By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
The Rams football team will try to avoid a winless season with a victory at Mt. Carmel tonight.
The matchup is the final regular season game for Mt. Vernon, and the team’s defense will face a balanced Mt. Carmel offensive attack. The Golden Aces (5-3) average more than 200 yards rushing and passing this season. That balance has produced 35 points a game.
“They’ve kind of changed a few things that they do this season,” Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. “They have a quarterback who is really pretty talented. So they definitely throw the ball more than they used to.”
Quarterback Reece Metcalf spearheads the Golden Aces’ attack. He’s thrown for 1,626 yards this season and 15 touchdowns. The 6-3 Metcalf is also the team’s leading rushing with 519 yards and 10 scores.
“He’s a good-sized kid, throws the ball really well, and then can pull it down and run it too,” Shaner said. “They still run some option stuff, and he’s a threat to take off and run.”
Another key rusher and option for the Golden Aces is Sam Wampler who has 425 yards on 65 carries. Levi Laws is Metcalf’s primary target and has caught 26 receptions for 570 yards.
With tonight’s game the only thing standing between the Rams and the offseason, Shaner said his message to the team is finish strong.
“The unfortunate part is that we haven’t been winning games, but we’re playing better,” he said. “Our kids are competing and playing hard, and they’ve done that well for the last four weeks or so. We don’t want to leave the end of the season with feeling we didn’t come out and compete in the last game.”
Mt. Carmel while being located in Illinois plays in an Indiana conference with just three games this season against Illinois schools prior to the playoffs.
Tonight’s game starts at 7 p.m.