The Madison Park Cardinals are known for their physical ground game, and that still holds true, but it’s been their defense that has been pulling the ground up right from under their opponents this season.
The Cardinals improved to 3-1 with a 34-0 thrashing of Brighton at home Friday, upping their win streak to three games — all shutouts.
The Cardinals defense, best in Division 4A, has given up a stingy 5.5 points per game. Since giving up 22 points in their loss to Latin Academy in the season opener, they have been lights out.
The loss sends the Bengals (1-3) spiraling in a dramatically different direction as they drop their third consecutive game, falling to 0-2 in the Boston North League (their -only win came Week 1 via forfeit by Boston English). The Bengals, who possessed one of the more high-powered offenses in the city last season, was shut out for the first time in 2012.
“Our offense is good, but we’re having some problems,” said Bengals coach Randolph Abraham, who was offensive coordinator under former coach James Philips since 2004 before taking over in May.
Kalvin Jones, who had never scored a touchdown in his high school career, had a game to remember. The senior defensive end scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, returning a fumble 23 yards, and intercepting Jalen Apperwhite’s pass for a 30-yard return. The Cardinals forced a season-high five turnovers.
Quarterback Traequon Duncan hit David Stewart in the end zone for the first score, and senior running backs Alexis Santiago (63 yards) and Dawhensky Frederic (81 yards) each rushed for a touchdown.
With the win, the Cardinals find themselves in familiar territory perched atop the Boston North League, and coach Roosevelt Robinson knows his senior leadership (16 of 23 players are seniors) is paying dividends.
“This is pretty much seniors leading my team,” said Robinson, who believes his team’s Week 1 hiccup was only a phase they had to get through to get into shape. “I tried to tell them to take Monday off, but they want to practice.”
According to Robinson, the team will practice Monday without him.
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- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.