MT. VERNON —
Mt Vernon's football team exhibited a bit of offensive diversity in its win against Althoff on Friday night.
The Crusaders bottled up the line of scrimmage early, trying to take away the Rams dominating run game. Mt. Vernon normally uses fullback Graham Henken to hammer out running space up the middle. Henken didn't touch the ball in the first half.
With Althoff trying to clog up the middle, the Rams attacked in the air.
“That's not ideally what we want to do,” Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner said. “Again credit Althoff's defense, their front seven was aggressive and physical more than I had seen on film, I think. When you do that you choose to leave other things more vulnerable.”
Quarterback Dylan Reeves attempted 13 passes in the opening half and completed 10 straight to start the game. The junior quarterback divided his strikes to senior wide outs Jacobee Marshall and Doug Gardner. He also hit both for a touchdown in the opening half.
“Doug and Jacobee both had several catches in the first half, just simple little hitch routes and maybe one or two a little bit deeper ones,” Shaner said. “We felt like we took what they were giving us.”
Reeves connected with Marshall from 24 yards out to put the Rams up 15-12 on the opening play of the second quarter. He found Gardner from 11 yards away later in the quarter to give the Rams a 21-19 edge at halftime.
The second half saw more of the vintage Rams running game under Shaner.
Henken pounded away for eight carries and 28 yards in the second half. Demontez Miller-Gray also saw a bulk of his attempts in the second half. He ended the game with scoring runs of 63, 5 and 38 yards to help the Rams rally for the win.
“He's got a little speed, a little power, a little vision and used them all tonight,” Shaner said.
Notes: Marshall's contributions to the win weren't just limited to the offensive end. He also tipped Eric Mertens' pass with less than a minute remaining. Jacob Williamson grabbed the interception to seal the victory.....Mt. Vernon is off to its best football start since 2006.....The Rams 123 total points is third most among South Seven Conference teams through four weeks of the season. Carbondale leads the conference with 146.