By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
The Rams football team used a late defensive stop to knock off Carbondale 21-13 on Friday night.
"It feels good," Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. "Especially to come out in the second half and play like we did."
Drew Hester put the Rams up 21-13 with a four-yard diving touchdown run with 2:47 left in the game.
The Rams needed one last stop to top the Terriers.
They got it.
After moving the ball in big chunks, Carbondale quarterback Justin Hoffman scrambled out of the pocket and appear headed for another big game. But he fumbled the ball. Mt. Vernon's Trevor Schubert pounced on the loose ball.
Mt. Vernon ran out the rest of the clock for the win.
The game was a defensive struggle early on. Both offenses battled for control trading punts. Carbondale took a 7-0 lead into halftime.
Mt. Vernon answered in the third quarter with a pair of scores on runs from Drew Hester and Dylan Reeves to go up 14-7.
"Momentum's a weird thing," Shaner said. "You can't see it, but you sure know who has it. You can't feel it, but in the third quarter he just got it."
Carbondale scored with 7:54 left in the game to set the stage and battle for the victory late in the matchup.
Demontez Miller-Gray led the Rams with 106 yards on the ground. Hester added 92 and two scores. Reeves finished with 81 yards rushing.
The Rams defensive line was able to pressure Hoffman at times throughout the game. The Rams finished with three sacks. Robert Grider and Drew Hester got to Hoffman in the first half.
Hester was able to sack Hoffman again in the second half to hamper the Terriers offense.
Reeves finished the game two of nine for 13 yards.
Mt. Vernon improved to 4-2 overall this season and are 2-1 in the South Seven Conference. The Rams travel to Cahokia on Friday.