Monday, February 6, 2023

Afternoon Delight, Cardinals fly by Shaker, 35-12

The day and time were unique, but the end result was very familiar for Mentor in a 35-12 victory over host Shaker Heights on Sept. 26.

The Cardinals, playing their first Saturday afternoon game since 2009, jumped all over the Raiders, 21-0, in the first quarter and cruised to the win to move to 4-1 and 2-0 in the new Greater Cleveland Conference.

"We were a little sloppy in spots and we have some things to clean up, but overall it was a good win over a good football team," Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno said. "We have some young guys who just need to learn to stay focused and play hard all the time. We had that little lull in the second and third quarter, but we did some really good things, too."

Mentor sophomore QB Tadas Tatarunas threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers, including three in the first quarter to give his team a commanding early advantage. Malik Porter caught a pair of scores for the Cardinals and finished with seven catches for 72 yards.

Shaker sophomore QB Jamir Dismukes proved to be a playmaker with his arm and his legs, scrambling and giving the Mentor defense fits at times. However, despite Dismukes throwing two TDs in the first half to keep his team close, the Cardinals shut the Raiders out in the second half.

"I think you saw two really talented sophomore QBs out here today and I think both teams are going to be set at the position moving forward," Trivisonno said. "Tadas keeps getting better and they have a good one over there as well. It was fun to watch."

Tatarunas was 20 of 25 for 214 yards and five touchdowns, including a 10-yard strike to Joe Lampert in the fourth quarter to put the game away for good. Alex Mathews had another solid game on the ground, racking up 113 yards on 18 carries for Mentor.

Defensively, DeAngelo Levert was all over the field and made an impact in an emotional game for the senior captain. Levert was lost for the season in 2014 with an injury suffered in the game against Shaker Heights at the JTO.

"It was a little scary at first out here and very emotional because I remember what happened last year, but once you settle down and play football and you know all your teammates are behind you it was great," Levert said.

"(Dismukes) is a good QB and he moves well. It was tough to defend, but we were able to come together and get the job done."

Tatarunas credited his wide receivers for the aerial touchdown barrage, including Jason Blizzard and Manning Trubisky, who each caught scores in the first quarter.

"They ran crisp routes and I was able to find the seams to get them the ball," Tatarunas said.

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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