NEWARK — The Mount Vernon football team may be riding high after a come-from-behind victory over Marion Harding last week. But coach Mike Kerr knows it’s a long season and that the Yellow Jackets didn’t have much time to celebrate as they travel to face rival Newark tonight at 7 p.m.
“We’ve talked about not getting too high after a win or too low after a loss. We were definitely excited about getting the win, but the kids came in Monday with focus. Practice has been great. We’re definitely not taking anything for granted,” Kerr said. “It’s one win, which we are really excited about, but we also understand there’s a whole lot of work to do. We’re still a long way from where we want to be.”
The Jackets can’t take anything for granted as Newark brings in some talented athletes. Even though the Wildcats were shut out last week by Zanesville (35-0), there is talent there, especially in the running game. Logan Swonger ran for 41 yards on just eight carries in the loss to Zanesville, while quarterback Jaden Woods rushed for another 33. Woods also completed 8 of 16 passes for another 77 yards.
“They’ve got a new coach, who had a lot of success before. You can tell they are more disciplined and get coached up well,” Kerr said. “They will start with the running game first. We’ll load the box if we need to, but when they pass, we’ve got to pressure the quarterback into making mistakes.”
The Jackets were opportunistic defensively against the Presidents, getting an interception in the end zone by Triston Bowens and a fumble recovery by Will Small deep in their own territory on another drive. Those turnovers helped keep the explosive Presidents from taking the lead late and helped preserve the win.
The Jackets will also focus on the run game offensively. Wyatt Gregory had a huge game for MV last week, rushing for 223 yards on 32 carries. Quarterback Trey Davidson also had a solid day running the ball, picking up 60 yards on 11 carries.
“Wyatt did a great job carrying the offense, but it’s not just his show. We’ve got to spread it out and keep the defense off balance,” Kerr said. “If we can mix it up, that gives us an advantage. We’ve got a lot of weapons. We’ve got to make sure they are all involved.”