Cardinals Give Valiant Effort But Fall Short to Wasps,
Rogers and Buis combine for two touchdowns each
EMORY, Va. - Going into their final series, it looked as if the Catholic University football team (3-5, 1-3 ODAC) was going to come back and beat the Emory & Henry Wasps (5-3, 3-1 ODAC) relying on the downfield passing of Keith Ricca (Poolesville, Md./St. John's Prospect Hall). Instead, CUA's opportunity was once again stopped short by a turnover giving the Wasps the 31-27 win after a tumultuous game for both squads.
After getting scored upon on the opening kickoff last weekend, the Cardinals came out fired up against the Wasps and marched into the endzone in the opening series. Ricca hit Noah Rogers (Lorton, Va./Bishop O'Connell) for a 50-yard bomb and the receiver was able to run it in making the score 7-0 with Thomas Breslin's (Sugarloaf, Pa./Bishop Hafey (Pa.) point after.
E&H quarterback Todd Woods was not to be outdone however as he led the Wasps on a four-play, 48-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown pass for 41 yards and the tying field goal at 7:31 in the first. This play especially hurt the Cards who had forced E&H to punt but a running into the kicker penalty gave them one more shot which Woods converted.
The second quarter was all Emory and Henry as the Wasps racked up three touchdowns in 15 minutes. On the opening drive of the second Ricca threw his first interception of the day. This would result in touchdown pass by Woods to Jeremy Keene putting the Wasps up by seven. The Cards went three and out on their next series allowing E&H to score again as Matt Gillespie lumbered in on a 28-yard run to make the score 21-7.
The Cardinals finally answered on their next series off of a trick play. Ricca gave the ball to Rogers on a reverse who threw 60 yards to Andrew Buis (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) streaking down the sideline for seven. Unfortunately as the half ended, the Wasps had one more opportunity and took advantage as Woods threw ten yards to Brendan Stewart making it 28-14 at the break.
With the wind picking up, the third quarter was rough for both teams as neither could find the endzone after combining for 42 points in the first thirty minutes. The fourth quarter, however, was a different story as CUA jump started its offense.
On the Cardinals' first drive of the fourth scoring was necessary to get back into the game and that is exactly what happened. Ricca found Buis alone again on second down and hit him with a 77-yard pass to make the score 28-21. On their next series, Ricca need just three downs to find Rogers open in the endzone putting the Cards within one. Unfortunately, the extra point was blocked making the score 28-27 with eight minutes remaining,
The Wasps took almost five minutes on their next series to march down the field and hit a 31-yard field goal which put CUA down four and need a touchdown.
Ricca and company took over at their own 20 but couldn't get a first down. On fourth and three Ricca threw his third interception of the game which capped off the game giving E&H the victory.
CUA put on a strong showing against the Wasps who will play Washington and Lee for the ODAC title next weekend. Despite a slow day on the ground, Ricca threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns in 22 completions of 41 attempts. Buis led all receivers with 147 yards and two touchdowns while Rogers added 116 yards for a pair of scores. The Wasps' Woods was 11-25 with 215 yards and three TD's.
The Cards will conclude their three-game road trip with a game at Guilford next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
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