MOUNT VERNON — For one half, the football game between Delaware Hayes and Mount Vernon was a close rivalry in every true sense.
Then the third quarter started. Before anyone knew it, Hayes had taken an insurmountable lead.
The Yellow Jackets (0-5, 0-2 OCC) went on to lose to the Ohio Capital Conference rival Pacers, 24-13, despite reducing Hayes’ best offensive threat to simple role-player status.
All week long, Mount Vernon head coach Anthony Naples preached the concept of taking away the Pacers’ biggest weapon, 6-foor-5 wide receiver Matt Bingaya. The Jackets were successful — locking him down in double-coverage throughout much of the game, Bingaya caught just five passes for 64 yards.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, two of them were for touchdowns.
“He had one play (in the first half),” Naples said. “He ran a screen. He doesn’t run that screen, I don’t see him. That one play killed us. You can’t take away 90 percent. You have to do it 100 percent.”
With the secondary working as a tandem — Bingaya saw coverage from Bradley Fenton, Jake Smith, Matt Lybarger and A.J. Smith on consecutive plays — the Pacers were forced to work on the ground. Jordan Crabtree, Andy Upton and Kyle Daniels were ready and held Hayes to just 64 yards rushing in the first half.
Offensively, Mount Vernon’s strategy was simple: Give the ball to Leevi Stump and turn him loose.