MOUNT VERNON — It’s been said that most football teams learn the most between the first and second games of a season. Mount Vernon coach Gary Keller is hoping that’s true for his Yellow Jacket squad.
The Yellow Jackets will try to bounce back from a 44-21 loss to Lexington in the opening game when they face Cambridge in their home opener Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“We did some nice things last week in every phase of the game, but we’ve got to do more of those things. By doing that, we’ll be able to control our own destiny. Last week, you look at who beat who and a lot of times we were beating ourselves. We’ve got to eliminate that. We’ve got to try to play hard and play smart. Hopefully, this week we can take a step closer to that,” Keller said. “I told our team that between Week 1 and Week 2 you grow as a football team more than at any other time during the year. Hopefully, our team realizes the importance of practice. What we’re doing this week, how important it is to know their opponent, to see it and get out on the field; and be hungry when you get there.”
Mount Vernon will have one thing going for it when the Bobcats come to town — quarterback Shawn Maxwell is expected to start. The junior signal caller was injured in the final scrimmage, forcing the Jackets to change their offense at the last minute prior to facing the Minutemen.
“In a sense, it’ll be like a new beginning. We’re looking forward to having Shawn in the mix and seeing what kind of effect he’ll have on our team, and see if we can take a big step from being more of a one-dimensional team to being more of a two-dimensional team. Being able to run and pass effectively as an offensive unit. I think if we can do that, it will help us move the football, score more points and just be better off in the long run,” Keller said.
The thing that concerns Keller this week offensively is the defense of the Bobcats. Cambridge runs a 3-3 defense that may send anywhere from one or two guys at the quarterback to all six and maybe more.