Score one for the public schools
The Mentor Cardinals are doing things that have never been done before.
For the second year in a row, Mentor has beaten both St. Ignatius and St. Edward in the state playoffs. This year, it takes them to the Division I state championship game.
Connor Krizancic accounted for 482 yards of offense, passing for 354, and running for 128, as Mentor rolled up over 650 yards of total offense, to hold off a late St. Edward's rally in beating the Eagles 41-38.
"It's unbelievable, I can't even wrap my head around it"....Mentor quarterback Connor Krizancic
Anyone who saw last year's 63-56 Mentor win last year could have never have expected a game as good at that one.
This game wasn't that far off
After exchanging punts on their first two possessions, it was St. Edward who struck first, as they went 96 yards in 12 plays, capping their drive with a 35 yard touchdown pass from Brett Kean to David Dowell, giving the Eagles a 7-0 lead. Mentor would answer back on their next possession with a 48 yard touchdown pass from Krizancic to Brandon Fritts, tying the game at 7 heading into the second quarter.
Mentor would take the lead in the middle of the second quarter as Alex Matthews ran it in from 25 yards, ending a 5 play 56 yard drive. Undeterred, St. Edward answered with a 10 play 71 yard drive, with Kean running it in from five yards out, tying the game at 14, where it would remain heading into the half.
Things really start to get going in the third quarter
Mentor struck first on a 32 yard field goal by Mike Muzic. Obviously not impressed, St. Edward put together a 72 yard drive, with Kean finding receiver Alex Stumph from 7 yards out, giving the Eagles a 21-17 lead. Mentor could have cared less. They responded with their own 79 yard drive with Krizancic hitting Eddie Dougherty from 19 yards out giving the Cardinals a 24-21 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter became a "Can you top this?" quarter
St. Edward got a 36 yard field goal from Matt Ramser, tying the game at 24. Mentor answered with a 38 yard field goal from Muzic. Mentor 27-24. After a St. Edward punt, Mentor drives 65 yards, with Krizancic running it in from 13 yards out. Mentor 34-24. Kean answers for St. Edward with a 59 yard touchdown pass to Stumph. Mentor 34-31. It took Mentor all off 30 seconds to score again. On their first play, Dougherty raced 68 yards down the left sideline, finally being brought down at the St. Edward two yard line. Krizancic ran it in from there on the very next play. Mentor 41-31. St. Edward wasn't dead yet. Starting from their own 23 yard line, Kean drives the Eagles down and hooks up with Stumph for the third time, this time from 11 yards out. Mentor 41-38. Mentor recovers a St. Edward onside kick, and between the running of Krizancic and Dougherty, run out the clock.
Crazy game again this year huh?
"It's Mentor-St. Ed's, after last year's game, nothing surprises me. I am just so happy for our kids, who stayed with it, fought, clawed and scrapped against a very good football team in St. Ed's".....Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno
Krizancic may have summed it up best after the game:
"We have been playing with each other since sixth grade, so it means more doing it with these guys. The support of the community has been unreal, and we really want to win it for them."
Mentor beat St. Edward for the second year in a row when the Eagles were the top ranked team in the state.
Mentor advances to next Saturday's state championship game, where they will take on power Cincinnati Moeller, a 13-11 winner over Hilliard Davidson
Don't bet against this Mentor team, they just may surprise you..