TWINSBURG, Ohio – Mentor football coach Steve Trivisonno didn’t think his team had enough energy Friday night against Canton McKinley.
Still, the Cardinals defeated the Bulldogs 34-13 at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium in the Division I, Region 1 semifinal. They advanced to the regional final for the third straight season.
Mentor scored 30 or more points for the 10th time this season. The Cardinals held their opponent under 20 points for the ninth time.
And yet, Trivisonno said they weren’t as good as they could have been.
“I don’t think we played with the same passion we’ve played with up to this point,” Trivisonno said. “I’ve got to do a better job of coaching them and getting them after it a little bit more. We gotta play with much more energy than we did tonight.”
The Cardinals started off strong, reeling off 17 straight points in the first quarter. Senior running back Brian Trobel scored a rushing and receiving touchdown in the quarter, and the Cardinals had a field goal courtesy of junior Andrew Smith.
The second quarter, though, was where the Cardinals slightly faltered. Junior quarterback Ian Kipp fumbled in the red zone, and while the Bulldogs didn’t capitalize off the turnover, they did contain Kipp for most of the game.
Later in the quarter, Trobel scored his third touchdown overall and his second rushing touchdown. Trobel was the engine of Mentor’s offense, as he finished with 220 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards.
Kipp finished with two passing touchdowns, connecting with Trobel early in the game and then senior Luke Floriea in the fourth quarter. Kipp threw for 102 yards.
“I just think we were too complacent,” Kipp said. “We thought it was going to be way easier than it was, so we just didn’t execute to our highest. I think next week we really gotta step that up and realize that this is a big game.”
Trivisonno said the Bulldogs took Mentor out of some things it wanted to do in its passing game.
“They’re talented in the secondary, they’re really talented in the secondary,” Trivisonno said. “And they did a good job with some of our things, and we didn’t do as well as we needed to. But Brian (Trobel) did a great job, and we’ve got to keep playing better.”
As the Cardinals prepare for the regional final, they’ll have a rematch against reigning Division I champion St. Edward. Last season St. Edward defeated the Cardinals, 24-14, in the regional final.
The game is set for next Friday at 7 p.m., and the site of the game is to be determined.