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Mogadore dominates rival Field in all phases in 34-0 shutout win

Mogadore dominates rival Field in all phases in 34-0 shutout win


Mogadore’s Corey Lehner pushes across the goal line for a first-quarter touchdown on Friday in Mogadore.
Shannon Eldreth/Portage Sports

By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor

Mogadore football head coach Matt Adorni admits that this year’s Wildcats will not be like teams of the past.

They simply won’t be able to.

Wildcats senior quarterback Zeke Cameron looks down the field for an open receiver. Cameron completed 11-of-16 passes, including seven in a row at one point, for 134 yards and three touchdowns.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

They don’t have the size.

They don’t have the depth.

That does not mean that the team can’t celebrate some of the same success as previous years, but it will probably just look different.

What Mogadore does have is speed, along with the program’s always present desire to win.

Both showed up clearly on Friday night.

The Wildcats, who were wearing black uniforms for the first time since 2003, dominated rival Field at Memorial Stadium in Mogaodore to capture a season-opening 34-0 victory.

Mogadore now leads the all-time series 34-12 in a rivalry that dates back to 1953, but has had some absent years.

“I am really proud of the team for how they played tonight,” Adorni said. “We have had some changes on staff this year, with some new voices and some new ideas and the kids have embraced all of it.”

They also engulfed the Falcons.

A collection of Field defenders surround Mogadore ball-carrier Cole Reese.
Shannon Eldreth/Portage Sports

Mogadore, playing its first game under new defensive coordinator Ben Kobus’ new formation and terminology, shut out the Falcons and did not allow a first down until 10:11 to play in the game.

That first down was awarded on a penalty. Field’s first self-produced first down came on a 14-yard run with 5:11 remaining.

Field’s offense totaled just 86 yards (76 rushing, 10 passing) against 125 yards in penalties — as well as three turnovers (two lost fumbles and an interception).

“We are not a very big football team, so defensively, we are going to have to fly to the ball, and I thought our kids did an awesome job of that tonight,” Adorni said. “We saw (Field) move the ball (in a scrimmage) against Copley, so we had some serious concerns coming into the game tonight, but our kids stepped up.

“I thought our defense was all over the place tonight,” Adorni added. “They really took away everything Field was trying to do.”

Offensiely, the Wildcats were balanced nearly yard for yard.

On the ground, Mogadore totaled 146 yards, while producing 138 yards through the air.

Corey Lehner lead the rushing attack with 74 yards on just 10 carries, while quarterback Zeke Cameron completed 11-of-16 passes, including seven in a row at one point, for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

Cameron’s top target was Devin Graham, who pulled in five receptions for 69 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Lehner had four catches for 35 yards.

Wildcats running back Austin Constantine falls to the ground as he has tackled by a Field defender and a Mogadore linemen tries to complete his block.
Paisley Nader/Portage Sports

It was Lehner that scored the first touchdown of the game — and the season — for the Wildcats on an 11-yard run.

“Scoring on the first drive of the year is always a good feeling,” Adorni said.

In fact, the opening set of downs for the Cats’ offense and defense had to bring a good feeling to Adorni.

If anything, they certainly told the story for how the rest of the game would play out.

Field opened the game with possession of the ball and went three-and-out on runs that resulted a loss of 4 yards, loss of 3 yards and a gain of 3 yards. In the matter of a minute, the Falcons were punting the Wildcats. Mogadore then smoothly went 11 plays to reach the end zone and take a 6-0 lead.

The lead grew to 12-0 on a 12-yard pass from Cameron to Graham.

Mogadore (1-0) then scored three times in the second quarter’s final six minutes to take full control of the game.

The first score came on a 6-yard run by Aaron Rumschlag. Austin Constantine’s extra point made the score 19-0, which turned to 21-0 on a safety in the end zone on a bad snap to the Field quarterback.

Another passing touchdown made it 27-0, with this one coming from 28 yards out from Cameron to Graham.

Mogadore’s final touchdown of the game came at the 4:51 mark of the third quarter on a 4-yard pass that Nick Stephenson hauled in.

The loss left Field head coach Matt Furino ready to reset.

“First of all, we just played bad tonight, and I have to take the blame for that,” he said. “I thought I had our team ready to play, but we were not ready and that is on me. Mogadore was absolutely the better team tonight.

“We have to go back to the drawing board and find out what our identity is,” Furino added. “We need to find out who we are, or we are going to have a bad season.”

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