Mt’neers KO Springfield Catholic, 36-30

By Rodger Wheeler

Team comes from behind during the 4th to take seventh victory of the season
In what was no doubt a nail-biter for many on both sides, the Mt. Vernon Mt’neers, ranked sixth in state, defeated the Springfield Catholic Fighting Irish, eighth in state, at Swisshelm Field on the Springfield Catholic Campus in Springfield on Friday, Oct. 12. With their latest victory, the Mt’neers now have seven wins for the season, to only one loss.
The Fighting Irish drew first blood in the first quarter with a touchdown, followed by a successful PAT, to take an early lead, 7-0. However, the Mt’neers answered back when Will Boswell ran 59 yards to put the ball on Catholic’s 20-yard line. A defensive face mask penalty moved the ball to the 16-yard line. Two plays later, Mt’neer Zach Jones completed a pass to Cale Miller at the 10-yard line; Miller then ran the ball into the end zone to make a touchdown, putting the Mt’neers on the board, 7-6. An attempt at a two-point conversion fell short, leaving the Irish ahead by one point.
In the second quarter, Catholic made a field goal, extending their lead, 10-6. However, the Mt’neers scored their own touchdown near the end of the half in a very dramatic fashion. Jones completed a short pass to Carson Bowman, who ran 69 yards to put the ball on Catholic’s seven-yard line. The Mt’neers managed to advance to the four-yard line, only to turn the ball over after Springfield Catholic held on downs.
However, the Mt’neers regained possession after Mt. Vernon’s Darwyn Thompson recovered a fumble. Back on offense, Jones completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bowman, seizing the lead, 12-10. An attempt at a two-point conversion was broken up. Catholic tried to retake the lead with a field goal in the last 10 seconds of the half, but their attempt went wide.
Catholic came close to retaking the lead in third quarter after an attempt by the Mt’neers to punt on downs left the ball deep in their territory. The Irish advanced to their two-yard line, but the Mt’neers defense held on downs and forced a turnover, putting the ball back in the Mt’neers possession.
On the third play of their offensive drive, Jones passed the ball to Kelly Vaughn, who carried the ball to the 49-yard line, gaining 33 yards for the Mt’neers. Boswell then carried the ball to the Irish 40-yard line, and on the next play, carried it another 12 yards to the 28-yard line. Jones then completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Rafe Darter. A successful PAT followed when Jones completed a touchdown pass to Jagen Prescott to strengthen the Mt’neers lead, 20-10.
However, Springfield Catholic wasn’t done yet. Early in the fourth quarter, they made a touchdown, followed up with a PAT, to narrow the lead, 20-17. Catholic then forced the Mt’neers to punt on downs during the next drive; they went on to make another touchdown and regain the lead, 23-20. An attempt at a PAT failed.
Catholic intercepted the ball during the Mt’neers next offensive drive and went on to score their third touchdown of the quarter. A successful PAT followed, extending Catholic’s lead, 30-20.
The Mt’neers managed to turn the tables, however, on their next drive. Jones completed a pass to Vaughn, who caught it at the Mt’neer 35-yard line and advanced it to the 38. Several plays later, Jones handed the ball off to Boswell, who carried the ball into the end zone. A successful two-point conversion followed when Jones completed a pass to Miller, bringing the Mt’neers and Catholic within two points of each other at 30-28.
The Mt’neers scored again on the next drive when Mt’neer Justin Moore recovered a fumble, putting the team in possession at Springfield Catholic’s 31-yard line. This led to an eight-yard touchdown pass to Vaughn, giving the Mt’neers their fifth touchdown of the evening, putting the Mt’neers back in the lead. Jones then completed a pass to Miller for a two-point conversion. The Mt’neers continued to hold Springfield Catholic at bay for the remainder of the game, which ended a Mt’neer victory, 36-30.
Mt. Vernon head coach Tom Cox described the game as a contest between “two great teams.” However, he said the Mt’neers desire to win tipped the scales in their favor.
“I think our guys were really well prepared,” he said. “They really wanted this. This was an opportunity for us, a great opportunity for us to get this first conference championship in there, to play for that. From the beginning of the week, we had such spirited practices that they really prepared well, and they came in, and they were just not going to be denied tonight.”
The Mt’neers return to Mt’neer stadium on Friday, Oct. 19, to play the Hollister Tigers in the last regular game of the season.


Lawrence County Record

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


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