Notre Dame puts together big game in the rain to win Section V title
Following a 26-6 Section V Class D title victory of Clyde-Savannah, Notre Dame's Head Coach Rich Mancuso said a lot of the credit for the win could go to the offensive line.
"Our offensive line and Anthony Paladino did an absolutely outstanding job of blocking and that’s really controlled the game and won it for us," Mancuso said.
The stout line allowed Nick Taylor to rush for 192 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns. Taylor was named MVP for the game.
The title is the first for ND since 2006 and the second in Mancuso's eight seasons as head coach.
Clyde-Savannah is a passing team, but the Golden Eagles were really forced to go the air by the third quarter with the Fighting Irish up 20-6.
While QB Tom Molisani was an impressive 17-29 for 246 yards (including a couple of competitions he tossed while in the grasp of ND defenders), the senior passer gave up four interceptions.
"The big thing is, we knew we had to stop them from throwing the ball and we knew we had to control the clock and we had to take care of the ball, which we did," Mancuso said. "We created a number of turnovers on their part. We did a great job with our game plan both offensively and defensively. I couldn’t be prouder of the kids at the moment."
The Irish amassed a total of 322 yards on the ground.
Andrew Mullen carried the ball for 88 yards on 16 carries and scored a touchdown. QB Tim McCulley added 37 yards on four carries.
McCulley was 1-3 for 23 yards, with the one pass completion going to Charlie Hebert for a touchdown.
The junior also had two key second-half interceptions.
Like Mancuso, McCulley was full of praise after the game for the offensive line.
"Our running game (was a key to victory)," McCulley said. "We ran the ball in the throat. Our line played great. Our running backs ran hard and everything just fell in place."
After the game Taylor said the win felt "awesome."
"I've been starting since my freshmen year and we’ve lost every time in the finals so it’s great that in my senior year, we actually win it," Taylor said. "It feels great."
Paladino, who helped led the lines on both offense and defense and was one of the players of the game, said his award wasn't just about him.
"We all work hard," Paladino said. "You shouldn’t really pick one person. The whole defensive line did everything."
On defense, Paladino had three tackles and Taylor had four, as well as a sack.
Jared Thornton had five tackles, Hebert four and Josh Johnson, four. Taylor and Aaron McDonald each had an interception.
Hebert also blocked an extra point try following Clyde-Savannah only TD.
On a night of constant rain for the entire game, neither side gave up a fumble.
Also receiving game trophies were Johnson and James Spear.
Next up for the Irish (8-1), Avon (8-1), who beat Red Jacket 14-6 to capture the Class DD title. That game will be played Saturday in Rochester.