June 28, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Medina no match for Mentor

MENTOR — From 1999-2001, the St. Louis Rams were known as “The Greatest Show on Turf.”
The team led by Kurt Warner, Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce and Tory Holt scored 500-plus points in three consecutive seasons to set an NFL record for most points in a three-year span.
The Mentor Cardinals aren’t quite on that level, but they might be as close as you can get for a high school football team.
The Cardinals put on an offensive display Friday night against Medina to earn a 45-7 Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division win.
“I thought we played well,” Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. “We had a good tempo to the game and moved the ball well. I think we had over 500 yard and held them to under 200, so it was a pretty good way to play.”
The Cardinals’ rapid-fire offense, which snaps the ball with as much time on the play clock as humanly possible, amassed 551 yards on 67 plays.
At the forefront of the Mentor (8-0, 3-0) attack was junior quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound gunslinger tossed for 345 yards and four touchdowns, including two scores in the first seven minutes.
“Well, he’s pretty good,” Trivisonno said. “And he’s back (next year), so that’s even better. He’s a special one, and we have been blessed here with some great quarterbacks. He has fit into that mold very well for us.”
The two drives both took just two plays — four Trubisky completions — and a combined 48 seconds. In the blink of an eye it was 14-0 Mentor and Medina (3-5, 1-2) was on the ropes.
“They’re a good football team,” Medina coach Ray Hradek said. “We had schemes that we were going to see what they could do, but sometimes it’s just one of those deals where you have got talent. They know what they’re doing and we know what they’re doing and they scored some points.”
The Cardinals scored on five of their seven first-half possessions to take a 35-0 lead, and the two drives they didn’t put points on the board ended bizarrely.
The first non-scoring drive was a second-and-goal play from the 1 that Cameron Kavan fumbled into the end zone for a touchback.
The second was even weirder. Instead of punting from its own 43, Mentor decided to trot out kicker Tomislav Derezic to attempt a 64-yard field goal. Even with a stiff wind at his back, the line-drive kick came up about 10-yards short.
That was about all that didn’t go right for the Division I state championship contenders.
Running backs Warren Ashton (170 total yards, 2 TDs), Brandon Fritts (109, 1) and Kavan (109, 3) each surpassed the century mark in total yards and scored at least once.
“We played well,” Ashton said. “But we have room for improvement. We have to keep getting better. Next week we’ll try and get better and focus on our goals.”
The Mentor defense was no slouch, either, limiting Medina to 193 yards and allowing the Bees to cross midfield just two times.
“They’re getting better,” Trivissono said of his defense. “It was good to see. We struggled early in the year stopping the run, but I thought we did a really good job with it tonight.”
Medina came into the game wanting to use its running game to keep Mentor of the field and chew up the clock, but the Cardinals were ready for it and forced seven three-and-outs and nine punts despite allowing a few big plays.
“We wanted to slow the game down,” Hradek said. “And actually our running game took some big chunks out of them. I was pretty happy with that. I was real pleased with our offensive line because we got some movement on the line of scrimmage. I think that bodes well for the final two games of the season.”
Laterian Brown rushed for 78 tough yards on 19 carries to pace Medina and Mason Schreck ran for another 35 and the Bees’ lone touchdown.
Contact Chad Grant at sports@medina-gazette.com.