Mt'neers cage Tigers on homecoming night

Steve Chapman

Alex Watts and Jarrett Zerby knock the Tiger ballcarrier out of bounds at the one-yard line, denying the Tigers a touchdown.

Jarrett Zerby prepares to receive a pass from Gavin Johnston. Despite the ball initially bouncing out of his hands, Zerby successfully caught it.

Layton Pendleton takes the ball into the end zone to give the Mt’neers a touchdown.

Homecoming was extra special at Mt. Vernon High School this year, thanks to a stunning victory by the Mt. Vernon Mt’neers over the Hollister Tigers at Mountaineer Stadium on Friday, Oct. 7. The Mt’neers defeated the Tigers by 30 points to rack up their fifth win of the season.
The team drew first blood early in the quarter when they forced a turnover on downs and went on an offensive drive, capped off by a three-yard plunge made by Braden Dodson. Malachi Hennum followed up with a successful PAT to make the score 7-0. Later in the quarter, the Mt’neers increased the lead by another three points when Hennum successfully bagged a 30-yard field goal, making the score 10-0 at the end of the first.
The Mt’neers scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter. About midway through the quarter, Mt. Vernon quarterback Gavin Johnston completed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Layton Pendleton. Later in the quarter, the Mt’neers went on an offensive drive, which ended with Dodson making a one-yard touchdown run. Hennum followed up both touchdowns with successful PATs to bring the score to 24-0 at the end of the half.
Going into third quarter, the Mt’neers continued their offensive blitz. After receiving the kickoff, the Mt’neers went straight for the Tigers’ end zone; Dodson finished the drive with a two-yard plunge. Hennum again followed up with a PAT to make the score 31-0. Hennum made two more field goals during the quarter; one from 42 yards out and the other from 32 yards, to put the score at 37-0 at the end of the third.
The Tigers made their own touchdown at the end of the game, bringing the final score to 37-7.
Mt. Vernon head coach Tom Cox said he was very proud of how the team played.
"I thought we played our best overall football of the year against Hollister," he said. "After getting destroyed by them last year, it was very satisfying to dominate them in all three phases of the game. Our guys brought energy on every play, (and) we did a good job of keeping them on their heels by mixing up our power running game with our passing game. Once again, we did a good job of staying ahead of the chains by committing very few penalties and very few negative yardage plays; the one exception was our fourth and 23-yards-to-go play that resulted in a 25-yard touchdown pass to Layton Pendleton from Gavin Johnston. The protection was great, the route was great, and the throw was right on the money. Other big factors in our victory were not turning the ball over and our defense playing lights out. I'm disappointed we didn't get the shutout, (but) our young guys will have a greater sense of urgency and tackle better in those late game situations in the future." 
Coach Cox said he was also pleased with the evening's homecoming celebration.
"All in all, it was a great night to celebrate homecoming at Mountaineer Stadium," he said. "The crowd was loud, our band was awesome, and our Cheer Squad and the Coquettes rocked! Congratulations to Vicky Moore on being crowned queen, and it was so much fun seeing all of our Mighty Mite players in their jerseys get recognized at halftime. It's a great day to be a Mountaineer!"   
This Friday, the Mt’neers travel to Marshfield High School, where they will face the Bluejays.


Lawrence County Record

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


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