In the start of Week 11, 16 teams from 28 different regions began their quest to Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium on Friday night. Taking a trip over to Division 2, Region 5 where the #4 seeded Austintown Fitch Falcons hosted in the #13 seeded Mayfield Wildcats. Being a sneaky good team despite their seed, Mayfield went into Greenwood Chevrolet Stadium with a 6-4 record; however, all four of those losses were against would-be playoff teams. Bringing in a ton of speed with Dylan Parnell and Nick Biega at the wideouts, The Wildcats have been a dangerous, quick-scoring offense all season.
Despite the offensive potency of Mayfield, The Falcons won the opening toss and elected to test their defense out of the gate by deferring to Rocco Monastero and company. Getting an initial first down would be all the offense Mayfield could muster on the opening drive, having to eventually punt it away back to Fitch. Following the punt return, The Falcons gave it to their senior star running back Jamell James and on the first offensive play of the game, James took it to the house for six! Josiah Berni tacked on the extra point making it 7-0 Austintown in a blink of an eye.
Both teams exchanged second possessions before The Falcons would force an additional punt from The Wildcats offensive in which they would immediately translate to six more, thanks to a Cam Smith Strike to Jamell James for a receiving touchdown. Beginning in the second quarter, Rocco Monastero found his running back in Anthony Santoro from 16 yards to trim the deficit to seven points. A four play response drive, capped off by a 45 yard rushing touchdown for Jamell James put Fitch right back up by 14. A group of fighters Mayfield proved themselves to be, as Monastero got himself in position to break out of the pocket for the goal line touchdown to once again cut the lead.
With five minutes to go in the half, Fitch would score 21 unanswered points, including a beautiful 65 yard passing strike from Cam Smith to Dominic Perry, giving Austintown a commanding 42-14 lead at halftime over The Wildcats. Not taking their foot off the gas, The Falcons would draw up a similar play from earlier in the game. Resulting in a 51 yard rushing touchdown by Jamell James on the first offensive play of the second half, making it a running clock game at 49-14.
However, Mayfield showed a ton of heart and grit throughout all four quarters. Never giving in, The Wildcats forced the deficit back under 30 a couple of times to keep the running clock at bay. Time would not be on The Wildcats side, but history was on The Falcons. As Jamell James would break not one, but two single game records for Fitch! Earning 305 yards on the ground James dethrones his partner in crime D.J. Williams owned the record of 301 yards for 14 days. James would also get six touchdowns on the day (5 rushing, 1 receiving) to help Austintown put the finishing touches on a 56-34 first round victory. With the win, The Falcons (10-1) will move on to host #5 seeded Akron St. Vincent & St. Mary’s (8-3) in the second round of the regional bracket!
Scoring by Quarter
Q1: Fitch 14 – 0 Mayfield
Q2: Fitch 28 – 14 Mayfield
Q3: Fitch 14 – 6 Mayfield
Q4: Fitch 0 – 14 Mayfield
Final: Fitch 56 – 34 Mayfield
Cam Smith: 5/9, 137 YDS, 2 TD.
Jamell James: 20 CAR, 305 YDS, 5 TD, 15.25 YPC.
Cam Smith: 7 CAR, 59 YDS, 1 TD, 8.4 YPC.
Jayden Eley: 2 REC, 39 YDS.
Jamell James: 2 REC, 33 YDS, 1 TD.
Dominic Perry: 1 REC, 65 YDS, 1 TD.
Brian Robinson (B-Rob): 11 TAK, 1.5 Sacks, 2.5 TFL.
J’Allen Underwood: 9 TAK, 1.5 TFL.
Xavier Dahn: 7 TAK, 0.5 Sacks, 0.5 TFL.
Kylen Foster: 7 TAK, 1.5 Sacks, 2 TFL.
Christian Latone: 3 TAK, 1 TFL.
Dan Evans III (D.E.3): 4 TAK, 1 INT.
Davion Pritchard: 3 TAK, 0.5 Sacks, 0.5 TFL.
Donovan Bell-Sullivan: 2 TAK, 0.5 Sacks, 0.5 TFL.
Devin Phillips: 2 TAK, 1 FR.
Josiah Berni: 8/8 XP.
*Contributed By YSN’s Ty Bartell.