Jeff Pharion rode the senior bus back to St. Charles Preparatory School on Oct. 21, just to soak up the atmosphere.

Jeff Pharion rode the senior bus back to St. Charles Preparatory School on Oct. 21, just to soak up the atmosphere.

The third-year coach knew it would be a ride to remember after the Cardinals defeated host Watterson 23-13 in a CCL-Silver Division football game. It was the first win over the Eagles since 2000 (10-0).

"A lot of the seniors came from Watterson feeder schools and this really meant a lot to them," said Pharion, whose team improved to 3-6 overall and finished 1-1 in the CCL-Silver. "They said it made their four years at St. Charles just to win this game."

The Cardinals used a pair of Gunner Francis touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 17-13 lead.

"We had an adjustment that we made defensively in the first half that helped us," Pharion said. "They scored on a (34-yard) quarterback keeper (by Austin Greene) in the first quarter and we switched things around to stop that.

"(Senior) Matt Feldmann played his best game of the year as our middle linebacker. I was happy for him. And coach (Bill) Schmitz, our defensive coordinator, graduated from DeSales, so beating Watterson was special to him."

Junior running back Sean Fitzmartin had 179 rushing yards on 29 carries with a 6-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Francis, a senior, ran 17 times for 96 yards.

"We thought it was to our advantage to run the football and Gunner, Sean and (junior) Jon Radney did a great job of that," said Pharion, whose team rushed for 306 yards on 55 carries. "Our offensive line played very well and the combination of having a good game plan and getting good, hard running was the key. I can remember eight or nine times when Sean or Gunner ran hard and broke through tackles for extra yardage."

The Cardinals close the season Friday, Oct. 28, at home against Marion Harding. The Presidents dropped to 3-6 overall after losing to unbeaten Jonathan Alder 51-7 last weekend.

A.J. Jones returned a kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter for Harding's only score. The sophomore wide receiver also caught nine passes for 88 yards.

Harding junior quarterback Shawn Tyler completed 11 of 27 passes for 110 yards and three interceptions. Sophomore running back L.J. Scott ran 11 times for 54 yards.

"Marion Harding has had a season of ups and downs, a lot like we have had," said Pharion, whose team beat Harding 49-28 last season. "They have a new coach in John Cupps, who came over this year from Springfield. They are doing a lot of things right and have a bunch of tough, hard-nosed kids like they always have. We'll have to play hard for 48 minutes to come away with the win."

•The golf team had an individual competing in the Division I state tournament Oct. 21 and 22 at Ohio State's Scarlet Course.

Senior Nate Yankovich had a two-day total of 157 to tie for 12th overall with Medina's Patrick Luth, Upper Arlington's Justin Wick and Centerville's Caleb Walters. Ian Holt of Stow-Munroe Falls and Beau Titsworth of Cleveland St. Ignatius were co-medalists with 150s.

Yankovich had a 74 in the opening round Oct. 21 and an 83 in the final round.

"After five holes on the first day, Nate was 5-over (par), but then played 2-under in the remaining 13 holes," said coach Andy MacKinnon, who completed his first season leading the program. "I was proud of the way he fought back through that. He kind of had a rough day Saturday, but that will happen. He's had a great career for us."

Dublin Jerome (623) won the team title with Centerville (626), UA (629), Dublin Coffman (636) and St. Ignatius (637) rounding out the top five in the 16-team event.

St. Charles failed to defend its back-to-back Division I state titles after finishing fourth (301) at district Oct. 11 at Apple Valley. Jerome (296), UA (297) and Coffman (299) were the three state-qualifying teams.

Yankovich led the Cardinals with a 72 to advance to state. Senior Austin Cuervo and senior F.J. O'Donnell both shot 76 and senior Thomas Gallagher and senior Georgetown-recruit Matt Moosavian both had 77s.

In the sectional Oct. 4 at Granville Golf Course, the Cardinals finished second (303) behind UA (298) and ahead of fellow district-qualifiers Granville (311) and Olentangy (317).

Yankovich shot a 2-under par 69 for co-medalist honors with Granville's Nick Contini.

Cuervo (75) was next for St. Charles followed by O'Donnell (79), Moosavian (80) and Gallagher (82).

"This senior class is the best as a whole to play at St. Charles and took us from being an excellent program to one of the elite programs in the state," MacKinnon said. "They built something here that's going to continue.

"They won two state team titles and won a (CCL) title every year. It's hard to do much more than they have in high school golf. This has to be one of the best classes in the history of golf in this state, not just at St. Charles."

Players who saw varsity action and are expected to return include junior Andrew DeSantis and sophomores Troy Plewa and Sam Schmelzer as well as freshman Eddie O'Brien.

"We're going to have a lot of young kids with our freshmen and sophomores becoming sophomores and juniors," MacKinnon said.

"I expect we will have some younger kids who will surprise a lot of people over the summer. We certainly hate to lose this senior class, but we will be far from hurting next season."