PARMA, Ohio —
It was billed as a classic, and it did not disappoint.
In a matchup of two teams ranked in the national polls, the Mentor Cardinals came back from a 14-point second half deficit to beat the St. Edward Eagles 36-35 in overtime to win the OHSAA Division I, Region 1 championship. The victory not only mirrors a 29-28 Cardinal win over the Eagles way back in Week 1, but also avenges last year's regional final defeat to eventual-state champion St. Edward.
The duo of quarterback Ian Kipp and receiver and Kent State commit Luke Floriea proved to be Mentor's bread and butter all night: The duo connected for two touchdown passes, and after Kipp scored on a fourth-down keeper in OT he found Floriea for a two-point conversion for the win. It was the only time the Cardinals led in the game, and Kipp accounted for all five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing).
St. Edward actually led 14-0 early, and looked as if they had made it a three score game when running back Joey Formani fumbled on the Mentor 1-yard-line late in the first half. The Cardinals then went 99 yards for the score, capped off by a 57-yard TD pass from Kipp to Floriea to make it 14-7.
The Eagles still led 21-7 at halftime and 28-14 in the third quarter before Kipp found Floriea again on a 25-yard flea flicker to make it 28-21. Kipp later threw to Brian Trobel to tie it and 28 and eventually send it to overtime (a first for the WKYC.com High School Football Game of the Week).
Connor O'Malley's third TD pass of the game but St. Edward up 35-28 before Mentor eventually pulled it out. The Eagles could not defend their state title, but still end the decade with four such championships, the most for any Ohio D-I team.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, remain alive for their first state title in school history in what is legendary coach Steve Trivisonno's 23rd and final season leading the program. They will take on Pickerington Central in next week's state semifinals, with the site to-be-determined.
Re-listen to Dave "Dino" DeNatale and Dennis Manoloff call of the entire game below:
In addition, there were five other games featuring local teams tonight, including Archbishop Hoban vs. Massillon Washington and Avon Lake vs. Avon. Check below for live scoring updates throughout the night, and remember to use the hashtag #3HSSports to interact with us on Twitter!