MT. VERNON —
Mt. Vernon's football is entering week six of the season after a difficult loss to Marion on Friday night.
The Wildcats rallied late for a game-tying touchdown against the Rams, and then won the game in overtime.
The Marion matchup marked the season's midpoint, and Mt. Vernon enters the second half of the season in the middle of the playoff race. The Rams haven't played in the postseason since 2008 when they finished 5-5 overall.
Mt. Vernon will get several strong tests over the final four weeks of action. The four remaining teams on the Rams schedule have a combined 14-6 record so far this season. Three of the games against Carbondale (4-1), Cahokia (1-4) and Centralia (4-1) finish Mt. Vernon's South Seven Conference opponents.
Mt. Vernon's final opponent is Mt. Carmel (5-0).
The Rams jumped out to a 14-0 lead against Marion on Friday night.
Mt. Vernon's defense looked dominating early in the game, forcing a punt and fumble to start the game.
Marion made a switch at quarterback to start the second quarter. Brant Hill entered and immediately put pressure on the Rams defense. His second pass attempt went for 59 yards and got the Wildcats out of a third and long situation. A play later Marion was celebrating a score.
Hill finished the game with 176 passing yards and ran for 40 more.
South 7 toss up
It's anybody’s guess who's going to emerge out of the jumbled South Seven Conference race this season.
Every team sits at 1-1 this season as squads prepare for their third conference matchup.
Mt. Vernon traveled to Althoff in the South Seven opener and rallied past the Crusaders. This week Althoff punished Centralia 58-7. It was the Orphans first defeat of the season.
Carbondale won its conference clash with Cahokia.
The Rams offensive unit continues to shred through defenses.
Mt. Vernon hit the 40-point mark for the third straight week. They did need an overtime session to do it this past week, but the Rams remain among the conference leaders in points scored with 165.
Only Carbondale (174) and Marion (170) lead Mt. Vernon in the category.
Paul Hines is the sports editor at the Register-News.