MOUNT VERNON — Last Friday, the Mount Vernon football team passed its biggest test of the season. This week, the test gets even harder.
The Yellow Jackets head to Watkins Memorial to face the Warriors in a key Ohio Capital Conference matchup for the Jackets.
“I think we’ve got our hands full again,” said Mount Vernon coach Gary Keller. “Watkins is a much improved football team from a year ago. They remind me a lot of ourselves with how they play.”
The Warriors (4-3 overall, 1-3 OCC) bring a strong running game to the table, led by sophomore sensation Brenden Kemp. The 5-foot-9 running back has rushed for 561 yards and 12 touchdowns on the year.
Watkins can also pound it at the defense with 6-foot, 215-pound senior Bryce Phillips. He has bruised his way to 484 yards and six TDs, but can also break the long one, as one of his TDs was an 86-yard jaunt.
They also have a two-way threat at quarterback with 5-10 senior Devonte Marable. He has rushed for 396 yards and three touchdowns, while passing for 460 yards and five scores. Marable is also a threat on special teams as he returned a kickoff 98 yards for a score against Big Walnut.
“First of all, we have to play good defense. They run the ball well and are a pretty sound football team,” Keller said. “They have several people that are pretty good football players. Their quarterback, running back and fullback are all excellent.”
Defense has been the cornerstone in the Jackets’ resurgence this year. They have forced 10 turnovers in the team’s three-game win streak.
Last week was the big one for the Jackets (4-3, 3-1) as they forced three fumbles, including a key one as Hilliard Bradley was closing in on a score, and intercepted two passes, including one at the end to clinch the victory. Junior safety Bradley Fenton was involved in both those big plays, forcing the fumble as the Jaguars had moved inside the Jacket 20, and then picking off the pass to seal the victory.