Tornadoes QB Mason Mamarella keys comeback
By Matthew Peaselee
The Poland High football team led by a field goal at halftime of its Division III, Region 11 semifinal on Saturday.
Tyler Evan’s 30-yard kick return gave the Bulldogs a short field to work with to start the second half. But they were forced to punt after three plays.
Then Mason Mamarella happened.
The prolific Dover quarterback ran 16 yards for a score on the Tornadoes’ next possession, lifting them to the lead.
And they’d keep piling on.
Mamarella ran for 246 yards, 162 in the second half, and Dover eliminated Poland, 35-17.
“For a half, we outplayed them,” said Poland coach Mark Brungard. “But you got to play four quarters.”
Poland turned the ball over twice in the second half. The Tornadoes (10-2) capitalized.
Mamarella hit Trey Wallack for a 37-yard touchdown after a Bulldogs interception and Mamarella ran 75 yards for a score after a rare Connor McFadden missed field goal.
Mamarella, who threw for 265 yards in Week 2 against Canfield, finished with 184 yards, completing 10 of 17 passes. That brings his total to 2,616 for the year with a 63 percent completion percentage.
Besides the 75-yard TD, he had long runs of 54, 50 and 16 yards.
“His feet are dangerous,” Brungard said. “They wide spread their lineman. You’re coming to rush the passer, and he steps up. Your backers are trying to cover their assignments and he swoops up the middle. It was hard to stop.”
Brungard added that the Bulldogs haven’t seen an offense that potent all year.
“Not to that level of the execution,” he said. “Their whole package for them is well-run. The screens, the deep ball, quarterback runs. They have it all.”
Poland (8-4) scored two first half touchdowns — the first on a Ross Gould 1-yard rush and the second on an 11-yard pass from Jake Wolfe to tight end Jon Markota.
All three are juniors.
“We have a nice nucleus back, but we’re going to miss our seniors,” Brungard said. “Their leadership was huge. Our juniors are going to have a greater responsibility.
“We hope this inspires them to put a little more in and to be ready to seize the moment. If we have the opportunity to come back here again, I’m confident we’ll be ready.”
Wolfe completed 6 of 14 passes for 88 yards and ran for 64 on 11 carries. Gould finished with 121 yards on 26 carries, while Tyler Evan and Marlon Ramirez added 38 and 26 yards, respectively.
Anthony Marchionda caught two passes for 54 yards. Right before halftime, McFadden drilled a 27-yard field goal.