DELAWARE — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets limped into Delaware Hayes High School minus a quarterback and in desperate need of a win. They left with a huge victory against their arch rival, which could give their entire season a lift.
The Jackets (2-3 overall, 1-1 Ohio Capital Conference) dominated all three phases of the game in their 39-9 drubbing of the Delaware Pacers on Friday night. It was a performance that stunned the Pacers and, quite possibly, Mount Vernon coach Gary Keller.
“I told our kids that this is the most complete game I remember them playing since I’ve been here,” said Keller. “We played good defense. We played very sound offensive football and our special teams were lights-out tonight. I was really pleased with our group. During the season, we saw a part of this thing, but we have never been able to put it together. It’s been frustrating to me and I know our coaching staff has been frustrated, but tonight, we were able to do that.”
Mount Vernon quarterback Jordan Montgomery, subbing for starter Shawn Maxwell, guided the offensive unit in a display of ball control that left the Pacers looking helpless. The Jackets ran the ball for 269 yards.
“That was huge tonight,” said Keller. “We only punted one time for the whole night. Our guys were able to hit the holes, run hard and play ball-control offense. They just did a great job. It surprised me. It was something that I saw in practice. They were working. (Assistant) Coach Jerry Williams did a great job of putting this game plan together. Remember, we’re down a quarterback. We’re searching for identity from the standpoint of being able to throw the football, move the football and he came up with a really good game plan.”
“We knew we could run the option on them,” said Montgomery. “We’ve been really clean with it all year. We knew, if I could read my keys and if Leevi (Stump) and Tyler Lewis and Ethan Abell could get inside and outside, we were going to make things happen tonight.”
Stump (16 rushes, 105 yards) put the Jackets on top with a 21-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Later in the quarter, Montgomery (21 rushes, 97 yards) ran it in from the 20 to make it a 13-0 Jackets advantage.
The Mount Vernon defense only allowed 68 rushing yards and didn’t give up a touchdown all night, playing a stellar game throughout.
It was Montgomery and Stump scoring again in the second. Stump made a leaping catch of a two-point conversion to put the Jackets on top by 29-9 at the half.
“I played quarterback my whole life,” said Montgomery. “The transition was really easy for me. I was confident going into this game and we pulled out team together.”
Stump gave all the credit to his teammates.
“I know that if we didn’t come out together, we wouldn’t have played the way we did,” said Stump. “We talked in the locker room about coming out as a team, making our blocks and reading the right holes. If our O-line didn’t block the way they did, there was no way I was getting anywhere and I really appreciate everything they’ve done.”
Mount Vernon’s special teams kept the Pacers bottled up in their own zone most of the night.
Mount Vernon running back Ethan Abell (seven rushes, 55 yards) took it in from the 19-yard line and then, in the fourth quarter, the offense sputtered deep in Delaware territory. The Pacers got the ball on downs and could go nowhere. When Delaware punted on fourth down, Mount Vernon’s Tyler Lewis got a piece of the ball and it bounced out of the endzone for a safety, putting them in command, 39-3.
Keith Butts gave the Pacers their only touchdown, picking up a fumbled snap to Montgomery and running 45 yards for a touchdown but, with 5:25 left in the game, it was too little, too late.
“This win is big,” said Montgomery. “We’re going to Franklin Heights next week. We can win a couple of games in a row. We have a very winnable schedule ahead of us.”
“For our program right now, we were struggling,” said Keller, “We needed a win. We needed that, whoever that was. We needed a win to get that air back in our sails.”
Time Warner will broadcast this game twice this weekend. It will be shown on Channel 24 today at 11 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m. It is also available anytime on Channel 411.