MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets (2-4, 0-3 OCC), still looking for their first Ohio Cardinal Conference win of the season, will host the Wooster Generals (4-2, 3-0 OCC) at Yellow Jacket Stadium, this Friday. That appears to be a tall order, considering that the Generals are perhaps the best team in the OCC. A win would snap a three-game skid for the Jackets, but the Generals have a lot of heavy artillery at their command.
“They seem to be the best team in the league, right now,” Mount Vernon coach Mike Kerr said. “They had convincing wins over West Holmes (47-20) and Lexington (42-17). We knew, coming into the season, that they would be good. They’re always good.”
After leading 16-7 at the half against West Holmes on Friday, the Generals exploded for 31 unanswered points in the second half. It may have been Wooster quarterback Dylan Dagley’s best single-game performance in his high school career. The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Dagley was 23-for-28, passing for 327 yards.
Dagley’s performance included six completions for 140 yards to Zach Marinello, who scored a pair of touchdowns. Teammate Cameron Fast lived up to his name, catching seven passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns. It doesn’t end there. Dagley also has Jett Morgan, who added a touchdown grab last Friday. The Jackets’ defense must stop the big plays to beat them this Friday.
“Our strength, up the middle, has been a constant with us all year,” Kerr said. “Obviously, our defensive line has to hone in on the quarterback,” Kerr said. “We have to stop (Dagley) from running around and making a big play. We can’t get our guys so far upfield, that he can throw underneath our coverage. Unfortunately, we have given up some big plays this season, so we have changed a few things, this week. We want to keep everything in front of us and eliminate the big plays.”
The Generals also have a field goal kicker with a purported range of 55 to 60 yards. Joe Stoll blasted a 47-yarder for the Generals last Friday, going 6-for-6 in PATs.
“He is impressive,” Kerr said. “He can really boot it, but I think our special teams have come a long way. Noah does a great job as our punter, pinning teams back deep. Alex Mullins has really come on, as our kicker. Unfortunately, we got one blocked last week, but I think we fixed that.”
Wooster rolled up 460 yards of total offense last week, but the Jackets are looking at another number. The Generals’ defensive unit gave up 443 yards to West Holmes. Kerr believes his offense, stronger in the middle than they have been in previous years, will be able to exploit Wooster’s defense. He is counting on the Jackets team speed to add a little sting.
“We have to control the football.” Kerr said, “They give up a lot of yards and, if we can take advantage of that, run the ball effectively, get some first downs and put the ball in the endzone, we have a chance at it.”
The bad news for the Jackets is that running back Ashton Fisher may be out for the game with a twisted knee, suffered in last Friday’s 27-18 loss to Zanesville. The Jackets will need a big game from Noah Hubbard (10-for-21, 85 yards, last week) at quarterback and teammate Wyatt Gregory (19 carries, 82 yards, last week) at running back.
“Ashton’s status is still up in the air,” Kerr said. “He is one of our best weapons, but if he can’t go, Noah becomes more of a running threat.”