Cardinals look for positives

Photo by JoAnn Jones

By Marciel Whitehurst


The toughest stretch of the Cardinals’ football schedule comes to an end after three consecutive, bitter defeats in the Lone Star Conference.

Two of the losses suffered were by the hands of perennial powerhouses in Abilene Christian and most recently West Texas A&M. Angelo State boasts one of the nation’s best quarterbacks, who is regarded as an NFL prospect.

Head Coach Mike Santiago likened his team’s rough stretch to weathering a tropical storm. Many of San Antonio’s residents have roots near the Gulf Coast, so that is a very personal statement to not only the team, but also this nation. With his candid and comical approach, Santiago said, “We weren’t waiting on FEMA.”

Throughout the course of these last few brutal weeks, unexpected players have shown their worth. The first in the form of freshman running back Tahje Cannon. A late summer addition, the Honolulu, Hawaii, native has continued to show signs of progress. Against one of the nation’s premier teams, Cannon single handily dismantled a stifling defense.

Abilene Christian was surrendering an average of about 90 yards total rushing. Canyon amassed 87 in his first collegiate start. In several relief appearances, Canyon has carried herds of tacklers for valuable yardage. Trent Rios has been very sustainable for the Cardinals this year, but in case of any unforeseen events, Santiago has a hearty backup, who is very dependable.

Quarterback Paden Lynch competed throughout the entire contest despite several fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown by San Antonio native Maurice Caldwell. Lynch remained positive on the possibilities of ending the season on a positive note. This week, the Cardinals travel to Stephenville to face a one-win team who is struggling mightily after contending for a league championship last season.

With two games remaining, the Cardinals have a chance to start their momentum for next year, which could prove to be the two biggest wins this year for this young program.

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