The 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 out from under 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 — 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 sent the Bengals (1-3) spiraling in a different direction, dropping their third consecutive game and falling to 0-2 in the Boston North League (their only win came Week 1 via forfeit vs. Boston English). The Bengals, who possessed one of the more high-powered offenses in the city last season, were shut out for the first time this season.
“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 not 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.
The Cardinals are 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.”
With wins over West Roxbury and Brighton, MP has just South Boston, Charlestown, and East Boston left on its league schedule.