It was the game that did not want to end, but thanks to a gutsy two-point conversion in triple overtime, the Mentor Cardinals came away with a 57-56 victory over St. Ignatius in the Division I, Region I final and Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week, presented by PNC Bank.
Trailing 56-49 in the third overtime, Mentor scored and opted to go for two rather than kick the extra point. It was eerily reminiscent of the same scenario in the 2006 State Championship game vs. Hilliard Davidson, only the Cardinals did not convert in that contest.
“I almost went for two in the first overtime to be honest,” Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. “I knew once we scored the last one we were going for it. The defense was tired. They’ve had two long weeks without much rest, so we had to do what we had to do there.”
What the Cardinals did was earn a trip to the Division I state semifinal next week against Toledo Whitmer, with a chance to play for a state title on the line.
In a game that was full of momentum swings, Mentor jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter before Tim McVey and the St. Ignatius offense got in gear and eventually took a 21-20 lead in the third quarter.
From there, it was back and forth all the way down to the wire. Some of those plays included a St. Ignatius touchdown to tie the game with five seconds left in regulation and a fourth-and-nine score from Mentor in the first overtime to extend the game.
Saturday night’s win comes after Mentor lost handily to St. Ignatius in the third week of the season and after the Cardinals knocked off St. Edward last week.
“It means everything to win this game,” Game of the Week MVP Mitch Trubisky said. “We really wanted to win Region I, and to do that, we knew we had to get past St. Ignatius.”
Trubisky finished the night going 25 of 40 for 411 yards and two touchdowns through the air. He also added 138 yards on the ground and four more scores.
The Cardinals offense totaled 662 yards on the night, and in the past two weeks, they have accounted for more than 1,400 yards and 120 points.
Saturday’s game was played at Parma’s Byers field in front of an estimated 10,000 fans.The Cleveland Browns High School Game of the Week is presented by PNC Bank, in association with Russell Athletic and The Ohio Army National Guard.