By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON — One of the keys to success on the football field involves clock-consuming drives that end in touchdowns.
Mt. Vernon mastered that technique in its week three win over Triad. Rams coach Jared Shaner said the possession-based style of offense is a critical part of his football philosophy. The coach added one of the reasons he uses it is the frustration it can create for opponents.
“There's nothing more frustrating than standing on the sideline, when your defense is on the field, and having a helpless feeling about they've had the ball for eight plays, 10 plays, 12 plays,” Shaner said.
From the start of Friday's 48-21 win over Triad, the Rams established a dominance on offense. It included moving the ball on the ground and churning up the clock, keeping the possession out of the hands of Triad's quarterback Jason Barbour.
Mt. Vernon opened the game with four touchdown consecutive touchdown drives in the first half to open up a 28-14 halftime lead. The drives saw the Rams hold the ball for 19 of the opening 24 minutes of the game. Three of the drives took four minutes, and one ate seven minutes off the clock. Each ended with a score.
Shaner said the approach hasn't even been as deliberate as his first two seasons when the team would wait at the line of scrimmage for the clock to tick down to the last few seconds before snapping the ball.
“It's part of our style and philosophy, but it hasn't quite as intentional as even what it could,” Shaner said.
Mt. Vernon quarterback Dylan Reeves gave the Rams a 13-0 lead in the opening quarter. He capped a pair of four-minute drives with short runs into the end zone.
Despite not having much possession, Triad was able to stay in the game with a pair of quick strikes. The Knights pulled to within 21-14 after a long touchdown run from Sam Lawson late in the second quarter.
The big possession disadvantage led to Triad running just 14 plays of offense in the opening two quarters. The trend continued in the second half as the Rams took its opening drive and held the ball for six minutes. Again, it ended in a score.
After a pair of defensive stops, the Rams put the game away with a pair of touchdown drives.