MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon football team gets a week off from conference play this Friday. But, it doesn’t mean the Yellow Jackets have the week off.

Instead, they must travel to Zanesville to take on a talented Blue Devils squad. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Sulsberger Memorial Stadium.

“This is a big game. There won’t be a letdown,” said Mount Vernon coach Mike Kerr. “I think the kids are ready to play. We’re excited to play against them.”

The Blue Devils (4-1) bring an explosive offense led by quarterback Ben Everson. The talented leader has thrown for 889 yards and 14 touchdowns so far, but can also hurt defenses with his feet as he’s ran for another 120 yards.

“That quarterback is a very, very talented athlete. He can get some explosive plays on us if we let him,” Kerr said.

Everson has plenty of weapons to distribute the ball to, from running back Jordan Martin (419 yards rushing, 100-plus receiving) to Jamal Wiggins (15-216 receiving) and Jeremiah Norman (17-267).

“The big thing fundamentally is we have to understand our alignment and assignments. We’ve got to know where we’re supposed to be and do the job,” Kerr said. “We’ve got to make their big plays only four or five yards instead of 40 or 50.”

Those big plays are what got the Jackets (4-1) in trouble last week in a 42-27 loss to Ashland. The Arrows scored on plays of 64, 10, 20, 44, 42 and 15 yards.

“It’s simple. We’ve got to get off our blocks and make some tackles. That killed us last Friday night. We’ve got to get back to doing the things that made us good early,” Kerr said.

One way to keep the Devils from having too many opportunities will be the control and the ball and the clock with their running game. The Jackets racked up 168 yards rushing behind 159 from Wyatt Gregory a week ago, but two turnovers at key times thwarted a couple of drives. The Jackets will look for another big night from that part of the offense.

“Obviously, we’ve got to have our offense continue to run the ball and contain our turnovers. That’s the two big keys,” Kerr said. “Defensively, we’ve got to contain their quarterback and tackle better.”

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Fred Main: 740-397-5333 or fmain@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @http://twitter.com/mountvernonnews