Solon vs Mentor- Classic Rivalry Will Be Renewed

There is no question that there is a historic rivalry between Solon and Mentor. When the two teams meet on the gridiron, a lot is usually at stake and the game is very meaningful to both teams. The two teams usually meet in the playoffs and the regular season matchup is always incredible.

The last time these two teams met, it was winner go on, loser goes home as it was a playoff game at Byers Field in Parma. Both sets of stands were packed, making noise and provided one of the most incredible atmospheres ever witnessed inside that stadium. Mentor may have had the home stands but the Solon fans filled the away side and made lots of noise. With the season on the line, both teams played in what was an incredible game.

Mentor started out the first half by going up 35-14. North Carolina recruit and current Mentor quarterback Mitch Trubisky got the Mentor no-huddle offense going early on and helped the Cardinals get off to a fast start. Mentor came out strong in the first half and it looked like Solon’s season could end with a blowout if things did not turn around in the second half.

Trubisky came out throwing in the second half but was not connecting like he had earlier in the game. Solon would go on to intercept Trubisky five times and narrowed down the lead with each turnover. Solon cornerback (and current Ohio State wrestler) Justin Kresevic picked off three of Trubisky’s passes and took one of them all the way for a touchdown.

With Solon down 42-34 in the fourth quarter, Darian Hicks would intercept a Trubisky pass to give the Comets another opportunity. Solon quarterback Patrick Kramer would connect with Cory Stuart in the endzone. The two point conversion afterwards would fail and in just a quarter and a half of football, Solon was within two points of Mentor.

By this point in the game, both sets of stands reacted with each and every play and the workers at Byers Field kept commenting how much fun it was to be apart of such an incredible game between two great football teams. When talking with these workers, everyone was commenting how a game that was destined to be a blowout was turning out to be one of the most fun football games of the season.

Solon would get one more opportunity to take the lead with a drive late in the fourth quarter. On a fourth down situation, Kramer tried to keep the drive alive with a desperation throw down the field and the pass just missed. With that incomplete pass, Solon’s season would end and another classic matchup with Mentor was over.

This was not the first time the two teams had come down to wire in a close game and it will not be the last. It was not the first time both sets of fans clung to the edge of their seats during this game and waited intently to see the end. There had been so many games prior to this that had similar finishes and this was another chapter in what has become a storied rivalry.

I’ll admit that I had an empty feeling in me when the epiphany hit that the loss ended Solon’s season and my football picture taking was done for that fall. It was rough seeing the Solon players and students cry when the final horn sounded. We all knew the season was over and the drive home felt like it took forever.

I rolled into my house after that game and as I was editing the pictures, I had another epiphany. The season may have been over but Solon would be able to play Mentor again next fall for another classic game.

 

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~ by jeffrsabo on September 29, 2012.

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