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Mogadore sets tone, delivers team effort in win over Ravenna

Mogadore sets tone, delivers team effort in win over Ravenna


Mogadore running back Aaron Rumschlag dives across the goal line for a first-half touchdown on Friday.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor


A goal line stand early in the first quarter is not where Mogadore won Friday’s game.

Nor is it where Ravenna lost Friday’s game.

What it did do, though, was set the tone for the Wildcats in what was a physical matchup between the top-two winningest programs Portage County history.

Two programs that made history on Friday, too, playing each other for the first time ever.

Mogadore (714 career wins) earned the 21-3 non-league victory over Ravenna (644), showcasing a team effort on both sides of the ball that featured discipline and physicality.

Mogadore’s Trevor Hinkle and Cole Reese team up to bring down Ravenna quarterback Bobby Melzer.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

“I think we play bigger than we actually are,” Mogadore head coach Matt Adorni said.

The Wildcats were forced to show it early in the first quarter.

With Mogadore inside its own 20-yard line, quarterback Zeke Cameron took a three-step drop, turned to his right and hurled an attempted bubble-screen pass.

Ravenna’s Bobby Melzer read it all the way from his left-end position, timed his jump perfectly and snagged the ball cleanly out of the air. When he did, the Cats’ right offensive tackle was already engaged into him for the block and Melzer very nearly broke free from his grasp, but was pulled down at the 6-yard line.

Three straight runs were stuffed by a hard-hitting Mogadore defense on tackles by Chad Wetsfall, Trevor Hinkle and Aaron Rumschlag, racing the Ravens into a fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line.

The Ravens took the opportunity for points and Mike Myers sailed a 20-yard field goal through the uprights with 7:21 showing on the first-quarter clock.

Ravenna head coach Joe Callihan, who graduated from Mogadore in 2013, immediately knew that his team had let a golden opportunity slip away.

“When you play a team, a program like Mogadore’s, you have to capitalize on your opportunities. That was a great opportunity for us, and we settled for 3 points instead of getting 7,” Callihan said. “To have short field position like that and not punch it into the end zone hurt us, but I don’t think that it was game over for us at that point.”

Missed opportunities, though, did become a recurring theme for the Ravens.

But before they did, Mogadore took the lead.

Mogadore’s Chad Westfall finishes his tackle to bring down Ravenna quarterback Bobby Melzer.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

A couple early offensive running schemes for the Cats set up three straight passes that allowed Cameron to get into a rhythm.

On a third-and-10, Cameron found Devin Graham for 17 yards. On the next play, Cameron zipped a throw to Layne Miller for 12 more, then the senior signal-caller sent a well-placed laser across the seam that Nick Stephenson picked out of the air, in stride, before racing into the end zone for the 33-yard score. Austin Constantine kicked the first of his three extra points to give the Wildcats a 7-3 lead with 2:44 left in the opening quarter.

While Ravenna’s offense could not sustain drives, Mogadore added another touchdown midway through the second quarter (6:11) on a 1-yard run by Rumschlag.

The Ravens, who were set to kickoff to Mogadore in the second half, rallied a drive inside the 10-yard line, with key completions made by Melzer to receivers Daniel Sanders and Bryant Thompson.

However, a third-down play that was hiked to Melzer with only 4 seconds remaining in the half and the Ravens not owning any more timeouts, ended with a sack to send the teams into the halftime locker room with Mogadore leading 14-3.

“Missed opportunities really became the story of the night for us,” Callihan said. “There were times tonight that we did what we thought we could come in here and do, but then there were things that we didn’t do either, and we have to get better.

“We talk a lot about finishing — finish the run, finish the block, finish the game, and I don’t think we did that enough tonight,” Callihan added. “That falls on me for not having the team ready for tonight.”

After a scoreless third quarter, Mogadore (2-0) pushed across the goal line again early in the fourth quarter, at the 11:12 mark, on a 3-yard quick trap by Constantine, who then booted the extra point for the eventual final score.

Ravenna head coach Joe Callihan walks the sidelines during the second half of Friday’s game. Callihan graduated from Mogadore in 2013.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

It is the second straight week that Mogadore held its opponent out of the end zone, following Week 1’s 34-0 shutout of Field.

It was also the second straight week that the Wildcats, who had just one penalty on Friday (false start), used a collection of offensive weapons to spotlight a team victory.

Cole Reese was the leading rusher with 78 yards on 12 carries, while Constantine finished with 44 yards on 12 attempts and Rumschlag ran it seven times for 40 yards.

Cameron finished with 116 yards through the air, with Lehner pulling in a pair of receptions for 47 yards.

“The kids have embraced the fact that we are going to have to share everything this year. We are not a team built off of one big star,” Adorni said.

The Ravens’ offense never truly found any rhythm. They had many drives that offered glimpses of promise, but would ultimately fizzle out.

Austin Marshall finished with 63 hard-earned yards, running with speed and strength.

1 Comment

  1. Jack Kiser August 28, 2023

    Nicely done!


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