1991-92 Cards outlast ‘Rocks

Published 2:39 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2016

GRC’s 1991 football squad has played all its playoff games at Cardinal Stadium.

Well, the one in Winchester.

And after defeating three-time champ Trinity, the Cardinals will go to Cardinal Stadium in Louisville in search of a state championship.

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The Cards used an impressive defensive effort in the fourth quarter to upend the Shamrocks, 28-20.

In front of about 8,000, the Cardinals defeated Trinity in an all-time classic.

The Cards stopped Trinity on a fourth down in the red zone with less than four minutes remaining in the game and used their vaunted running game to get a pair of clutch first downs to drain the clock.

“It was a great football game and it ended like a great football game should,” GRC coach Don Danko told the Sun after the game. “We made a fantastic defensive stand and then got two crucial first downs.

“I don’t know where we got the effort on that last series, but the kids came up with some great plays.”

GRC struck first behind an Eric Clay 66-yard touchdown rush in the game’s first two minutes.

Kirby Varney recovered the first of three fumbles to end Trinity first drive.

A 34-yard shovel pass from Jerome Embry set up a Tim Hampton score from nine yards out.

Down by two scores, Trinity scored just before the end of the first quarter.

Emery found Dwayne Morton on a 61-yard touchdown pass. The Cards missed the extra point, and the Shamrocks scored on a 63-yard drive before the end of the first half.

Barney’s second fumble recovery came after Hampton dropped the ball on a five-yard rush. Varney picked it up off the bounce and moved the ball 23 more yards.

Clay scored to cap off the drive, and Embry found Hampton on the 2-point conversion try.

The Shamrocks scored on a 17-yard keeper to end an 80-yard drive and cut the GRC lead. A missed extra point left them down by eight.

The GRC defense clamped down in the final minutes, stopping a potential game-tying score with 3:54 left to play. The Cardinals took over on downs at their own 13.

A third-and-six run fro Embry and a third-and-inches rush by Hampton were all the Cardinals needed to end Trinity’s late rally.

The trio of fumble recoveries by Varney — two of which were turnovers — proofed to be a difference in the game.

“I don’t know where he gets the strength and savvy to do that, but he’s made some awful big plays for us,” Danko said.

Dank called it the most exciting high school football game he’d ever been associated with, but the Cardinals still have one more on the slate — a meeting with St. Xavier for the trophy.