top of page

Mentor Escapes Jackson with 26-21 Victory

Jackson TWP, OH- It was a beautiful night to kick off the 2023 football season in Northeast Ohio. The Mentor Cardinals, fresh off their trip to the regional finals last fall made the trek to Stark County to square off with the Jackson Polar Bears at Robert Fife Stadium. A raucous crowd was on hand for both teams as they each looked to start the year off 1-0.

Mentor got the scoring started on their opening drive, driving the ball from their own 35 following a fumble recovering, Bears' and reaching the depths of the Jackson zone. The Polar Bears defense buckled down when they needed to, holding the Cardinals to a 19-yard field goal. Following a quick 3 and out for the Polar Bears, the Cardinals again marched down the field. This time, the drive started on their own 39 and ended similar to their opening drive, this time connecting on a 25-yard field goal was Dylan Tackett.

Despite falling behind 6-0 early in the 2nd quarter, given how the Cardinals were meticulously making their way down the field, Jackson head coach Jay Rohr had to be pleased for it to still be a one-score affair.

In the latter parts of the 2nd quarter, the Polar Bears gained possession at their own 34-yard line. With Mentor set to receive the 2nd half kick, Rohr's offense needed to make something happen. With the help of two 15-yard penalties on the Cardinals, the Polar Bears found themselves with their best field position on the night. Sophomore Quarterback Lucas Ecrement was able to lead Jackson further into Cardinals territory before ultimately finding Noah Colando from 3 yards out on a nice fade route to the right sideline for the first touchdown of the game. Following the extra point, the Polar Bears headed to the half with a 7-6 lead, despite Mentor having much of the 1st half success.

Looking to retake the lead, the Cardinals opened the half with a big kick-off return that looked like it could end in a touchdown before the kicker Cooper Mizeur, the last man standing in the way, made the shoe-string tackle. Starting from the Jackson 38, Cardinals QB Scotty Fox took to the air to try to regain the advantage on the scoreboard. He was picked off at the 15-yard line, however, and Jackson took over.

Following a 3 and out, it was the Cardinals ball again, but a failed 4th down conversion gave the ball back to Jackson with 7:26 left in the 3rd quarter. Jackson again went 3 and out and any hope of extending their lead beyond 1 point looked to be out of the question.

Mentor took over at their own 15-yard line and marched down the field for a touchdown. This time, it was Scotty Fox calling his own number, scampering in from 3 yards out to retake the lead. A failed 2-point conversion kept the score 12-7 with 1:22 left in the 3rd quarter.

Following another Polar Bears punt, Fox and the Cardinal offense took the field and this time only needed 54 seconds to score another touchdown. Fox found Evan Calderwood from 9 yards out for the touchdown. Fox would look for #10 again on the 2-point conversion, this time succeeding, making the score 20-7 in favor of the Cardnials.

Facing a 2-score deficit, Ecrement would lead the Polar Bears on a scoring drive of their own. Jackson would go 84 yards in only 2:18, ending the drive with a 36-yard touchdown pass to senior Anthony Fuline.

With the score 20-14, Mentor would take the field and look to get it back to a 2-score affair. Fox however would be picked off for the third time on the night, and the Polar Bears looked to be making their comeback, taking over at the Cardinals 36 36-yard line.

Jackson would drive the ball deep into Mentor territory, ultimately facing a 4th and 3 situation from the 4-yard line. Ecrement would look to his right and looked to have a wide receiver open but attempted the pass on the move and the ball would fall to the feet of his intended target.

Mentor, with 96 yards between them and their goal line, would send the offense back out. A few quick hit passes from Fox to Grant Cerny would move the Cardinals into a more favorable situation. Fox would connect with Jackson Farley for a 41-yard touchdown to extend the lead and leave Jackson with only 1:45 on the game clock. The 2-point conversion attempt was again unsuccessful, making the score 26-14.

With only 1 timeout remaining, Ecrement would lead the Polar Bears offense on a 59-second scoring drive, ending with another big connection with Fuline down the right sideline, this time from 39 yards out. The PAT was good, and with 46 seconds left on the game clock, the Polar Bears would attempt an onside kick to regain possession.

The attempt was recovered by the Cardinals, and following a kneel down by Fox, the game was over.

Mentor faces St. Ignatius in week 2 action, while the Polar Bears welcome Mayfield to Robert Fife Stadium as they look to get win number 1 on the year.



Scotty Fox: 15-39 322 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT

Gino Korzunowski: 9 attempts 40 yards

Austin Van Huss: 7 receptions, 89 yards.


Lucas Ecrement: 16-28 245 yards 3 TD

Ecrement: 19 carries, 138 yards

Anthony Fuline: 4 receptions, 115 yards, 2 TD


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page