UTICA — The Utica Redskins opened the season with an outstanding defensive performance that smothered the Cardington Pirates, 38-18, in Friday night non-league action.
It was so smothering, in fact, they actually shut out the Pirates in the second and fourth quarters.
“That was the one thing I stressed with this team from day one,” said Utica coach Eric Scheck. “We are going to be a little undersized, but we’ve got some quickness and we’ve got some kids, who will battle night in and night out.”
The outsized Redskins used their quickness to outrebound the Pirates, 27-23, in a great team effort.
“You’ve got to take control and box out on defense,” said post player Levi Boyd. “When you’re undersized, you have to play smarter than bigger guys because they outweigh you. They overpower you. It’s just brute strength. You’ve just got to try to move around them.”
Boyd dropped in a three-pointer and a two-pointer in the first half, while Hoar had a pair of 3’s to help the Redskins to a commanding 23-6 lead at halftime.
Hoar would end the night with a team-high 13 points.
“(Cardington) didn’t score in the second quarter or the fourth quarter and I thought it was because of our defensive intensity,” said Scheck. “They missed some shots but it was because we played good, solid defense.”
The Pirates came out very aggressively in the second half, throwing everything they had at the Redskins defensively. That seemed to throw Utica out of rhythm in the third quarter. Missed shots and bad passing allowed the Pirates to creep to within seven, 25-18, with 1:30 to go in the third quarter.