The story for the entire season has been the Mentor Cardinals' offense, specifically North Carolina recruit Mitch Trubisky and his cadre of talented receivers.
And for most of the season the Cardinals' defense said they were underrated.
Well, the defense guaranteed Mentor (9-1) would be the NEO Conference Valley Division champions by shutting out a talented Twinsburg Tigers team (6-4) Friday night at Jerome T. Osborne Stadium.
The Tigers, who do have playmakers including quarterback Jalen Washington and running back Tyrone McGuinea, could not generate any momentum against the Cardinals staunch defense.
Mentor sacked the Tigers five times, costing Twinsburg a total of 52 yards, and intercepted them twice.
"They played really hard on defense," Mentor Head Coach Steve Trivisonno said. "They played hard and they played fast."
Mentor defensive end Kent Berger said it felt good to rack up a shutout -- the Cardinals' second of the year.
"We love that goose egg up there."
Meanwhile, the Cardinal's offense was headlined by running back Nick Delisa who ran for 4 touchdowns and 177 yards.
Delisa was explosive, breaking runs for 62, 30 and 57 yards. The first two of those runs were touchdowns; the third set up a 2-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to Brandon Fritts on the next play.
Delisa was quick to credit his blockers for his big night.
"There were a lot of big holes. The line was doing great," he said. "I can't do it without the line."
Trubisky had a solid outing -- running for one touchdown and throwing fo 171 yards and another touchdown. However, the persistent rain and wind caused the Cardinals to depend more upon their ground game.
Before the game, Mentor held a ceremony to honor star running back William "Billy" Deitman. Deitman passed away last week. He was only 23.
Many of his teammates returned for the game so they could commemorate Deitman. Several of them wore shirts with 28, Deitman's number, and "Forever my captain" written across the back.
"This one's for Billy," Trivisonno said after the game. "I don't know how else to say it."