Cleveland Heights Oh- The Cleveland Heights Tigers defeated the Mentor Cardinals 14-13 on a gutsy 2-pt conversion call by coach Mac Stevens to deliver a crushing blow to the Cardinals and drop them to 2-3 in the competitive GCC. The Tigers meanwhile move to 4-1 overall and are learning to win the tight games. After a close call last week against Brunswick where the Tigers won 13-10, winning another close, hard-fought game is becoming the Tigers forte… even if it drives the fans wild. The Cardinals, meanwhile, playing without their star QB Scotty Fox, played a great game, and had an excellent game plan to try and bottle up the Tigers star RB, Marquise “DO IT ALL” Davis. Davis, for most of the night, struggled to find openings in the Cardinals stingy defense.
In the first half, Mentor Backup QB, Ben Pierce was picked off twice. The first time by Emere Atkins, which led to a 34-yard TD run by the Sr QB Amaar Lakes. The ensuing kick was blocked, and Heights led 6-0. Later in the half, Josiah Jones picked off Pierce, but the Tigers couldn’t move the ball. Mentor kicked a 42-yard field goal to end the first half and go into halftime with the score 6-3 Heights.
The second half opened with a nice drive by Mentor getting chunk runs from RB Jackson Farley, and Pierce. But the drive was over after a third pick from Pierce, this time in the end zone, and to Henry Perrymond. But again, the Tigers could not move the ball, and were forced to punt. Only this time, punting from their own 35-yard line, the punt was blocked by Caden Markowski who recovered the ball and set Mentor up with a very short field. But the Tigers didn’t break, and Mentor was forced to settle for a field goal and tie the game at 6 apiece. After back and forth the rest of the second half, Cleveland heights had a last opportunity but on 4th and 15, Lakes ran 14 yards and was just short for the first down. After Mentor couldn’t find a way into the end zone, or field goal range, the game went to overtime.
In overtime, Mentor got a quick score, scoring first and on the first play of the period. A beautiful pass from Pierce to Justin Hodge put the Cardinals up 13-6. After losing heartbreakers to Riverside, and St Ignatius, it looked like Mentor was finally going to pull a close one out, when Heights was down to 4th and 4. But a sweeping run from Davis set the Tigers up to keep the ball and John Gordon Jr ran the ball in from 4 yards to bring the Tigers within a point at 13-12. This is where coach Mac Stephens went for the win instead of another OT. Amaar Lakes threw a screen pass to Emere Atkins, and the tigers got a walk off win. 14-13.
This was only the 4th time the Tigers have beaten Mentor in the 27 times they have played. In a game that was all defense in all of regulation, both teams scored touchdowns in the OT period.
Cleveland Heights will host Strongsville, while Mentor will travel to Solon.
NEO Sports Insiders Newsletter
Sign up to receive our NEOSI newsletter, and keep up to date with all the latest Cleveland sports news.