BY PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
Orange and black once again splashed across J.D. Shields Memorial Stadium Friday night.
The evening marked the annual Meet the Rams night when each Mt. Vernon football player is introduced to the fans.
Mt. Vernon coach Jared Shaner thanked the crowd for their attendance at the event and introduced each player culminating with this season's seniors. The crowd nearly filled the home side of the stands to cheer and show support for the Rams.
“I was really happy with our family and fans that came out tonight,” Shaner said. “You never know on a night like this who's going to come out. We have a great community.”
The freshman and sophomores scrimmaged on the south side of the field while the varsity scrimmaged on the north end. The offense started 30 yards from the end zone on each drive.
Both the offense and defense had their own highlight moments. Starting quarterback Dylan Reeves hit Doug Gardner for a touchdown pass. A few plays later Bryton Steele hopped on a fumble.
“I thought at times our defense was really aggressive to the ball,” Shaner said. “They had four, five, six guys on the ball, and then other times our offense got the best of them whether we got on the edge or broke some runs up the middle.”
Later in the scrimmage the Rams practiced goal-line situations. Reeves flipped a touchdown pass a few yards to Derek Waithe. In another goal-line play safety Gardner stuffed a Mt. Vernon rusher short of the end zone.
Sophomore Reed Millwood saw several plays at quarterback and hit Demontez Miller-Gray for a score.
“Both the quarterbacks that came in made good choices with the football,” Shaner said. “(They) threw to guys when they were open, took off and ran it when they needed to.”
Reeves, Drew Hester and Graham Henken all had runs of more than 10 yards or more in the scrimmage.
“I felt like all (the running back) ran hard and did some good things for us,” Shaner said.
Mt. Vernon opens the season at 7 p.m. Friday night at Rochester.