Maty Mauk’s double. The new North Coast offense. A tale of two brothers. A halftime spectacular. Another Jumbo-Tron. And another four-star recruit. These storylines and more captured on MVPHD’s Game of the Week state-wide coverage.
Video by Alex Sator
MENTOR HANDLES BRUNSWICK AND THE WEATHER
By Tim Langevin
CLEVELAND – Nor the wind, nor the rain, nor Brunswick could slow down Mentor’s high-flying, five wide, spread offense. The Cardinals, ranked fourth in the D-I Muscle Milk/JJ Huddle Power Poll, took advantage of a 30 MPH tailwind in the second and fourth quarters (28 points) en route to a 38-14 win Friday night at Jerome T. Osborne Stadium.
Mentor borrowed a page or two from Ashland’s playbook this season and coach Steve Trivisonno has no intentions of returning those pages anytime soon. The Cardinals are averaging 44.5 points and 468 total yards per game.
“The coaching staff as a whole decided over the summer to make a change since we have no running backs and a lot of great receivers. We wanted to utilize our strengths so I talked with the Ashland coach and studied their film.” said Trivisonno. “The offense is getting better each game. And the kids are getting used to a no-huddle.”
It also helps to have a strong-arm QB in junior Mitch Trubisky. This gunslinger has been putting up Maty Mauk-like (Kenton) numbers, completing 127-of-191 passes for 1,882 yards and 20 TDs on the year. He’s added another 300 yards and six TDs on the ground.
Week 3 against St. Ignatius, Trubisky threw for a school record 469 yards, surpassing 2007 Mr. Football Bart Tanski. Trubisky didn’t shy away from the wind or rain this night, completing 23-of-36 to seven different receivers for 320yards and three TDs. He ran for 65 yards on nine carries and another score.
“This year from last year was definitely a change, but not surprising when the coaches told us about it,” Trubisky said. “There is nothing better or more fun for a quarterback than to have a five wide.”
Mentor jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead. Trubisky connected with WR Connor Krizancic on an 18-yard TD strike and then Tomislav Derezic booted a 37-yard field goal into a stiff wind.
Brunswick bounced back with a 70-yard TD pass from QB Dan Yohman to Anthony Bova midway through the second quarter. The missed PAT made it 10-6 Mentor.
After a Josh Walczuk interception, the Blue Devils mounted another impressive drive to the Mentor two-yard-line with 3:08 left in the half. Brunswick looked poised to take a 13-10 lead. Then the floodgates opened. Not the ones from above. Logan Urban deflected Yohman’s pass and Regis Coustillac intercepted it deep in the endzone. Three plays later, Trubisky hit WR Cameron Kavan in stride on a 60-yard TD romp for a 17-6 advantage.
Following a pooch kick that was recovered by Mentor’s Nick Kovach at the Brunswick 22-yard-line, Trubisky found Krizancic across the middle on an 11-yard scoring play. Boom. Boom. In a matter of 68 seconds, the Cards led 24-6 at the break.
Trivisonno said, “The two scores before half were huge. We could’ve been down 13-10. But we have the ability to put up points quick.”
Second year Brunswick coach Luke Beal said, “We had some opportunities in the first half that we let slip through our fingers. You wonder if things would’ve been different in that second quarter. Then the outcome might have been different.”
The Blue Devils have been playing with a chip on their shoulder the entire season. Last season, Brunswick finished 5-5 and missed the playoffs. To add insult, the local media picked Brunswick to finish last in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division. Brunswick drops to 5-1 and hosts Strongsville Friday.
The opening play of the third quarter, Bova intercepted Trubisky and the Blue Devils were back in business. Perhaps, Trubisky was feeling invincible after a first half in which he went 18-of-26 passing for 271 yards and three TDs under adverse playing conditions.
However, 12 plays and 26 yards later, the Mentor defense held and the offense took over on downs. Not wanting to press his luck against the wind, Trivisonno decided to abort the pass and burn some clock. The Cardinals rattled off seven straight designed running plays with their wide receivers.
Warren Ashton gained 10 yards on two carries and Kovach 23 yards on two carries. Krizancic added four yards. But the drive stalled and the Cards were forced to punt.
The knock on Mentor has been no ground attack. Trivisonno answered those critics as his squad rushed for 147 yards on 22 carries for a nifty 6.7 clip.
“We knew we had to work on our running game with the stiff wind,” Trivisonno said. “I am pleased the way it worked. Welcome to northern Ohio where the weather changes every five seconds.”
The Blue Devils strung together an impressive 12-play, 67-yard drive to cut the margin 24-14 with :22 seconds left in the third quarter. Taking advantage of a tailwind, QB Yohman completed 4-of-7 passes for 48 yards. He capped the drive with an eight-yard TD run.
Yohman finished the game 20-of-43 for 255 yards and one TD. Junior WR and twin brother Keith Yohman made 10 catches for 111 yards. Talk about being on the same page, these two have been playing together since elementary days.
Mentor’s front three of Jack Hanley (6-3, 265), Tyler Koshiol (6-2, 250), and four-star Michigan recruit Tom Strobel (6-6, 265) harrassed Yohman most of the night and contained stud TB Nick Roberts to 72 yards and 3.6 yards per carry. Roberts entered the contest with 894 yards and 10 TDs with an 8.2 average.
Mentor LB Kurt Laseak had six tackles and one interception. He recently committed to Ohio University. Hanley led all tacklers with 10 and Strobel recorded two sacks.
“We started the game a little shaky, but Regis (Coustillac) got the pick before half and got us back into the game and back to the level we feel we should be playing at,” Strobel said. “Our defense is making progress every game. Each game is a stepping stone to a state title. Need to stay within ourselves and focus on next game.”
Mentor took advantage of a shanked punt into the wind and scored quickly to make it 31-14 with 9:06 left in the game. After an incompletion to Krizancic, Trubisky dashed 28 yards for the score.
After Laseak’s interception, Mentor scored again in four plays for a convincing and final 38-14 victory with 2:00 left on the Jumbo-Tron. The mini-drive covered 21 yards and was capped by Kovach’s three-yard plunge.
Trubisky has received interest from Duke, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Boston College, and Ohio State. The junior talked about the recruiting process, “It’s exciting and enjoyable. I am flattered, but right now I need to stay focused on high school football…We can go as far as we choose to go.”
He added, “We always give Strobel a rough time for going to Michigan. But it’s a great school for him.”
Even the home crowd groaned when the PA announcer said that Strobel is going to Michigan.
Trivisonno was exceptionally pleased with his team’s performance considering the playing conditions and three turnovers. In his 15th season with state final appearances in 2006 and 2007, he said, “We handled the weather well. I am pleased the way we passed the ball in this weather. I think both teams passed the ball well. In fairness to Brunswick, we are a bigger school and we don’t have to play any kids both ways… I was also pleased with our quick snap counts. We like to get the ball off at around 20 seconds.”
Beal was disappointed, but satisfied with his team’s performance, “The weather was a factor. Both teams were able to throw the ball well. But I don’t think the weather played as big a factor as one might believe. It’s just that we played a very good football team tonight…Our kids gave a great effort. I told them nothing to be ashamed of. That Mentor is one of the best football teams in the area and maybe even the state.”
The Cardinals improve to 6-0 and sets up a high-stakes Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division showdown at 6-0 Solon Thursday night on FOXSports Ohio. The Comets beat Medina 17-0 to extend their regular season winning streak to 26 games.
“It doesn’t get any better,” Trivisonno said. “It will be a tough game. Solon is athletic and talented. Both teams will get after it.”
The leading receiver for Mentor was Kavan with seven catches for 154 yards and one TD. The 6-1 senior has 41 receptions for 672 yards and four TDs on the season. Krizancic, the son of Mentor boys basketball coach Bob Krizancic, had five receptions for 58 yards and two TDs. The 6-1 sophomore has eight TDs on the year. Another sophomore Brandon Fritts hauled in four passes for 40 yards.
What came out of this game was that Brunswick is better than some folks predicted and that Mentor is every bit as good as advertised.
NOTE: California, Texas, and Florida have great recruiting classes year in and year out, but this 2012 Ohio recruiting class of interior linemen is head and broad shoulders above the rest of the nation. According to the consensus, five of the top defensive ends in the country reside in Ohio. Akron Hoban’s Greg McMullen (Nebraska),Toledo Whitmer’s Chris Wormley (Michigan), Mentor’s Tom Strobel (Michigan), Canton McKinley’s Se’Von Pittman (Michigan State), and Cincinnati Taft’s Adolphus Washington (Ohio State, Alabama, Michigan, Kentucky, Miami, FL). All are big and bad and can blow up a play in a heartbeat.
MVPHD has been fortunate to witness Wormley, Strobel and Colerain LB Joe Bolden (Michigan). One thing that stands out with these cats is that not only are they big, fast, and strong, but that saying coaches use, “they get it.”
And the Michigan Wolverines are heading south for the border, not for Taco Bell, but for some big beefy supreme linemen. Of Michigan’s 23 recruits, 12 are from Ohio and seven of those are on the defensive side of the ball.
Strobel can attest, “There are a lot of great players in the country and I need to work harder if I want to play at the next level. I won’t play basketball this year so I can lift and concentrate on next season.”