When Mentor standout Alex Mathews took a fake punt and ran for touchdown late in the fourth quarter, he not only broke the back of the visiting Medina Bees, he broke into the Cardinals record book as well.
Mathews ran for five touchdowns – a first in the Coach Steve Trivisonno era and believed to be a school record – to lead Mentor to a 42-20 win at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium on Oct. 9.
“From the very first drive we had, even though the play down the sideline got called back, I knew it was going to be a fun night for the offensive line,” Mathews said. “They opened up some really big holes and made my job pretty easy.”
Mathews, a Colgate recruit, made it look easy at times. He finished with 252 yards on 28 carries and five scores. His big night on the ground helped the Cardinals move to 5-2 on the season and 3-1 in the ultra-competitive GCC.
It also helped take some of the sting away from a Week 6 loss at Solon.
“This is a tough league and you have to battle every week,” Trivisonno said. “Every game is tough, every team is tough, you have to be ready to play no matter who the other team is. We worked hard his week, but now we have to be ready to go on the road and play another big one next week (at Strongsville).”
Medina (3-4) led, 7-0, and 13-7, before Mathews and the Cardinals offensive line took over. Mathews scored his second TD of the night late in the second quarter, and Cal Tommasone’s extra point put Mentor on top, 14-13, at the half. Tadas Tatarunas and Mathews each had rushing scores in the third quarter to give the Cardinals a 15-point edge and some breathing room heading to the final 12 minutes.
Mathews’ fourth touchdown run early in the fourth quarter put Mentor up 35-13. After the Bees scored to close to within a two-possession game with just more than 2 minutes left, the Cardinals were in punt formation when Mathews took the direct snap and rumbled untouched for a 45-yard TD and into the record books.
“I was telling Coach Triv they only had three guys to me one side so I could take it. He told me if I got he chance to take it and I did. I just didn’t expect it in the fourth quarter,” Mathews said.
The Mentor defense came up big after allowing 13 points in the first half. The Cardinals nearly posted a shutout in the second half until the late score by Dylan Fultz of Medina.
“That was a good game, great job by Alex and the guys up front, and I thought we did a lot of good things tonight,” Trivisonno said.
“Defensively, some guys stepped up and played hard and we only gave them that late score in the second half so I was pleased with a lot of things we did.”