Mentor will be playing in November, that much is a mathematical certainty.
Whether the Cardinals will open the postseason at home at the JTO and as Greater Cleveland Conference champions remains to be determined. However, a 20-10 win over Brunswick on Oct. 23 has set Coach Steve Trivisonno and company up to do just that.
According to JoeEitel.com, Mentor (7-2, 5-1 GCC) clinched a playoff spot in Division I, Region 1 with a business-like 10-point win at home in Week 9 over the visiting Blue Devils. Senior captain Alex Mathews had another 100-yard game on the ground and scored a touchdown to help the Cardinals qualify for the postseason.
Sophomore quarterback Tadas Tatarunas threw for two touchdowns – one to Logan Shea and the other to Malik Porter in the third quarter to give his team a nice cushion at 20-3. Brunswick scored on a Nick Horton 28-yard run early in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 20-10, but the Mentor defense was solid all night and preserved the victory.
The Cardinals close the regular season at Elyria on Oct. 30 in a game that could clinch at least a share of the conference crown and a home game in Week 11.
“I told these guys we have one more game to go, and a chance to win a league title and get a home playoff game, and with a young team like ours, that is a great accomplishment,” Trivisonno said.
“An offense like Brunswick has makes you play a game like this because you do some good things and then you have to wait around for 5 minutes or so. I was pleased with a lot of what we did on defense tonight, except for maybe a few big plays we did well.”
Senior standout wide receiver Jason Blizzard is still nursing an ankle injury and did not play for Mentor.
The Cardinals blocked an early Brunswick (3-6) field goal attempt and were able to build a 13-0 advantage on a TD pass from Tatarunas to Shea, and a touchdown run by Mathews.
Mentor took control early in the third quarter with a drive finished off by a TD strike from Tatarunas to Porter (8 catches, 64 yards, 1 TD).
Manning Trubisky finished with 8 catches for 63 yards in the win for the Cardinals.