MOUNT VERNON — As the band played and the cheerleaders cheered during Wednesday’s pep rally at Mount Vernon High School, there was one inescapable fact.
The Yellow Jackets are 1-6. And they aren’t playing well.
The Jackets have a decent chance at win No. 2 on Friday, when they face a battered Watkins Memorial team at 7:30 p.m. at Yellow Jacket Stadium on Homecoming night.
Mount Vernon had some bright spots against Hilliard Bradley in its 49-14 loss last week. Leevi Stump surpassed 100 yards rushing once again. C.J. Atherton helped out with a 60-plus yard reception.
“We’ve had some big plays. We’re just not putting a whole game together,” said Mount Vernon head coach Anthony Naples. “Our defense was in a position to make some plays, but didn’t. Whereas, our offense was able to make those plays for us by taking some advantage of gaps. We’re just not a total team yet. The guys are working hard at it. We’re trying to work our way into it.”
But for all the bright spots, Mount Vernon had its own collection of problems. The Jackets’ offensive line, which had been getting stronger every week, gave up six sacks. And the defense gave up 422 yards on the ground.
“The offensive line works together every day,” said Naples. “That’s how they like to be known — not as any particular names. They’re satisfied with their progress. They’re jelling as a group, and that’s the way they want to stay.