairfax, Va.) both ran for nine yards in the drive which resulted in three from the Shenandoah 27.  CUA showed its aggressive style early on, going on fourth down in its first two drives, making one successfully.

After a strong start, miscues plagued CUA in the second quarter.  Shenandoah got a chance picking off John Jacob’s (Gaithersburg, Md.) pass midway through, but tough Cardinal defense forced them to punt.  The Cards, however, proved to be their own worst enemy as a shotgun snap sailed over Ricca’s head and an illegal substitution penalty moved the punt back even further.

Again, the defense stepped it up as Sean Green (Salisbury, Md.) hammered Hornet signal caller, Blake Derby, on third down for a loss to take over at the CUA 10.  The Cardinals threatened, but couldn’t find the end zone as time expired making it 3-0 at the half.

After controlling the first half with almost twenty minutes on offense, the Hornets came out on fire returning Sam Weaver’s (Frederick, Md.) kickoff to the SU 45.  But the Cardinal defense forced them to go three and out.  After allowing SU just their second first down of the game, the defense came up with another big play when Steve Hendley fell on a fumble at the 44.

Jacobs took over under center and completed a 42-yard pass on second down to Myles Sabrick (Douglasville, Pa.) at the one yard line.  Jacobs pounded it in for a touchdown and Weaver’s kick made it 10-0 with four minutes remaining in the third quarter.

A blocked punt gave Shenandoah the ball at its own 15 and a run by Paul Diggs put the Hornet with first and goal at the two as time ran out in the third.  The first play of the fourth quarter was a run by Steven King for the touchdown.  But again the defense held its own as freshman Tommie Roberson (Gainesville, Fla.) blocked the extra point.

The tables turned in the fourth again as the Shenandoah punter fumbled the snap allowing Mark Wu (Alexandria, Va.) to block it.  Mike Goodman (Brookeville, Md.) picked up the ball and ran it to the SU 29 for first and ten with nine minutes left.

 After going three and out, the defense disrupted the Hornet offense when Olivero intercepted the ball at the Shenandoah 23 yard line.   Ricca’s 13 yard pass to Ryan Bowman (Silver Spring, Md.) set up first and goal at the three.  The quarterback then found Noah Rogers (Lorton, Va.) in the endzone with Weaver’s kick making the score 17-6.

The teams traded possession, but time ran short for the Hornets.  The win was a milestone for CUA marking Dunn’s first victory as well as ending a long road drought.  The Cardinals finished with 238 offensive yards to Shenandoah’s 84.  They held the Hornets to just five first downs all game.

The Cards will host their home opener on September 9 against Ohio Wesleyan.  Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 pm.