Cardinals defense forces five turnovers to help lead CUA to 34-7 win

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WASHINGTON – The CUA defense forced five turnovers and held Shenandoah to only seven points in a 34-7 Cardinals win on Friday evening inside Cardinal Stadium.  CUA jumped out to a 27-0 lead at halftime and was never challenged by the Hornets from that point forward.  With the win, the Cardinals improve to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the ODAC, while Shenandoah falls to 1-5 and 0-3.

The difference in Friday's game was clearly the number of turnovers the CUA defense forced.  The Cardinals picked off two Hornet passes, including one that Kevin Ross returned 58 yards for a touchdown just before halftime, and recovered three fumbles.

Shenandoah tried to surprise CUA right out of the gate with an on-sides kick on the opening kick-off, but the Cardinals were quick to pounce on it and eight plays later, Nick Cortese rushed in from four yards out to give the home team a 7-0 lead.

CUA added to its lead on its first possession of the second quarter when Greg Cordivari hit Alonzo Cooke on a beautiful 40-yard strike to give the Cards a 13-0 lead after the ensuing extra point was missed.

Patrick Thomas then recovered a fumble on Shenandoah's next possession, and CUA took advantage, scoring on a one-yard Mike Pitsenberger run to grab a 20-0 lead.

With 1:39 left before halftime, Shenandoah began a drive at the CUA 43-yard line, but Ross stepped in front of a Hornets pass and rumbled 58 yards to pay dirt to give the Cardinals a comfortable 27-point advantage at intermission.

Early in the third, CUA increased its lead when Cordivari hit Wes Stringfield for a 19-yard score as the Cards went in front by 34.

Shenandoah finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter when Shawn Lloyd hit Qiydaar Murphy for a six-yard score to set the final margin at 27.

CUA finished with a 390-266 advantage in total yards, registering 113 yards on the ground and 277 through the air.

Cordivari completed 20 of 31 passes, including two touchdowns, while Pitsenberger carried the ball 19 times for 77 yards and the one score.

CUA held the Hornets to a 5 of 18 showing on 3rd down and 1 of 5 on 4th down, while also registering three quarterback sacks, 1.5 of which came from Alex King.

Conor Stueckler led the Cards' "D" with 10 stops, while Andrew Pitsenberger, Rob Schaetzl and Luke Caldwell totaled seven tackles apiece.

Josh Rogers had 12 tackles to lead the visitors and Jajuan Johnson added 10 stops.  Carl Joseph led the Shenandoah offense with 88 yards rushing on 21 carries.

CUA hits the road for its next game, traveling to face Emory & Henry on Saturday, October 20.  Start time is set for 1 p.m.

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