EASTLAKE–Mayfield put a damper on the North’s Homecoming festivities when the Wildcats beat the Rangers 36-10 on Friday.
The game was the first in-conference matchup for the Wildcats this season.
From the start of their opening drive, Mayfield controlled the game up front. Dylan Colello capped off the run-heavy drive with an eight-yard score to give Mayfield a 7-0 advantage less than three minutes in.
“We have a very good offensive line,” Mayfield head coach Ross Bandiera said of the team’s success running the ball. “We planned to run the ball against their three-three stack, and that’s what we did.”
After a Colello sack got the Wildcats’ defense off the field, the offense would again take to the ground. This drive saw Joey Pinzone receive the bulk of the carries and a screen pass taken 36 yards by Dylan Parnell would make it 13-0.
The Rangers looked to have something going on their next drive. Zack Rummel would find Steven Cammack for a 48-yard gain, but that’s as far as the offense would reach and North would come away with three points off a 36-yard Daniel Tadic field goal to wrap up the first quarter.
Mayfield would continue its effective rushing attack including a 23-yard Pinzone rush that would get the Wildcats past midfield. The success on the ground set up a 14-yard touchdown strike from Rocco Monastero to Bo Lewis. A successful two-point rush from Colello made it 21-3.
“Our offensive line is pretty good,” Bandiera reiterated. “And we’ve got some pretty good running backs, too.”
After a North punt, the one-two punch of Colello and Pinzone continued to gash the Ranger defense on the ground. Knocking on the door, the Wildcats would call on 6-foot-4, 300-pound Nico Traczyk to take them across the plane, expanding the score to 28-3.
“Mayfield took it to us in the first half,” North head coach Shawn Dodd said. “They were more aggressive. They won the battle up front on both sides of the ball.”
Following a punt, it was the Ranger defense that would come up with a big play to start the second half. Jayden Teague intercepted a Monastero pass down the middle of the field to set up North at the 37-yard line.
After the turnover, North found some running room with Reon’tae Lowery. However, the promising start to the drive came to a screeching halt with a fumble recovered by JD Sega to set the Wildcats up with good field position.
“They have some athletes over there, man,” Bandiera said. “They were big and physical tonight, but our kids came to play, and they smothered them all night.”
The ensuing possession would see Mayfield return to its rushing attack. The Wildcats employed a healthy balance of Colello, Pinzone, and Joe Barch — the last of which would take it the final yard to make it 36-3 as the third quarter closed.
The Rangers’ offense showed some life in the fourth quarter. Rummel found Cammack and Lowery for first downs before a 41-yard touchdown run from Lowery made the score 31-10.
“I was proud of the way they responded,” Dodd said. “I’m not a big moral victories guy, losing stinks any way you look at it, but I’m proud of the way the kids battled in the second half.”
North hosts Riverside in Week 7 while Mayfield hosts Kenston.