PARMA, Ohio – If there was any doubt about who the best high school football team in Cuyahoga County is after three weeks of the 2012 season, 11-time State Champion St. Ignatius made believers of both the Mentor Cardinals and a crowd of nearly 9,000 which packed Byers Field, Saturday night.
The reigning Division I Champion Wildcats passed their first big test of the season with flying colors, despite an early mistake as quarterback Michael LaManna threw an interception on the first play from scrimmage. But St. Ignatius got the turnover right back, pressuring 2011 FOX 8 Player of the Year Mitch Trubisky into a hurried throw that was picked off by Bryan Fisher.
That’s when the Wildcats, ranked #1 in the FOX 8 Top-8 started to ride their senior workhorse Tim McVey. He carried the load as Ignatius built a 21-0 lead after the first quarter. When all was said and done, St. Ignatius dominated a Mentor team, ranked #3 in the FOX 8 Top-8 that many thought could challenge the Wildcats, 48-21.
The vaunted Ignatius defense, led by the defensive line duo of Matt Gawlik and Kevin Kavalec, hounded Trubisky all night, sacking him five times in the first half, and six times overall, as the University of North Carolina recruit completed just 6 of his first 20 passes. Trubisky finished 19 of 27 for a season-low 198 yards and one touchdown.
However, the senior did run well, gaining 86 yards on 20 carries and scoring twice on the ground. But the Wildcats punished him every time he left the pocket, hitting him nearly every time he dropped back to throw. Trubisky’s only scoring pass of the night, an 11 yard toss to Connor Krizancic came early in the third quarter, with Mentor trailing 31-7.
On a field filled with scholastic stars and future college players, McVey shined brightest. The senior rushed for a career-high 217 yards and scored three touchdowns, starting with a 73 yard run on his first carry of the night. He capped his night with a 1 yard scoring dive early in the fourth quarter, which put the Wildcats up 45-21.
LaManna was no slouch either. The senior, who had only started one game for the Wildcats before this season, threw for nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns, to go along with that one interception, as he improved to 3-0 as a starter this season.
St. Ignatius (3-0) should not have any trouble next Saturday, September 15, when the Wildcats travel to Pennsylvania to face Erie power Strong Vincent High School (0-2), which has lost its first two games by a combined score of 92-44.
Mentor (2-1) will look to regroup against a talented Mayfield (2-1) squad, which routed Olmsted Falls (0-3) Saturday night, when the Wildcats visit Jerome T. Osborne Stadium on Friday, September 14.
For all the final scores, plus video highlights and photo galleries from all of Friday and Saturday’s games, head over to the FOX-8 High School Football page.