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Mentor Coach Steve Trivisonno Discusses How Cardinals Can Win Saturday

Mentor's head football coach talks about the team's keys to victory in this Q&A

It's been nearly two months since the Mentor Cardinals lost a game.

Head coach Steve Trivisonno says that won't happen again if his team approaches offense, defense and special teams in an aggressive manner.

Mentor will host a playoff game at 7 p.m. Saturday night against the Warren G. Harding Raiders in a No. 4 vs. No. 5 matuchup of the OHSAA Division I regional tournament. It's unclear who Mentor would face if the team advances. The No. 1-No. 8 matchup was originally between St. Edward and Mayfield, but a court decision could land Cleveland Heights in the No. 8 spot.

Amid playoff preparation, Trivisonno answered a few questions regarding what it will take for the Cardinals to come out on top.

Mentor Patch: What has the vibe around practice been like this week with the stormy weather and the playoffs looming?

Trivisonno: We're real excited about the playoffs, but not excited about the weather. It is what it is. It's Ohio, and it's November. You have to learn how to handle it. We had a good week, getting ready to go.

MP: How do you keep your team, which scores 30 to 60 points at will, humble going into this matchup?

T: It's just concentrating on what you need to do to get better. Adding to the package. You keep learning and you keep working. We got to get better on defense, and we've been getting better lately. Offensively, we have to eliminate turnovers. It's just the little things. If we do that, we've got a shot. If not, we'll be done early. We're all great playoff teams. We've got to get to a different level.

MP: We've heard about the defense feeling underrated, and they only gave up seven points in the final two weeks. What makes them a special group?

T: I think experience has gotten better. We have a lot of underclassmen, but they're getting better, learning to play harder. I just think getting better, week by week, has been the key.

MP: What do you know about Warren Harding from your time in the Lake Erie League?

T: This is the third time we've played them in the playoffs. Our team has played them quite a bit. They're tough, athletic and they get after you. They've got a great tradition out there. They're going to be ready to play. They're the best team we've seen since St. Ignatius. We're going to have to play at that level.

MP: What are a few other things you absolutely have to do to be victorious?

T: We've got to play hard. When our team decides to come in at all levels — offense, defense and special teams — I think we're pretty good. We didn't play well early on. We had a lot of new people at different positions. If we're taking care of what we do, we'll be fine. If we don't, we'll be over.

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