Tag Archive for: AJ Pecchia



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


YOUNGSTOWN, OH- This game had no social distancing score wise between these two teams Friday night as the high school football version of Ohio State Michigan happened when the Ursuline Irish and Cardinal Mooney Cardinals, faced off in the 62nd meeting of the “Holy War” at Stambaugh Stadium.


The game started with Ursuline having some momentum on their side driving all the way down to the Cardinals 15.  That is until a few players later where they coughed up the ball, recovered by Mooney and hoping for some early momentum.  


However, that would not happen as a few possessions later, Pat Guerrieri’s pass was intercepted by DeMarcus McElroy who looked like Champ Bailey out on the field taking it in for a touchdown making it 6-0 after a failed extra point.  Mooney came right back later on when Pat Guerrieri found AJ Pecchia for a nice 29-yards touchdown putting the Cards up 7-6.  


But once again, it was McElroy in the first who this time channeled his Ezekiel Elliott going 20-yards for the score.  Then, it was Dante Walker taking it in for the two point conversion bringing it back to a seven point game.  McElroy had another big touchdown in the second that looked to have gone for 30-yards making it 21-7 and now Mooney was in trouble and needed momentum.  


That’s when Mooney drove down the field tiring out the Ursuline defense a bit.  That’s when Zy’ere Rogers said “welcome to my neighborhood,”driving his feet in the endzone five yards out, putting the Cardinals back into the game down by eight.  


The Irish scored one more time before the half.   Brady Shannon would give the ball to once again, McElroy who was having a career night with four total touchdowns.  The Irish went into the half up 28-13 but it was not over yet.  


In the third quarter, the Cardinals defense and offense got stronger.  Firstly, they did not let Ursuline get a single point in the last two quarters while Mooney looked stronger.  The Cardinals got three points in the third thanks to a 21-yard  field goal by Brian Philibin making it 28-16.  Their next score came in the fourth.  The Cardinals got down to the goal line after a nice Guerrieri run.  On their next play, it was Davontae Miller plowing into the endzone and now there was a ballgame.  


Shannon would go long for Jakylan Irving, but it was a nice break up by the Mooney defense which led the Irish to bring out Matthew Reardon for a Rugby style punt.  Cardinal Mooney needed a first down with just over three minutes to go.  The Irish defense stopped the Cards on three of those downs and now it was do or die.  


Guerrieri went to Pecchia who had the ball right in his hands, but couldn’t hold on as because of this, Ursuline held on for the 28-23 victory over rival Cardinal Mooney.  This is Ursuline’s first back-to-back win against Mooney since the 2011 and 2012 season.  


Player of the Game/Stat


The player of the game was DeMarcus McElroy who had 112 yards rushing, three touchdowns and an interception.  


Ursuline (4-2) gets a nice week off to relax and heal any injuries that happened.  They will play the winner of Fairless (4-2) vs Villa Angela St. Joseph (0-6).  Cardinal Mooney (1-5) will play Conneaut (2-4) at Stambaugh stadium.  Both of those first round playoff games will be played Saturday at 7pm.  


*Contributed by YSN’s Ian O’Brien*