HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW Friday night playoff football
POLAND vs. MENTOR LAKE CATHOLIC
What: Division III, Region 9 final.
Where: Mollenkopf Stadium, Warren.
Playoff history: Poland (10-1) is in the playoffs for the fifth time, last qualifying in 1999 when the Bulldogs went 15-0 for the Div. III state crown. The Cougars are 15-8 in 11 postseason appearances, winning state championships in 1991-92.
24Canton Central Cath.14
MENTOR LAKE CATHOLIC (10-2)
33Middleburg Hts. Midpark0
26Parma Hts. Holy Name0
36Parma Padua Franciscan13
20Notre Dame Cathedral Latin14
Poland scouting report: Poland gives up fewer than seven points per game and has one of the strongest defenses in the state. All-district selections Gaby Dibo (defensive line) and Lou DaVanzo (linebacker) are excellent against the run. Cornerbacks Vince Antonucci and Neil Harris have combined for 12 interceptions. Poland needs to cut down on penalties and turnovers, which led to the Chaney loss and nearly cost them the game against Hubbard. The Bulldogs show an eerie resemblance to the 1999 team, which didn't always win pretty, but always won.
Lake Catholic scouting report: Quarterback Mark Petruziello has been outstanding for the Cougars. The 6-1, 180-pound sophomore had over 300 yards running and passing in a 22-16 win over Akron Hoban last week. The Cougars' two losses came to playoff teams and they avenged one of those losses when they beat Cleveland Benedictine in the first round. Lake Catholic's offensive line is outstanding, with center Jeff Lupica, guards Kevin Bowers and John Dolce, tackles Doug Kastner and Matt Mezzacappa and tight end Brandon Savage. The Cougars won't have star defensive lineman Mike Vidmar, who is out with an injured knee. Look for tailback Dan Cvelbar to be a big part of the game plan.
Radio: WNIO-AM 1390
-- Joe Scalzo