September 11, 2010

Cordivari's big day leads Cardinals past Builders 42-32

WASHINGTON – Sophomore Greg Cordivari completed 21-of-27 passes for 304 yards and five touchdowns, including three to classmate Alonzo Cooke, and CUA held off a late rally by the Apprentice School to down the Builders 42-32 on Saturday afternoon inside Cardinal Stadium.  With the win CUA improves to 2-0 in 2010, while the visiting Builders fall to 0-2.

After building a 42-10 lead after three quarters, CUA saw the Builders score 22 unanswered points in the fourth.  On the ensuing kickoff, Nick Floor's on-sides kick went out-of-bounds though and from there the Cardinals ran out the clock to preserve the win in the 2010 home opener.

"I would have liked to have seen us do a better job of finishing today," Cardinals head coach Dave Dunn said afterwards.  "We need to finish drives, finish quarters and finish games better." 

He continued, "We may have taken our foot off the gas a little bit there in the fourth quarter in terms of offensive play calling.  I think this team still has a ways to go to get where we think it can get.  We're finding out what we're good at and also the things that we need to improve upon."

Cordivari was on target all afternoon long, tossing touchdown passes of 31, 6, 5, 7 and 59 yards.  His favorite receiver was Cooke, who hauled in nine passes for 211 yards and the three scores.  Mike Smith and Mike Pitsenberger also caught scoring passes from Cordivari, and Pitsenberger went over the 100-yard mark on the ground for the second straight week with 123 rushing yards on 28 carries.

Mike DeAngelis and Ryan Klein led the CUA defense with five tackles apiece, while DeAngelis and Dylan O'Shea both picked off passes.  Conor Stueckler and Tom Kelly recorded sacks on the afternoon and as a team CUA totaled five tackles for-loss. 

Builders starting quarterback Bryan Shahlamian put together a nice afternoon for himself, completing 23 passes for 330 yards and three scores, with seven of those passes going to Bryan Cain for 158 yards and two scores.  Al Little also hauled in seven catches for 82 yards.  Jonathan Jones led the Apprentice School defense with nine tackles, including one for-loss, as well as a sack, while Robert Balarabe and Marlon Lane both totaled seven sacks.

After the ball changed hands several times at the start CUA got on the scoreboard when Cordivari hit Cooke from 31 yards out for a 7-0 Cardinals lead with 5:08 to play in the opening quarter.  DeAngelis then made it a 14-0 game when he stepped in front of a Shahlamian pass, picked it off and returned it 26 yards to paydirt with 3:23 on the clock.

Apprentice School cut CUA's lead in half when Shahlamian hit Cain for a 25-yard score just as the quarter clock expired sending the teams into the second with the Cardinals up 14-7.

CUA took the ensuing kick off and marched 56 yards for another score in just 1:40.  The touchdown came on a Cordivari to Smith pass from six yards out as the Cardinals went back in front by 14. 

A Floor field goal for the Builders made it a 21-10 game with 8:23 to go in the half, but from there CUA scored 14 straight to take a commanding 35-10 lead into the locker rooms. 

The first score came following a Builders fumble, which Anthony Gibbs recovered at the Apprentice School 19-yard line.  Four plays later Cordivari hit Pitsenberger for a five-yard touchdown and CUA was on top 28-10.  Cordivari and Cooke then hooked up one more time, from seven yards out with 1:49 on the clock and CUA was in command.

Dunn spoke of the chemistry Cordivari and Cooke had on the day.  "That's what we're hoping for.  Alonzo made some great catches today.  We wanted to use the run game and emphasize the short passing game and those two really had it going today."

In the third quarter Cordivari threw his fifth touchdown pass of the day when he found Cooke streaking downfield for a 59-yard score at the 10:18 mark, and CUA appeared to be cruising to victory.  Apprentice School had other ideas, though.  

Early in the fourth Shahlamian hit Cain in stride for a 77-yard touchdown and following the two-point conversion CUA's lead was 42-18.  Shahlamian then rushed it in from four yards out on the Builders' next possession and following that two-point conversion the score was 42-26.

After the Cardinals went three-and-out, Apprentice School went 74 yards in only six plays capped by a Shahlamian to Tyler Johnson 26-yard scoring strike to make it a ten-point game with 2:18 to play.  CUA's defense knocked down an attempted two-point conversion pass however and Floor's onsides kick went out of bounds, giving the Cardinals the ball. 

Pitsenberger was stopped for no gain on the very next two plays, but the freshman bulled his way for seven yards on third down and gained six more on fourth down, sealing the Cardinals victory.

CUA remains at home next weekend when the Cardinals play host to McDaniel College on September 18 inside Cardinal Stadium.  Kick-off is set for noon and all of the action will be shown live on cuacardinals.com.

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