MOUNT VERNON — The inaugural game of the Mount Vernon Militia didn’t finish the way the team wanted.
But there was reason to hope.
The Militia clawed back against the Akron Chargers at home on Saturday, only to fall, 14-6, in Week 1 of the 2012 Northern Frontier Football League season.
A crowd estimated at around 150 to 200 people gathered at the field along Fountain Street through the heat and a passing shower to watch the Militia, a new semi-pro football team.
What the crowd saw was a team coming together as the game wore on.
Akron scored a quick touchdown when Bill BuCher scored on a quarterback keeper. The score remained 6-0 for much of the game, until Akron added to it with a touchdown run by Eric Knox midway through the fourth quarter.
Mount Vernon’s lone score came on the ensuing kickoff, when Brendan Jefferson took the ball on a roll and burst through the middle, scoring virtually untouched.
Speed is something that Mount Vernon will have on its side. Jefferson and Matt Davis provide some quickness from the wide receiver position.
“They see my length, and they don’t realize I have a little speed behind me,” said Davis. “I have to keep them on their heels.”
Statistics from the game were not available as of press time.
Mount Vernon head coach Lee Dugas used an offensive scheme that kept Jefferson and Davis compacted near the line. He orchestrated a run-oriented offense with trap blocking designed to poke holes in the defensive line.
“I was hoping to stay with the double-wing — a condensed, tight running offense,” said Dugas. “I think I’m going to have to open it up a little more and get it on the outside.”
“I think our biggest problem was conditioning. You get that with part-time players.”
The effort was good from the Militia, considering the team didn’t play any scrimmages before Saturday.
“There’s a lot of things we could have done better,” said lineman Josh Johnson. “But, for playing against the air for two months, I think we did OK.”
“The line blocked strong,” said Davis. “It was good for a first scrimmage. We just gassed out a little and let them get the best of us.”
“I had no idea what I was going to see,” said Dugas. “I didn’t sleep all night. I had butterflies. I thought, ‘Are we going to get mopped, 70-0? Are we going to be in the game?’ I didn’t know what to expect. But I was impressed by what I saw. If the competition doesn’t get any better, then we’re in this thing.”