Although Deke Hocker earned his first victory as coach of the St. Charles Preparatory School football program, he believed the more important point was it was his team's first win of the season.

The Cardinals defeated Independence 35-6 on Sept. 7 to improve to 1-2. They led 7-6 at halftime before dominating the final two quarters.

"It was a great thing for everybody, not just me," Hocker said. "It's always nice to win. Getting that first (victory) is going to help give us confidence.

"The way we won it was nice. We outscored them 21-0 in the third quarter, and that proved to be the difference. We had a bunch of guys making plays for us."

Leading the list of playmakers was senior running back Taylor Bryant, who rushed for 180 yards and touchdowns of 1 and 58 yards on 32 carries.

"We played a full four quarters of football, and it felt amazing," Bryant said. "It was a good game, but we had a lot of good film showing us things we did wrong and that we still need to work on."

The Cardinals also had strong defensive performances. Thomas Berry (DB) recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown, and Jake Moore (DB) and Michael Pappa (LB) each had an interception. Roland Rowe (DB) had a fumble recovery and Peter Griffith (LB) made nine tackles.

St. Charles will look to continue the momentum when it plays host to New Philadelphia on Friday, Sept. 14. The Quakers also won their first game Sept. 7, defeating Canal Fulton Northwest 21-20.

Junior quarterback Baron May rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries and was 12-for-24 passing for 157 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.

Defensively, Drew Dummermuth (DB) had two interceptions, Sam Zemis (DB) picked off a pass and Brandon Weekley (LB) had a fumble recovery.

"New Philadelphia has a good, athletic quarterback and has a good offensive line," Hocker said.

"The defense is a 4-4 and it plays zone defense behind that. From what I have seen on film, they are going to be a tough challenge."

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen