By Paul Hines
Mt. Vernon's football team needed one final stop in the last minute against Althoff on Friday night.
Linebacker Jacob Williamson provided just what the Rams needed. Althoff quarterback Eric Mertens dropped back for a pass and fired a throw over the middle. Jacobee Marshall tipped the ball, and Williamson was waiting and picked the pass with 47 seconds left.
The interception helped the Rams to a 41-32 win over the Crusaders.
“I could not be more proud,” Mt Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. “I think that it was huge that we got a road conference win, and that we came back like we did. We've got to use this and draw on it.”
Demontez Miller-Gray put a highlight punctuation on the victory with a 38-yard touchdown run two plays at the interception. Miller-Gray ended the night with 192 yards on the ground to lead the rushing attack and three touchdown runs. All three scores came in the final quarter as the Rams rallied.
“He did a nice job,” Shaner said. “Their defense was really good for most of the game tonight. We got loose on a couple of them, but their defense is really good.”
The Rams entered the final quarter down 25-21. Althoff added another score early in the fourth to seize a 32-21 edge.
The Rams responded to score the final three touchdowns of the game.
The two teams engaged in an offensive shootout in the opening half. Mt Vernon and Althoff both scored on six straight possessions to start the game
Mt. Vernon went away from its dominating run game early and hurt the Crusaders through the air. Quarterback Dylan Reeves started the game with 10 straight completions. He divided the strikes between Doug Gardner and Jacobee Marshall. Reeves finished the game with 172 yards in the air and two touchdowns. Marshall and Gardner both caught a touchdown each. Marshall led the duo with 95 yards receiving.
Althoff also attacked through the air in the opening half of action behind the strong arm of Mertens. He finished the game with 221 yards passing and hurled a trio of touchdowns.
Mt. Vernon improved to 3-1 with the win. It's the Rams best start to a season since 2006 when Mt. Vernon opened 3-0. Althoff dropped to 1-3. Mt. Vernon hosts Marion on Friday.