MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets were down, but not out.
Despite blowing an early 14-0 lead, Mount Vernon came back late in the fourth when Greg Briggs threw a pinpoint pass to Clay Curts in the endzone from 16 yards out to defeat Cambridge, 27-24, in Friday’s home opener.
The win propelled Mount Vernon to 2-0, matching last year’s win total.
Friday’s game was highlighted by big plays, from a 68-yard touchdown run by Cambridge’s Dillon Sunnafrank to a punt block by Mount Vernon’s Brandon Porter.
A star was born on Friday in the form of J.D. Orr. The Yellow Jacket sophomore was the workhorse on offense, gaining 144 yards on the ground on 28 carries. He also caught two passes, including a key 5-yard gain on a screen on third down.
“As the game wore on, (Orr) got better,” said Mount Vernon head coach Anthony Naples. “I think he understands what he needs to do.”
“I was seeing great team blocking,” said Orr. “Everyone was working hard out there. ... It means so much. When I have linemen working their tails off for me, I feel like I have to work as hard as I can.”
The offensive line was a big reason — literally — for the team’s success. Throughout the game, Brian Johnson, Chase Gallagher, Austin Pagani, Jake Gastin and Alex Curts held their blocks. On blitzes, Jordan Crabtree and Nick Rummel picked up the blitzing linebackers, and Briggs scrambled to buy time.
Briggs went 10-for-22 passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns. He hit his receivers when he needed to, especially the wideouts, which were able to get open on one-on-one coverage against the Cambridge cornerbacks.