Aaaahhh, the dreaded “Trap Game”
The Trap Game is loosely defined as a game before a really big game. Solon has a huge game next week against Hudson, with tons of playoff points on the line. Sitting at 5-0, an undefeated match-up with the Explorers surely was in the back of the Comets minds as they took on Mayfield tonight. Take care of the Wildcats, and Solon can start looking forward to the huge game next week on their home field.
Problem is, Mayfield decided to show up and ruin the potential party
Using the big play on offense, and a defense that was lights out all night, the Wildcats stunned the previously defeated Comets 14-7 tonight in Mayfield. Andy Isabella ran for over 130 yards and two touchdowns, while defensive end Brian Hunter reaked havoc in the Comet backfield all night.
After an exchange of punts to start the game, Mayfield put a drive together, only to stall on the Solon 34 yard line. Facing a fourth down and two yards to go, the Wildcats reached into their bag of tricks. Isabella took the ball on a reverse and scampered 34 yards down the left sideline, giving Mayfield a 7-0 lead. Solon could never move the ball consistently, as Mayfield’s “3-5 Stack” defense kept the Comets confused, and going nowhere. The Wildcats held super sophomore running back Melvin Jackson to just 44 yards on 10 carries in the first half, while quarterback Johnny Mooney found himself with no time to throw.
There were two “backbreaker” plays for the Comets in the game, and one took place at the end of the first half. Facing a third and eight from their own 27 yard line, Mayfield decided to play in safe and gave Isabella the ball on an outside zone run. Isabella got to the outside and just never stopped, running 73 yards down the left sideline, giving the Wildcats a 14-0 lead going into the break.
The third quarter was a defensive battle where neither team really moved the ball. Mayfield did get inside Solon territory, only to have the drive snuffed out on a Gil Barksdale interception. Solon didn’t get their initial first down of the second half until just over a minute was remaining. Mayfield took a 14-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
Solon finally began showing signs of life
After receiving great field position at the Mayfield 40 yard line, Solon put together their scoring drive. After a 22 yard run by Jackson, getting the ball down the Mayfield 16 yard line, the Comets hit paydirt. Mooney found Zack Lesko on a wheel route down the right sideline. The diving touchdown catch cut the Mayfield lead to 14-7. Things started to get interesting as the Comets forced a 3 and out, getting the ball back with a chance to tie. The Mayfield defense would rise up again, forcing a three and out, giving the ball back to Mayfield at their 28 yard line with 3:34 left in the game. Solon held the Wildcats, forcing a third and eight, with just over two minutes remaining.
Then, the second “backbreaker”, and THE play of the game
Mayfield quarterback Mario Monastero sat back in the shotgun with an empty backfield. Everyone on and off the field knew he was going to keep the ball. As he ran to his right, he ran right into Comet outside linebacker Zack Lesko. Monastero shook off the tackle, out ran All-NOC linebacker John Sensibaugh to the sideline, and scampered 15 yards to the Mayfield 42 yard line and a first down. It was an unbelievable athletic play by Monastero, and THE play of the game.
Solon eventually would get the ball back at their own 40 yard line with 10 seconds left to play. Mooney connected with Lesko to get the ball to the Mayfield 40 yard line with three seconds left. Mooney’s Hail Mary throw to the endzone was intercepted, and Mayfield had their upset win.
The Wildcats EARNED this win. They were clearly the better team from beginning to end. What this win does for the Wildcats is get them in prime position for the state playoffs in Division II. Beating a Division I team will rocket the Wildcats up the computer points poll. For Solon, it’s time to regroup, and get focused on Hudson coming to Stewart Field next Friday.
Running the ball and playing good defense…who says that old formula doesn’t work anymore?