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Blowing away a Tornado

Mooney scores 10 touchdowns to win regional title in Div. III

By Tom Williams


Cardinal Mooney

4/5Div. IVIndependents


After watching Dover High quarterback Derik Swinderman pass for 290 yards in the first half, the pressure was on Mooney’s defense.

Answering the call was linebacker Anthony Dermotta whose third-quarter interception return of 41 yards for a touchdown gave the Cardinals control in Friday’s 70-44 victory in the Division III, Region 11 championship game.

Swinderman, who passed for 481 yards but was picked off three times, was trying to hit wide receiver Mason Mamarella over the middle and didn’t see Dermotta jump the route.

“I saw the inside receiver running a dig and I just read it,” said the Cardinals’ sophomore linebacker of his first pick six. “I can’t describe the feeling.”

The Cardinals (9-3) captured their 17th regional championship and will play for a state berth next Friday against Chagrin Falls.

“It’s the best feeling,” Dermotta said after the blowout. “It felt great to just get it over and get the win.”

At halftime, a Mooney victory was anything but certain. The Cardinals trailed 31-28 after watching the Tornadoes (11-2) overcome a 14-0 deficit. Mooney coach P.J. Fecko said two fumbles and failure to recover two Dover onside kicks were the culprits.

“Our biggest issue in the first half was the turnovers,” Fecko said. “Even with those, we put 28 points on the board.”

The Cardinals’ rushing attack punched the Tornadoes for 238 yards in the first two quarters, with tailback Roosevelt Griffin getting 149 of them on 14 carries.

Fecko said the mood in the locker room was not one of panic.

“We knew it was a matter of us taking care of the football and controlling the game,” Fecko said. “Our defense came up with some early stops in the second half ... and then we had our own [successful] onside kick.”

The Cardinals went ahead 35-31 when Justus Ellis-Moore capped a 10-play, 68 yard drive with a 3-yard touchdown run.

Three plays later, Dermotta’s touchdown increased the lead to 11. The Cardinals added four touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

One was set up by defensive back Marcus McWilson who stripped the ball from Dover wide receiver Josh Bennett after a 32-yard gain to the Mooney 6. McWilson picked up the ball and returned it 37 yards.

“I don’t know how you turn it over four times and succeed against anybody decent, let alone a great football team like [Mooney],” Dover coach Dan Ifft said. “That was a little disheartening — we wanted to play a little better and cleaner in the second half and take it deep into the fourth quarter.”

Ellis-Moore scored four touchdowns and rushed for 95 yards. Griffin led the Mooney offense with 233 yards on 28 carries and three scores.

“All the credit goes to the [offensive] line,” Griffin said. “Everything I do is to my O-line.”

Ellis-Moore scored on a 10-yard run a little more than two minutes after the game began. In the next three minutes, the Cardinals forced another punt and Griffin scored on a 3-yard run for a 14-0 lead.

The Tornadoes roared to life with four TDs and a field goal, helped by recovering two onside kicks and the Mooney turnovers.



Dover blew the game, Mooney dident beat em!

posted 4 years, 7 months ago


Of course Rick!!! Everyone knows that Dover would have won the game if Dover didn't "blow it".

You know, you folks from out in Tea Party Country should have y'alls trailers checked for propane leaks, because your thought processes are all jangled. Better open some windows.

Dover could have played Mooney 10 times and never have come closer than they did tonight.

That's ok, boy, you keep believe'n that Obama wasn't born in America, keep thinking evolution is a hoax and keep that truck of yours tuned-up. And keep believe'n that Dover would have won the championship, if they wouldn't have "blown it".

posted 4 years, 7 months ago


Congrats to Mooney. Dont get too worked up Rocky, those Dover folks cried and whined when they lost to an average Canfield team this year also. Whenever they lose, they act like they were cheated out of victory. To say Mooney didnt win, but Dover beat themselves, is laughable. Putting a BIG 70 on a team tells me they won that game fair and square. Good luck in the next round Cardinals, bring home a title this year.

posted 4 years, 7 months ago

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