DELAWARE — The exhilaration from Mount Vernon’s Week 3 win at Mansfield Madison ran into a dose of reality called Olentangy Orange on Friday evening. The Pioneers scored a touchdown in every quarter, and shutout the Yellow Jackets, 35-0.
“We thought we had our kids ready to play,” said Mount Vernon coach Gary Keller. “We try to do best job we can in matching up, but we didn’t execute at all. I credit (Orange) for what they were doing: They beat us both offensively and defensively.”
The Jackets (1-3, 0-1) had two first downs in its first drive, but had to punt the ball away. Orange (4-0, 1-0) started at the 20, and had the ball at its own 47 when Blake Joe took off for a 53-yard touchdown run with 3:34 to play in the quarter for a 7-0 lead. Jacket quarterback Kody Green threw his first interception of the season in the second quarter, and on the next play the Pioneers scored on a 56-yard pass to lead 14-0. A three-and-out followed for Mount Vernon, and Orange came up with a 5-yard TD pass to go up 21-0. The Pioneers could have increased their lead, but missed on a 33-yard field goal attempt with 56 seconds left.
The Jackets stopped Orange’s first drive of the second half, but Green was sacked on a fourth-and-4 play on his own 33 yard line to turn the ball over. The Pioneers responded to the short field with a scoring drive, which ended on a 4-yard quarterback keeper for a 28-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Orange had three straight first downs until a fumble was recovered by Mount Vernon’s Dane Cullen. The Jackets, however, could only go three-and-out on the drive, which set up the Pioneers for their final touchdown on a 33-yard pass play.
The Jackets were hampered with the loss of playmakers Leevi Stump and Jordan Montgomery. “I’m not making excuses, but that hurts,” said Keller. “Our coaching staff has to assess those injuries and try to get players that can go into those spots and do a good job. We have to regroup next week and get our kids to play harder.”
Mount Vernon will return home Friday after three weeks of away games. The Jackets will face Delaware Hayes (2-2) beginning at 7:30 p.m.