Jackets defeat rival Madison
Saturday, September 14th
MANSFIELD — Mount Vernon dominated Mansfield Madison on both sides of the ball on Friday night, and two fourth-quarter scores by the Rams made the final result closer than it really was in the Yellow Jackets 34-21 win.
Mount Vernon (2-1) put itself in control early, with two scores in the first 1:34 of the game. The Jackets received the opening kick, and took the drive to the Madison (1-2) 36-yard line. From there, quarterback Ryan Fitzgerald launched a 36-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Staten, and Perry Studebaker’s kick made it 7-0 in favor of Mount Vernon with 10:31 to play in the quarter.
A turnover quickly gave the ball back to the Jackets. Inside the Rams’ red zone, J.D. Orr got the handoff and ran 14 yards for a score with 9:26 remaining in the period. Mount Vernon now led 14-0.
Madison could do very little against the Jacket defense except punt every fourth down, and Mount Vernon had the ball again just inside the second quarter. Starting at their own 30, the Jackets again gave the ball to Orr, who ripped off a 70-yard TD run to leave the team up, 20-0.
The Rams finally sustained a drive in the period, and Juwan Howard scored on a 24-yard run with 8:15 to play in the half to cut the lead to 20-7.
Mount Vernon’s next scoring drive was one to remember. The Jackets started deep in their own territory, and Orr brought them down to the Madison 11-yard line on a pair of rushes. The first was for nearly 10 yards, but Mount Vernon couldn’t get the next yard on the next two plays. Facing fourth-and-1, Orr broke off a 50-yard run to get the ball into the Rams red zone again. The Jackets reached the 5-yard line in the next three plays, and went for it on fourth down. Fitzgerald rolled out to the left side, then rolled right as time expired, only to find a wide-open Orr in the end zone. The half ended with Mount Vernon ahead, 27-7.
The Jackets had some opportunities in the third quarter, but had some big gains and even touchdowns called back due to penalties. They would score again, however, with 9:51 left in the game, as Fitzgerald ran it in himself for a 6-yard score and a 34-7 lead.
The Rams still trailed by 27 points with less than two minutes to play, and it looked pretty bad for them when Mount Vernon downed a punt at the Madison 3-yard line. The next play, however, saw Howard take from the three all the way to the house, a 97-yard run, and cut the lead to 34-14 with 1:43 left. Howard had another score in him, a 14-yarder with 25 seconds left, which was the Rams last gasp.
Mount Vernon will begin Ohio Capital Conference play on Friday night, returning home to play Franklin Heights at 7 p.m.
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