Playoff Preview: Mooney vs. Poland - News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Playoff Preview: Mooney vs. Poland

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When Poland host Cardinal Mooney in the first round of the Division IV football playoffs, it'll be only the second time they've played ever and the first at Dave Pavlansky Field in Poland.

"The kids are excited, the coaches are excited and we're looking forward to playing week 11 at home," said Poland Coach Ryan Williams who is taking the Bulldogs to the playoffs for the first time under his leadership.

"It's a local game with a lot of excitement and Poland is an outstanding team," said Mooney Coach P.J. Fecko. "Everyone has been talking about Poland all year and they have an outstanding record."

The Bulldogs are the fourth seed and are 8-2 having lost two of their final three games. The Cardinals finished the regular season on a three-game winning streak.

"The nature of their schedule prepares them well, " said Williams whose team is 50 and 50 against their opponents while the Cardinals are 55 and 44 against their opposition.  "We'll need to some things they haven't seen a whole lot of," Williams said.

 Fecko was more diplomatic when asked about the Bulldogs saying, "It's going to very difficult for us to compete against those guys, get first downs and scores points."

 While the coaches are focused on game plans, there is plenty of interest in this game due to several Mooney players and a lot of their fans live in Poland.  Mooney's Vinny Gentile said a cousin, Nick Sabrin, plays right guard for the Bulldogs and it's a personal matchup.

Poland's Mike Diaz says he knows a lot of kids he grew up with that go to Mooney, adding its going to a fun game.

The Cardinals have played well down the stretch and Fecko was asked if they hit their stride. "I don't know. I don't know what our stride is. We just strive to get better each week. We got into the playoffs and see where it goes."

The winner of this game plays the winner of Salem-Steubenville on Friday, November 10 at a site to be determined.


MOONEY VS POLAND:  In the only previous meeting, Mooney beat Poland 24-7 in the 2009 playoffs.  That game was at Austintown Fitch Stadium.  The Cardinals went on to win the state championship that year.

CARDINALS SECOND WEEK IN ROW: For the second straight week, Poland is hosting the Cardinals. Canfield beat the Bulldogs 38-0 in the final week of the regular season.

PLAYOFF TEAMS: Three opponents of the Bulldogs and Cardinals made the playoffs. Poland's opponents in the postseason are Struthers, Lakeview, and Canfield.  Mooney's opponents are Akron Hoban, Akron SVSM, and Boardman.

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