Mt’neers fall to Eagles, 47-0, ending challenging season for local boys

A host of Mt’neers bring down the Eagle ball carrier. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

Despite poor record, future bright for Mt. Vernon football team as underclassmen carry the load
The Mt. Vernon Mt’neers were defeated by the undefeated Fair Grove Eagles during the District 4 semifinals at Fair Grove High School Friday, Nov. 5. The game marked the end of the 2021 season for the team.
Fair Grove got on the board in first quarter with two touchdowns, but their follow up attempts failed. An attempt at a PAT after the first touchdown was unsuccessful, and an attempt at a two-point conversion after the second was blocked by the Mt’neers.
The Eagles made two more touchdowns in second quarter; the Mt’neers again blocked their attempt at a two-point conversion after the first touchdown, but the Eagles successfully completed a two-point conversion after the second touchdown, ending the first half with a score of 26-0.
The Eagles made two more touchdowns in the third quarter and another in fourth quarter; all three were followed up with successful PATs, and the game ended with a score of 47-0.

Disappointed in season, proud of team
Mt. Vernon head coach Tom Cox said he held himself responsible for how the season turned out.
“It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season,” he said. “I'm mostly disappointed in myself that I did not find a way to help this team be more successful in the win-loss column. We have high standards here at Mt. Vernon and we try to prepare all of our players to be ready to step in when called upon.”
However, Cox expressed great pride in the Mt’neers themselves, stating that given how young the team was, they played very well against a very experienced opponent.
“I am proud of how hard our guys practiced and played all year,” he said. “We fielded what may be the youngest team ever in the history of Mountaineer football. Against Fair Grove, we started one senior, three juniors, five sophomores and two freshmen. If Braden Dodson had been healthy, we would have started another freshman and several others saw considerable action. On the flip side, Fair Grove started 10 seniors and one junior on offense and nine seniors and two juniors on defense. The difference in the physical and mental maturity between seniors and freshmen and sophomores is huge. It takes a lot of courage to play this game and we never backed down from anyone.”  

Future looks much brighter
Cox said he expects that when the team returns next year, they’ll see a lot more success, but in the meantime, there’s a lot of work ahead.
“We learned a great deal and gained a ton of experience this year, but we must continue to improve our football skills, speed, strength and size in the off-season,” he said. “The future looks bright on paper, but we must get our guys in the weight room during the winter, spring and summer if we are to return to elite status. I'm energized and can't wait to get started.”

Cox thanks the Mt’neers supporters
Cox also thanked the team’s many supporters who, from the sidelines and behind the scenes, contributed to the Friday night experience Mt’neer fans have come to love.
“We had so many people support our players and coaches this year,” he said. “Anna Dawson headed up our Saturday morning breakfasts, Ammie Rinker organized our post game meals and Brandy Jameson and Rachel Zerby planned our pregame meals at the Mt. Vernon Church of Christ. David Moore handled our pregame music at home games. Mark Schnelten headed up the blow-up helmet and tunnel. And the Mt. Vernon Fire Department! Many others served, donated and helped in countless ways.  On behalf of our team, I want to say a huge ‘Thank You’ to them and everyone who came out to Mountaineer Stadium and followed us on the road. You’re the best.”


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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