Medina, OH- On homecoming night in Medina, The Medina Battling Bees (5-1) took on a worthy adversary in the form of The Mentor Cardinals (5-1) in what is a clash of titans in the Greater Cleveland Conference. The Battling Bees are lead by star QB Danny Stoddard who has thus far thrown for 2,356 yards this season, while Mentor has the young sophomore and budding star in his own right QB Scotty Fox looking to lead the team to a win.
Medina started the game on offense and the packed crowd was ready as it was deafening in Ken Dukes Stadium. The opening kickoff was muffed by WR Jack Wojciak, who then picked it up, evaded a few Cardinals and took it to the 50 yard line. Medina was going fast on the first drive as Stoddard completed his first pass to Jack Wojciak over the middle of the field. After two scrambles, which didn't amount to much by Stoddard, he connected on a 26 yard touchdown to WR Austin Knowles. Knowles 11th TD of the year.
Mentor was able to return the ball to the 40 yard line on their first kick return of the game. Their opening play was a 32 yard rush by the Cardinals RB Mitchell Waite. On the very next play Mentor QB Scotty Fox found a wide open WR Jacob Snow in the end zone.
The first touchdowns by each team only took a little over two minutes total. These teams were ready to try and show each other who is the real king of the GCC
Medina's second drive ended when they decided to go for on it on a 4th and 5 and QB Stoddard threw a interception to Mentor DB Chase Hull. The Cardinals capitalized as QB Scotty Fox found WR Nick Jares for a 28 yard touchdown. 14-7 Mentor in the first five minutes.
Medina came right back down the field as Stoddard hit a open WR Brennen Schramm down the sideline for 35 yards. The drive was capped off with a 11 yard touchdown pass from Stoddard to WR Jack Wojciak.
On the next drive, The Battling Bees got payback for the interception earlier in the quarter as Mentor QB Scotty Fox was stripped and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Medina LB Griffin Pay in Mentor territory. The Battling Bees drove the ball down the field once again. Stoddard connected on a beautifully thrown ball to the corner of the end zone to WR Austin Knowles for a 14 yard touchdown. 21-14 with 3:18 left in the first quarter in a wild game thus far.
After five combined touchdowns and a turnover each, Mentor was the first to punt the ball, and it was downed at the 1 yard line. A face mask penalty advanced the Battling Bees to the 28 yard line. After the face mask a pass interference call at put Medina at the 47. That was the end of the first quarter. Once the second quarter started, the pace did not stop as Medina QB Dan Stoddard hit WR Jack Wojciak for a 46 yard touchdown pass.
Mentor answered back as they drove down the field. On the 1 yard line the snap was over the head of Mentor QB Scotty Fox and he fell on in at the 14 yard line. After a 9 yard catch on 3rd and 14, The Cardinals went for it on 4th and 5 and Fox hit Jordan Stapleton cutting across the end zone for a 5 yard touchdown, cutting the lead 28-21.
Mentor was able to force Medina into their first punt of the game at the 6:33 mark of the second quarter and Mentor was able to turn that into a field goal as Dylan Tackett hit from 37 yards, again cutting into the lead, as it was 28-24 Medina.
Wasting no time, Medina QB Dan Stoddard found Jack Wojciak crossing the field. Wojciak was able to avoid two Cardinal players who collided with each other, and took it 67 yards for his 3rd touchdown of the game and Stoddard's 5th touchdown of the half. Medina back on top 35-24.
With 1:30 left Medina was trying to add to the lead going into half, when QB Dan Stoddard threw his 2nd interception of the game to LB Jack Geduldig. The Cardinals scored on the second play of the drive as Scotty Fox dropped a perfect pass to WR Holden Cerny on a 24 yard touchdown connection. That was Scotty Fox's 4th TD of the half.
A wild first half that ended with the Battling Bees leading the Cardinals 35-31.
Mentor received the ball to start the second half. The Cardinals were looking to slow down the pace on offense it seemed, until Medina DL Nathan Nunn strip sacked QB Scotty Fox. The ball bounced backwards until DL Jabob Nunn picked it up and the 6'3 220 lb lineman rumbled into the end zone for a touchdown, extending the lead 42-31.
Mentor again kept the offense slow, trying to pick apart Medina's defense, until Scotty Fox found WR Holden Cerny for a big gain down the Mentor sideline. At the 17 yard line Fox threw a ball and didn't see Medina's LB Jesse Rahe who picked off Fox stalling the drive for the Cardinals and giving Medina the momentum back.
Mentor Stopped the Battling Bees on a 3 and out. The Battling Bees then held Mentor on a 4th down. Both defenses came out in the second half with fury vowing not to let the the fireworks we saw in the first half happen again.
Medina themselves slow and methodically took the ball down the field and settled for a 26 yard field goal by Medina's K Michael Gleske.
With 6:48 in the 4th quarter Medina got the ball after a stop on 4th and 3 by the Cardinals. They looked to take time off the clock with a 14 point lead.
Mentor regained possession and scored with four minutes left in the game on a 29 yard touchdown pass to Mitchell Waite, cutting the lead and trailing by 7.
Medina would not be stopped on this day as Dan Stoddard hit WR Carlos Corchado for a 70 yard touchdown and sealed the win for the Battling Bees 52-38. Medina improved to 6-1, while Mentor dropped to 5-2 in a wild shootout between two juggernauts. Next week Mentor takes on Solon while, Medina battles Brunswick.
Players of the Game-
Mentor- Scotty Fox- 36 completions for 492 yards, 5 TD's and 3 INT
Jacob Snow- 12 receptions, 107 yards, 1 TD
Medina- Danny Stoddard- 33 completions for 411 yards, 6 TD's and 3 INT
Jack Wojciak- 7 receptions, 187 yards, 3 TD's
I had a chance to catch up with Medina coach Larry Laird after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart!