MT. VERNON — The Rams defense will have the task of trying to contain another dual threat quarterback when Marion comes to town Friday night.
Brant Hill possesses the capability of hurting opponents with his legs or his arm through the air.
“We watched the Harrisburg game,” Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. “He can run and throw.”
Shaner compared Hill's running style to Triad quarterback Jason Barbour. Mt. Vernon faced the Knights in its only home game of the season so far. Barbour was a consistent and menacing threat in the game. He finished 97 yards on 20 carries.
“What I keep seeing from (Hill) on film is you feel like it's a run where you did pretty good (defensively), and you thought it was a two or three yard gain and all of a sudden he has six,” Shaner said. “Or you thought, 'Hey we probably should have tackled him at six yards' and all of a sudden he has 11. You never seem to get a good shot on him.”
Hill and the Wildcats operate a spread-style of offense. It will be the fourth time in five weeks of action the Rams defense has faced this type of offense. Hill moves the ball around to several different receivers within the passing attack.
“There's not one guy that I think is going to catch 15 balls on you and completely dominate the game, but they'll also spread it out and throw to four or five different kids, which makes you defense obviously the whole field and you can't focus on one kid,” Shaner said.
Marion's football program has been one of the most consistent in Southern Illinois over the past decade. The Wildcats have made eight straight playoff appearances under the leadership of coach Kerry Martin. During that same span, the Wildcats have won at least seven games each season.