By Tom Nader
Publisher and Editor
The Mogadore Wildcats overcame three turnovers on Friday night to knock off Mineral Ridge and advance to the Division VI, Region 21 championship game.
The Wildcats earned the 21-7 victory, which offers an opportunity for a rematch with Kirtland in the regional-title game.
The Cats and Hornets met last year, at the same level of the playoffs, with Kirtland shutting out Mogadore 30-0.
In Friday’s win, Mogadore controlled the time of possession (25 minutes to 15 minutes), using its ground game to gain 248 yards on 49 carries (5.1 yards per carry).
In the air, the Wildcats completed 6-of-10 passes, but three of those four incompletions were interceptions by the Rams (8-5).
Mogadore got on the board first with a 2-yard run by Aaron Rumschlag in the first quarter. Austin Constantine booted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
The Rams, who were the No. 10 seed in Region 21, tied things up in the second quarter on a 19-yard touchdown reception to Ian Erb from Owen Shingledecker.
Mogadore (11-2) regained the lead before halftime on a 52-yard pass from quarterback Zeke Cameron to receiver Devin Graham. The extra point missed, but the third-seeded Cats took a 13-7 lead into the break.
After a scoreless third quarter, Mogadore got its big insurance touchdown — to make it a two-score game — with a 1-yard quarterback-keeper touchdown by Cameron. Cameron then found Layne Miller on a pass for the 2-point conversion.
Mogadore’s offense was paced by three different players rushing for at least 70 yards.
Cole Reese paced the group with 99 yards rushing in 14 carries.
Constantine had 17 totes for 72 yards and Rumschlag had 71 yards on eight tries.
The trio combined for 242 yards on the ground.
In addition to his 52-yard score, Graham added a second reception of 34 yards to complete the day with 86 yards receiving.