It was more heartbreak for the Mentor Cardinals in the Division I state championship football game.
Mentor (13-2) fell to the Pickerington Central Tigers (14-1) 56-28 Friday night at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. It was the first state title for the Tigers, while the Cardinals are now 0-for-4 all-time in the final game.
Central ran the ball on Mentor all night long, tallying up 369 yards on the ground. Quarterback Demeatric Crenshaw led the way with 6 rushing touchdowns, tying the record for an Ohio state championship game in any division.
The Cardinals actually led 14-7 early in the second quarter, and appeared to be in control after Mike Warren picked of a Crenshaw pass in the endzone. However, wide receiver Luke Floriea fumbled three plays later, setting up Central's game-tying touchdown.
Things would not get better for the sophomore Floriea, as he fumbled again on the ensuing kickoff. Crenshaw scored two plays later to put the Tigers ahead, but Mentor QB Tadas Tatarunas ran it in on the next drive to tie things up at 21 at the half.
After Mentor drove all the way to the Central 3-yard line on their first drive of the third quarter, head coach Steve Trivisonno made a surprising call on 4th and inches, opting to bypass an easy field goal and instead pass. The gamble failed, as Tatarunas' throw sailed out of the back of the endzone.
The wheels came off from there, as the Tigers marched 96 yards for a touchdown without throwing a single pass. The Cardinals then went three and out, and Crenshaw then fired a 60-yard bomb to Alex Morgan down to the 1-yard line. The sophomore signal caller then took it in himself.
Although Mentor cut it to 35-28, the Central rushing attack of Crenshaw and Michigan State commit Xavier Henderson put the nail in the coffin. The Tigers' 56 points set a record for a D-I state title game.
In his final game as Mentor's QB, Tadas Tatarunas did all he could do, scoring three total touchdowns. The three-year starter ends his high school career second in program history to only Mitchell Trubisky in passing yards and TDs.