Mt’neers rout Wolves 45-13, earn spot in district championship game

Steve Chapman

 Braden Dodson runs the ball down the field.

Dragging a member of the Wolves’ defense into the end zone with him, Brody Thompson makes a touchdown. (Photos by Steve Chapman)

Mt. Vernon advances to district finals against undefeated Seneca this Friday

The Mt. Vernon Mt’neers defeated the Reeds Spring Wolves a second time during a rematch between the teams at Mt’neer Stadium on Friday, Nov. 3. The district playoff win was the second time the Mt’neers defeated the Wolves within two weeks.
The Mt’neers were first on the board about midway through the first quarter. Jarrett Zerby intercepted the ball from the Wolves with a “one-handed grab,” putting the Mt’neers on offense. Three plays later, Gavin Johnston completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Zerby. Landon Popa followed up with a successful PAT to make the score 7-0.
Reeds Spring evened the score with their own touchdown and PAT early in second quarter, but the Mt’neers pulled ahead again when Johnston completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Zerby, once again followed by a successful PAT by Popa to make the score 14-7.
With about a minute left on the clock in the first half, Popa increased the Mt’neers lead with a 29-yard field goal.
With just 17 seconds left on the play clock, Johnston completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Zerby. Popa made another successful PAT, and the half ended with a score of 24-7, Mt’neers leading.
In the third quarter, the Mt’neers scored again when Johnston completed a five-yard touchdown pass to Zerby to cap off their offensive drive. Popa delivered another successful PAT, to make the score 31-7.
About midway through the quarter, Ryder Dampf intercepted the ball from the Wolves to put the Mt’neers on offense. The Mt’neers then gained another touchdown when Johnston completed a 20-yard pass to Braxton Horton. Popa followed up again with a successful PAT to make the score 38-7.
Near the end of the quarter, Reeds Spring made a touchdown, but an attempt at a two-point conversion was unsuccessful, making the score 37-13 at the end of the third quarter.
Near the end of fourth quarter, the Mt’neers scored their final touchdown when Johnston completed a 27-yard touchdown pass to Brody Thompson. Popa followed up once more for a successful PAT, and the game ended a Mt’neer victory, 45-13.
Tom Cox, the Mt’neers head coach, said he was “super proud” of how his team played.
“It was a great team effort,” he said. “We played well in all three phases of the game, offense, defense and special teams. Plus, our players on the sideline brought excellent energy throughout the entire game. It is surprising how much the players on the field draw from our bench’s enthusiasm. Our quarterback, Gavin Johnston, had an outstanding game making the right reads and throws to the open receivers. He threw six touchdown passes, three to Jarrett Zerby in the first half alone. Ryder Dampf, Braxton Horton and Brody Thompson each added a touchdown reception. Braden Dodson rushed for 144 yards to bring his season total to 1,691 yards. He has scored 23 touchdowns.”
Cox also enthusiastically praised his assistant coaches.
“Reeds Spring has a tremendous offense, especially through the air,” he said. “Coaches Chris Johnston, Kaleb Cason and Jeremy Braun did a great job of preparing our guys to hold the Wolves to only 13 points. Coach Cason also had our Mountaineers prepared for some very unorthodox formations and procedures from the visitors. It wasn’t perfect, but it was an awesome win. It’s so difficult to beat a team twice in the same year, let alone, in two weeks.”
With the win against Reeds Spring, the Mt’neers will travel to Seneca this Friday, where they will face the unbeaten Indians. Will the Indians continue their unbroken winning streak? Or will the Mt’neers serve them up their first and last defeat of the season? The matter will be settled on Tom Hodge Field. Cox said the team will need all the support the fans can muster if they’re going to beat Seneca.
“The Seneca Indians are always a formidable opponent, but they are especially tough this year with 10 wins and 0 losses,” he said. “It will be a great atmosphere with two quality football teams going head to head. It’s a big challenge for us, but one we are looking forward to. Sure hope we have lots of Mountaineer fans make the trip to Seneca for Friday night’s 7 p.m. kickoff. Bleed Green!”


Lawrence County Record

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


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