MEDINA — It was like a bad dream for Medina football coach Dan Sutherland on Friday night.
Every time the Bees gained a little bit of momentum, they were halted by a yellow flag.
After all was said and done, Medina committed more than 100 yards in penalties in falling to Mayfield 28-14 in a Northeast Ohio Conference River Division clash at Kenneth Dukes Stadium.
“It’s frustrating,” Sutherland said. “I don’t really want to comment on the penalties, to be honest with you, because I might say something out of anger and I really don’t want to do that. We’ve got to learn to stop shooting ourselves in the foot.”
From the obvious infractions to a handful of whistles that left some Bees fans scratching their heads, Medina picked up eight penalties for 105 yards.
Despite all the extra laundry on the field, the Bees (3-6, 0-4) still found themselves in the game.
Junior quarterback Collin Minor found Jacob Vanadia on a 39-yard pass to cut the Wildcats’ lead to 21-14, but Medina allowed a 42-yard return on the ensuing kickoff to Anthony Canganelli.
On the first play of the drive, Medina was whistled for a facemask that put the ball on the Bees 19-yard line. Two plays later, Canganelli (31 carries, 159 yards) scampered in from a yard out for his third touchdown.
“That kick return killed us,” Sutherland said. “You can’t have the breakdown on special teams. Every time we seemed to get momentum, we lost it.”
The Bees proceeded to go three-and-out, allowing Canganelli and fellow running back Andy Isabella to run out the clock
But it was quarterback Mario Monastero who ran the show, as the sophomore was 12-for-16 for 270 yards — 138 to Isabella and 134 to Ryan Bailey — and kept Medina on its heels for most of the night.
“They had a great game plan,” Sutherland said. “We struggled defensively. One game we’ll stop the run, give up a lot on the pass and the next game we’ll give up a lot on the run and not the pass. We’re just struggling to put all facets of our defense together right now.”
The second-year coach’s frustration reached its peak late in the third quarter. With Mayfield clinging to a 14-7 lead, Monastero’s pass appeared to have been intercepted by senior Brian Letts, but the officials ruled Bailey caught the ball on the goal line. The Bees were also whistled for a pass interference penalty that was declined.
The play proved crucial, as Canganelli punched the ball in on the next play for the eventual game-winning score.
“The explanation I got was that a simultaneous catch goes to the offense, but from what I saw, the ball bounced up in the air. It was out,” Sutherland said. “That’s the call they gave us. I’m surprised that there was no push-off call.”
Medina took its only lead late in the first, when, after two penalties on the same play forced the Bees all the way back to their 1-yard line, Ian Crawley ran around end for a 99-yard TD.
The Wildcats took control in the second with a rushing touchdown from Canganelli and Monastero finding Andy Isabella all alone for an 81-yard score.
Monastero did have some hiccups, however, as Medina’s Kenny Wilder intercepted him twice in the second half.
Thomas Buchtinec and Greg Phillips each picked up a sack in the opening two quarters, but the penalties did in the Bees, who will travel to Elyria to close the season.
“I really don’t have much to say,” Sutherland said. “We shot ourselves in the foot tonight. We would have a second-and-2, commit a penalty and now it’s second-and-12. That takes you out of the game plan on offense.
“It doesn’t get much easier. Every team we play is good, but our goal, as I told all of our kids, is to get these seniors a victory in their last game. That’s our whole focus because they deserve it.”
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.
Mayfield 28, Medina 14
MAYFIELD 0 14 7 7 — 28
MEDINA 7 0 0 7 — 14
Me — Ian Crawley 99 run (Dean McNeil kick), 2:54.
Ma — Anthony Canganelli 1 run (Patrick Tighe kick), 11:56.
Ma — Andy Isabella 81 pass from Mario Monastero (Tighe kick), 6:37.
Ma — Canganelli 1 run (Tighe kick), 2:07.
Me — Jacob Vanadia 39 pass from Collin Minor (McNeil kick), 8:12.
Ma — Canganelli 1 run (Tighe kick), 7:26.