MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets (5-3, 2-2 OCC) awakened in the second half, scoring 28 points in the third quarter to thump the Madison Rams (0-8, 0-4 OCC), 48-22, in their Ohio Cardinal Conference matchup on Friday.
The Jackets were led by running back Wyatt Gregory, who ran for 177 yards and four touchdowns. Gregory, who has run for a season total of 1,544 yards after eight games played, needs 434 yards to break J.D. Orr’s single-season school record of 1,978.
Quarterback Trey Davidson was only 4-of-9 for 45 yards passing, but he had a total of 177 yards rushing on six carries. Gregory rolled up 84 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns in the first half alone, including a 6-yard touchdown in the first quarter which gave Mount Vernon a 7-0 lead. Davidson also scored a first-half touchdown, running the ball four times for 100 yards, and the Jackets accumulated 455 total yards for the night.
The Rams, however, had their own strategy and they made no secret of it. Running backs Jamaal Coleman (22 carries, 199 yards) and Dom Snavely took turns slashing through the Mount Vernon defense, which had all they could handle against a powerful Rams offensive line. Coleman, who opened the second quarter taking the ball 20 yards on a delayed counter for a touchdown, ran for 100 yards on 15 carries in the first half, while Snavely gained 24 yards seven carries.
It was enough of a ground game for Madison to go to the pass. Madison quarterback Jarret Mandusic (2-of-7, 37 yards) found teammate Isaac Brooks in the end zone for a 19-yard completion which tied the game at 14.
The Rams tried the same thing again near the end of the first half. Brooks caught the ball in the end zone again, but it was called back for an ineligible receiver downfield.
“In the first half, we were down,” Gregory said. “We reassessed ourselves and came back strong in the second half.”
The first time the Rams got the ball, Mount Vernon freshman Joel Hubbard pounced on a Rams fumble to give his team the ball on the 23.
“I think that fumble lifted the spirits of everyone,” Mount Vernon coach Mike Kerr said. “Joel is a freshman and that was his second fumble of the year.”
In the second half, Mandusic could not complete a pass, and suddenly, Snavely, who was running for four yards per carry in the first half, could only manage two yards in the second. Also, the Jackets were beginning to figure out Madison’s delay counter, which the Rams ran so effectively in the first half.
“Well, I feel it all starts at our defensive line, and I feel they were not controlling the line of scrimmage,” Kerr said. “In the second half, our guys came out and really controlled the line of scrimmage, and it’s really attitude. Once our guys got the attitude that they were doing.”
Gregory scored two more times in the third quarter on runs of 34 and 3 yards, and A.J. Keen rushed for 1- and 7-yard scores. Coleman ran in from 14 yards in the fourth quarter for Madison.
Next Friday, the Jackets will host Mansfield Senior. The Tygers lost to Wooster, a team that only managed to defeat Mount Vernon by a single touchdown.
“I think that the kids understand that they can’t look ahead,” Kerr said. “I think in the first half tonight, we got caught looking ahead. Hopefully, our guys learned that lesson in the first half, so I don’t think we will have any issues next week.”