The opponent for the Mentor Cardinals on Sept. 19 was the Twinsburg Tigers.
Mentor coach Steve Trivisonno was more interested in seeing his team play against their own high standards in the NOC Valley opener for both squads.
Needless to say Trivisonno and company were more than satisfied with a dominating 54-7 victory at Jerome T. Osborne Sr. Stadium to remain unbeaten on the season.
Senior quarterback Jake Floriea continued his strong start to 2014 with an 11-for-17, 158-yard, 3-touchdown performance. Mentor (4-0, 1-0 NOC) also got five rushing touchdowns, two from standout junior Alex Mathews.
Defensively, All-Ohio candidates Trevor Morrison and Nico Lautanen disrupted Twinsburg all night on the defensive line and the Tigers score came late in the second half when the clock was running and the outcome was already decided.
"We talk all the time about worrying about what we do and trying to get better," Trivisonno said. "I told the guys that in some of these games we are going to be better than the other team, but that isn't enough. We played hard, we were aggressive and that is what you have to do if we are going to beat teams down the road like Solon, Brunswick and Hudson."
Mentor was ranked No. 3 in the first Division I AP state poll and did nothing to hurt that ranking. The Cardinals scored 48 points in the first half, with Floriea running for a score and throwing touchdowns to Eddie Daugherty, Malik Porter and Jason Blizzard.
Daugherty, an Eastern Michigan recruit, also ran for a 9-yard TD during the opening-half onslaught.
"It was good to see the guys come out the way they did and we did some good things, but we also know what we have to work on to be a special football team," Trivisonno said.
"We thought this summer Jake had a chance to be a very good quarterback and he has played well. The offensive line keeps getting better and working on their technique and it is good to see those guys playing good football and working hard. I was pleased with a lot of things tonight."
Trivisonno said he is still not pleased with the OHSAA implementation of the mercy rule and running clock in the second half as it hinders the ability to work on things with the reserves, but otherwise the win was certainly satisfying.
Mentor outgained Twinsburg (0-4, 0-1 NOC) on the night, 387-152.
Isaiah Gullick ran for a touchdown as the lone score in the second half for the Cardinals.
Mentor hosts Brush on Homecoming Weekend on Sept. 26.
It should be a third consecutive big home crowd after impressive showings by Cardinals faithful against Euclid and Twinsburg since returning to the JTO.
"The student section and the home crowd have been phenomenal, and that's what you love to see no matter who you are playing," Trivisonno said. "Our fans have been great and if you want to be a big-time program and play well on the field, you love to see that kind of community support in the stands as well. Mentor is a special place."