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Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Cardinals earn first win over Panthers

By Mark Ruschau
NEW BREMEN - Jason McGaharan picked up his first win as New Bremen's head football coach and the Cardinals snapped a 15-game losing streak by using a stout defense and a strong rushing attack to defeat the Parkway Panthers 13-6 on Friday night in Midwest Athletic Conference action at Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals' defense limited Parkway to just 276 yards of total offense and shut out the Panthers for the final 45 minutes of the game. New Bremen's defense also recorded two interceptions, forced four fumbles (recovering two) and added seven tackles behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of 48 yards.
"One of the first priorities when I was hired here was to find the best defensive coordinator that I could find and we are very blessed here at New Bremen, and myself as a first-year coach to bring Curt Albers here from Wapakoneta," said McGaharan. "I can't say enough about what he has done with our defense. It was a fantastic effort by the kids and our coaching staff.
"We are very athletic and refused to drop back in a zone and played man coverage all night," continued McGaharan. "We took pride in our conditioning and athleticism, and stuck with the plan and made it work."
On offense, New Bremen (1-3, 1-1 MAC) unleashed a balanced running attack as six different backs combined to carry the ball 60 times for 277 yards. Cardinals' junior quarterback Garrett Westerbeck led the way with 79 yards on 20 carries. Nick Ahlers added 77 yards on 11 totes and Alex Speelman chipped in 76 yards on 17 carries.
Westerbeck was also very efficient in the passing game as he completed five-of-nine for 64 yards and a score.
Parkway (0-4, 0-2 MAC) got on the scoreboard on its first drive of the game as the Panthers marched 77 yards in 14 plays with Austin Dennison hooking up with Brandon Moorman on a 10-yard scoring strike. Dennison misfired on the two-point conversion pass and the Panthers led 6-0.
The Panthers looked prime to go up by two scores on their next drive as they moved the ball New Bremen's 22-yard line, where the drive stalled thanks in large part to a 13-yard loss on a bad snap.
"We had our shots tonight and we have no one to blame but ourselves," said Parkway's coach Dan Cairns. "We moved the ball and thought we had a good game plan but we just had to many inopportune mistakes. The name of the game is execution and tonight they executed and got it done when they had to and we did not, it was as simple as that."
New Bremen's offense responded by marching 76 yards in eight plays with Westerbeck hooking up with Justin Heitkamp on a nine-yard scoring pass. Trey Naylor added the PAT kick to give his team a 7-6 lead at halftime
After a scoreless third period, New Bremen added an insurance score as it covered 77 yards on six running plays in just 2:56 with sophomore running back Tristan Hoffmeister capping the drive on a seven-yard scoring sprint.
New Bremen hits the road next Friday, to take on St. Henry while Parkway travels to Fort Recovery.
Additional online stories on this date
GRAND LAKE - Adding oxygen to dead-end channels on Grand Lake is improving water quality and spurring the return of aquatic critters not seen for decades. [More]
ST. HENRY - Minster and St. Henry each showed periods of dominant play during their Midwest Athletic Conference football contest on Friday night.
The Redskins' period of dominance lasted much longer than the Wildcats' and St. Henry emerged victorious, 35-21, at the Wally Post Athletic Complex. [More]
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