Mt'neers take Bell Bowl

Steve Chapman

Mt'neer football seniors pose with the Bell Bowl trophy after their victory over the Aurora Houn Dawgs, Sept. 9

The Mt’neers scored a double victory at Kelly Field in Aurora on Friday, Sept. 9. The team not only won their third straight game for the 2022 season, they also took back the Poss Jackson Bell Bowl trophy from their rivals, the Aurora Houn’ Dawgs.
The Mt’neers drew first blood early in the game on their initial offensive drive, when Alex Watts made a 51-yard run into the Houn’ Dawgs end zone, giving the team its first touchdown of the evening. Malachi Hennum followed up with a successful PAT to make the score 7-0.
The Houn’ Dawgs struck back later in the quarter, however, when they scored their own touchdown and PAT, bringing the score to 7-all.
Despite hard playing on both sides, the score remained a tie until the very end of second quarter. With the Mt’neers on a fourth down at the Houn’ Dawgs two-yard line and only three seconds left on the play clock, Braden Dodson plunged into the end zone to score the Mt’neers’ second touchdown of the evening. Hennum followed up with another PAT to make the score 14-7 at the end of the half.
About midway through third quarter, it appeared that the Houn’ Dawgs would get their second touchdown of the night, but the Mt’neers held the Houns’ at the edge of their end zone and retook possession of the ball at the one-yard line. From there, Mt. Vernon’s Gavin Johnston completed a pass to Clayton Turner, who ran the ball 90 yards to put it on the Houn’ Dawgs 10-yard line. The Mt’neers were pushed back to the 28-yard line, but on the fourth down, Hennum capped off the drive with a field goal, widening the gap on the scoreboard to 17-7.
The Mt’neers scored one last time early in fourth quarter after the defense recovered the ball from Aurora on a fumble, putting the team on offense at Aurora’s 11-yard line. From there, Dodson ran the ball into the end zone to give the team their last touchdown of the evening. Hennum again followed up with a successful PAT, making the final score 24-7.
Mt. Vernon head coach Tom Cox was understandably happy with the team’s offensive game.
“We got off to a rocky start, but we showed excellent perseverance to come away with the 24-7 win over the Houn' Dawgs,” he said. “We regained our composure and just kept playing. Early in the contest, we were a little too focused on what Aurora was doing instead of concentrating on what we were supposed to be doing. The touchdown by Braden Dodson on the final play of the first half was huge. Our offensive unit executed that play perfectly; it took all 11 guys working together on that one.”
Cox also had plenty of good things to say about the team’s defense.
“Coach Johnston made some adjustments on the defensive side of the ball and the players responded,” he said. “To hold Aurora to seven points in the first half and to completely shut them out in the second was awesome.” Dodson led the team in tackles with 12. He also had a quarterback sack and a caused fumble. Cody Downing had 11 tackles, and Jarrett Zerby added six tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. Layton Pendleton also had an interception, and Danny Fields added a fumble recovery to complete the four-takeaway night for our defense.
Cox also recapped some of the individual players stats.
“Alex Watts had 75 yards rushing on eight carries, including a 51-yard touchdown,” he said. “Braden Dodson added 51 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Gavin Johnston was 13 for 27 passing for 205 yards. Clayton Turner had a monster game receiving with six catches for 149 yards. We ended the night with 336 total yards to Aurora's 226.”
Regarding their opponent, Cox said he believed the Houn’ Dawgs will become more formidable as the season progresses.
“It was another good win for us against an Aurora team that had size and speed,” he said. “I'm glad we played them early in the schedule because they played extremely hard and are getting better every week. Coach Pitts is doing a good job with them; they are learning a completely new system and it's going to take some time to put it all together.”
This Friday, the Mt’neers return to Mt’neer Stadium, where they will face the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats. Cox said the team is working hard to get ready for them.
“I'm proud of our guys' effort and the commitment they've shown to keep improving,” he said. “We enjoyed the victory Friday night and over the weekend, but Monday brings a new week, a new opponent and a new focus on the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats. Let's go!”  


Lawrence County Record

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


Please Login for Premium Content