When the going gets tough, the tough keep throwing.
After Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky staked the Cardinals to an early 14-point lead against visiting St. Ignatius on Friday night, the Wildcats' secondary put the clamps on the Cards, picking off Trubisky three times in the first half (and four times total in the game).
Undeterred, Trubisky kept throwing (and throwing), and a game with a few throws to forget turned into another night to remember for Mentor.
The Cardinals racked up 608 yards of offense and pulled away in the second half to beat St. Ignatius for the second straight year, 38-24. Trubisky completed 28 of 44 passes for 469 yards and three touchdowns.
Even after a few turnovers, Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno wasn’t about to tighten the reins on his offense.
“We’re going to throw the ball,” Trivisonno said. “Wind, sleet or whatever it’s going to be, we’re going to throw the ball. We’re going throw it, and we’re going to live and die with it.”
The Cardinals (3-0) were living well early, as Trubisky completed all six of his pass attempts on the opening drive, finishing with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Warren Ashton. After the Wildcats (2-1) muffed a Mentor punt, Trubisky cashed in again, this time on a 10-yard run to put Mentor in front, 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
St. Ignatius began to turn the tide early in the second quarter when senior defensive back Adam North recorded an interception – his first of three on the night. On the ensuing possession, Wildcats running back Tim McVey (32 carries, 205 yards) scored from two yards out.
A 42-yard interception return by St. Ignatius’ Thomas Fanning tied the game at 14-14. And after a 40-yard field goal by Tomislav Derezic put the Cardinals back in front, St. Ignatius quarterback Eric Williams (17 of 32, 223 yards) connected with receiver Jake Mooney on a 45-yard touchdown pass to give the Wildcats their first lead.
Trubisky and the Cardinals didn’t blink.
“Our offensive motto is the most important play is the next play,” Trubisky said. “So no matter whether the last play was good or bad, you’ve gotta make the next play.”
He made several.
On the Cardinals’ next possession, Trubisky completed three passes, including a 59-yarder to Cameron Kavan, and he scored on a 1-yard run to put Mentor in front, 24-21. Mentor never trailed again.
Trubisky spread the wealth among his receivers as three finished with more than 70 yards: Kavan caught 14 passes for 223, Brandon Fritts had seven catches for 72 yards and a TD, and Connor Krizancic caught three balls for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Trubisky was also Mentor’s leading rusher, carrying 20 times for 84 yards and two scores.
Though it’s only September, the implications of the win on Mentor’s playoff positioning were not lost on Trivisonno. Still, the coach said he has a feeling this won’t be the last his team sees of St. Ignatius.
“We’re gonna play this game again, I guarantee you that,” Trivisonno said. “That’s a great football team, and we’ll do it again in November.”