After a record of one and five during the regular season, the Cardinals of Cardinal Mooney needed something positive to happen as they hosted Conneaut at Stambaugh Stadium in the first round of the Division five playoffs.
Well, it seems in this game we found what Mooney can do and how they can be dangerous. They were slow a tad in the first, but then the second they started to blast off. That’s when receiver AJ Pecchia took off like a rocket 53-yards for the touchdown making it 7-0.
With just over four minutes before the half, it was the senior quarterback Pat Guerrieri finding sophomore Ty Reali for a 10-yard touchdown and man, how those Cards were on fire!
Few plays later, Conneaut quarterback Jake Slayton fumbled while Mike Pastella did an old scoop and score while making sure his teammates were clean and that there was no dirty laundry on the field. Well, the laundry was folded with no flags, making it 20-0 going into halftime.
The Spartans speared their way into the endzone in the third as Slayton found one of his favorite targets in Kiefer Mandagelo who then took off like the cheetah Tyreek Hill going 35-yards making it 20-7. Mooney then gave the ball to Davontae Miller seven yards out and later added on with a Brian Phillibin aka Phil Dawson jr field goal with five minutes to go in the third making it 30-7.
The Cardinals got the running clock started in the fourth after Zy’ere Rodgers said it’s a beautiful day in my neighborhood for me, not you, as he went 18-yards to the house as Mooney now led by 30. Their final touchdown on the night came when Matt Womer punched it two yards out, putting it away for good as the Mooney Cardinals rolled past Conneaut 44-7.
This is big for the school especially when it came to the off-season with the last minute coaching change, it seems now that Mooney has found a bit of their rhythm back. This is the Cardinals first playoff win since 2017 where they beat the Poland Bulldogs 13-7. Looks like the Carl Pelini college coaching experience is paying off now.
Pat Guerrieri: 10 of 15 passing for 101 yards and a touchdown. AJ Pecchia finished with 44-yards receiving and Zy’ere Rodgers ended with 22 carries for 241 yards and a touchdown.
Mooney (2-5) advanced to the second round of the OHSAA Division Five Region 17 bracket with a trip to third-seed undefeated Garrettsville Garfield (6-0) next Saturday at James A Garfield Stadium. We can possibly see an upset alert happening next week as those cardinals have momentum on their side.
*Contributed By YSN’s Ian O’Brien