No. 7 Cardinals continue mastery in centennial match; Herbert and Tucker lead way (VIDEO HERE!)
by Nelson Coffin
After last Thanksgiving’s showcase when the duo accounted for three TD receptions (Herbert) and 177 rushing yards (Tucker) at Johnny Unitas Stadium in a 40-7 triumph, the Cardinal stars were just as lethal on Thursday morning when Herbert screed three more times and Tucker bludgeoned Loyola for 185 rushing yards and a touchdown in a 33-10 victory at the same site.
With a sold-out crowd of 11,200 on hand for the 100th edition of the longest continuous annual football game between Catholic Schools in the U.S. and the wind whipping from the west with gusts estimated at 40 mph, Herbert and Tucker were at their best.
With Tucker doing the heavy lifting by gouging Loyola’s defense on the ground, Herbert provided the finishing touch on a pair of scoring drives to open the contest.
He scored first on a 32-yard rainbow from senior quarterback Amir Jenkins, going over two Loyola defenders to snare the ball deep in the end zone to give the Cardinals (9-3 overall) a 7-0 advantage with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter after Peter Moore’s conversion kick.
Herbert did even more damage on a 4th-and-2 from the Loyola 39-yard line a couple of minutes later when he took a direct snap from center, broke a tackle and then streaked his way past another another defender at the 4-yard line to double the lead with 53 second left in the period.
Herbert said it was his first carry of the season, although by the way the play unfolded it looked like the Cardinals had been implementing the Wildcat routinely.
“We’ve been needing to do more (on offense),” the 6-foot-3, 205-pound wideout headed to North Carolina to play lacrosse said. “We decided to break it out today.”
Loyola (8-2) crept to within 14-3 early in the third quarter on a 29-yard field goal by senior kicker Connor Gill after on an 11-play drive fueled by an 18-yard pass from junior quarterback Jordan Moore to Peter Lukish and a Moore 10-yard scramble.
Herbert scored on a 3-yard burst from there same formation in the third quarter before Tucker bullied his way into the zone for a 27-3 cushion with just over three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Jordan Moore used his elusiveness to scramble out of the pocket and find sophomore wideout Ben Scheiff on a 35-yard pass for Loyola’s lone score with just over a minute left in the period.
Calvert Hall put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter on senior running back Cobie Floyd’s 10-yard off-tackle rumble midway through the period.
Calvert Hall coach Donald Davis, who now has guided the Cardinals to the best 11-year stretch in the century-old series history, said that employing Herbert in the Wildcat would give his offense a new look.
“It was something we knew that they wouldn’t be prepared for because they hadn’t seen it,” he said. “Cole is just such a great leader and an unselfish a player who plays for his teammates. It’s great to have a kid on the team who doesn’t care what he does — he cares more about what his teammates do.”
Keeping Jordan Moore from running wild was Calvert Hall’s predicament before the game was its major issue — and one that was addressed fairly well.
“He gave us a little trouble,” said Herbert, who also recovered a fumble to blunt a Loyola drive. “But we figured it out.”
Keeping the integrity of the rushing lanes was a key, Davis said.
Disappointed Loyola coach Anthony Zehyoue said that Herbert’s first TD grab hurt the Dons from getting a big stop early in the game.
“We had a couple of guys back there, but he made a nice play,” he said. “At the end of the day, they just made more plays than we did. (Herbert) made a great cutback on that run. We just need to get better.”