Mentor versus St. Ignatius was supposed to be a clash of football titans -- two great teams giving what could be a preview of a playoff matchup, .
And it was that. For one quarter.
Otherwise, Ignatius controlled the momentum for most of the game on the way to a 48-21 win for the Wildcats.
Mentor already trailed 31-7 by halftime but the Cardinals came out reinvigorated in the third quarter.
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky led a 14-play, 93-yard drive against a Wildcat defense that had mostly contained the Cardinals to that point. And Mentor capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to Connor Krizancic.
However, a young Cardinals defense could not prevent the Wildcats from replying in kind. Ignatius quarterback Michael LaManna threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Siragusa to maintain their lead.
For most of the game, the Ignatius offense had their way on the field. They racked up a total of 527 yards -- 352 in the first half alone, as opposed to Mentor's 128.
But the Cardinals maintained their momentum in the third quarter, even after Ignatius' touchdown.
They once again marched down the field and scored a touchdown, this time on a 2-yard Trubisky run. A failed 2-point conversion still brought them within 38-21 -- a feasible, if difficult, margin to surmount with an entire quarter left.
Then the Cardinals recovered a pooch kick and had the ball on Ignatius' 40 in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
One more time, Mentor moved the football into Ignatius' red zone. However, the Wildcats' Bryan Fisher intercepted Trubisky at the 10-yard line.
The Cardinals never scored again.
"We needed that score down there," Mentor Head Coach Steve Trivisonno said after the game. "We had at least a shot to win it."
Beyond that third quarter -- where Mentor outscored Ignatius 14 to 7 -- the game belonged to the Wildcats.
Ignatius scored 21 points in the first quarter before the Cardinals crossed the goal line. They were led by running back Timothy McVey who accrued more than 100 yards alone in the first quarter.
Trubisky scored on a 6-yard run in the second quarter but another Wildcat touchdown and a field goal left Ignatius with a 31-7 lead at the half.
Furthermore, after Fisher's interception quelled Mentor's resurgence, Ignatius also outscored the Cardinals 10-0 in the fourth quarter.
"We needed to play like we did in the third quarter all game and we didn't do that," Trivisonno said. "We came out like a deer in the headlights."
Trivisonno praised the Wildcats' play. He had said they were a great team before the matchup and he repeated that assessment afterward.
"I told you they were good," he said.
Mentor faced St. Ignatius twice last year: once in the regular season and again in the playoffs .
When asked if the Cardinals would see the Wildcats again this season, Trivisonno replied, "I certainly hope so."