Hartley at St. Charles: Cardinals ready for delayed opener against Hawks

Scott Hennen
ThisWeek group
Nyal Johnson and Hartley play at St. Charles on Friday, Sept. 18, in the season opener for the host Cardinals.

The St. Charles football team was supposed to open three weeks ago against Hartley, but that CCL contest and the next two games for the Cardinals were postponed because of a delay in practices prompted by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The teams play Friday, Sept. 18 at St. Charles in the Cardinals’ opener. It will be the fourth game for the Hawks, who are 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the CCL.

“I think it works two ways,” Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said. “We’ve been through three wars that have been decided in the fourth quarter. (The Cardinals) have been blocking tackling dummies for the last three weeks. They might be fresher than we are. Maybe we’re more seasoned. We’ll have to see.”

St. Charles lost much of its offensive firepower from last fall when Luke Eversole graduated in the spring. He was special mention all-state and first-team all-district and all-league while rushing for 1,362 yards and 13 touchdowns on 266 carries.

The Cardinals will look to replace that production with two running backs — senior Alex Herzberg and junior Fred Nimely — and senior quarterback Carter Bryant.

They also have two strong receivers in senior Isaiah Yarngo and junior Doogie James, a first-year player who is the starting point guard in basketball.

The only “game” action for St. Charles came Sept. 11 in a scrimmage against Eastmoor Academy, whose City League season also kicks off this week.

Cardinals coach Deke Hocker said it was nice to be able to start with a “community game.”

“The CCL games are like ‘community games,’ ” Hocker said. “A lot of the kids and families know each other, and it’s an event. We won’t have as much of a community gathering as we would have in the past (because of coronavirus protocols), but we’re all part of the diocese. It’s a community event.”

Hartley sophomore quarterback Peyton Underwood was 6-for-11 passing for 124 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-21 loss to DeSales on Sept. 11. Junior running back Trey Saunders had four receptions for 74 yards and one touchdown, and junior wide receiver Richard Kenny caught two passes for 50 yards and a score.

Senior running back Sumo Kesselly rushed for 70 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries.

“They run a lot of different formations, and they have a lot of good players,” Hocker said. “They’re going to run the football, and they’re going to try to get the ball in skill players’ hands.”

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

WEEK 4

HARTLEY at ST. CHARLES

•When: 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18

•Last meeting: 2019, Hartley 30-7

•Hartley (1-2 overall, 1-1 in CCL) to date: Lost to Cincinnati Moeller 34-17; defeated Watterson 28-21; lost to DeSales 24-21

•St. Charles to date: Opening game

•Top Hawks: James Crenshaw (OL/DL), Richard Kenny (WR/DB), Sumo Kesselly (RB/LB), Marcelis Parker (RB/LB), Trey Saunders (RB/DB), Kason Sunderland (WR/DB), Tony Thivener (OL/LB), Daniel Tooson (TE/DL) and Peyton Underwood (QB)

•Top Cardinals: Carter Bryant (QB/LB), Ryan Carretta (OL/DL), George Cottrill (OL/DL), J.D. Epler (OL/DL), Alex Herzberg (RB/LB), Doogie James (WR/DB), Solomon Lisath (DL), Fred Nimely (RB/LB) and Isaiah Yarngo (WR/DB)