Mount Vernon stayed strong in football win over West Liberty

HS journalism: Big second-half rally lifted Mustangs

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WEST LIBERTY — Never getting too high, never getting too low. Overcoming obstacles and rolling with the punches.

Playing smart, physical football and competing every single play have been Mount Vernon’s keys to success all year long.

These keys were on full display during the Mustangs’ gutsy comeback victory over West Liberty last Friday night, a game in which they scored 27 unanswered points to win, 34-27.

The game got off to an electric start when senior wide receiver Cale Snedden ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown to put the Mustangs on the scoreboard just 15 seconds into the game. Snedden had two more touchdowns.

The Comets were not fazed by Mount Vernon’s quick score, however. West Liberty, led by Joe Kelly with 153 yards rushing in the first half, scored 27 consecutive points. They led at the half, 27-14, after Drew Adams connected with Snedden.

“Our coaching staff makes really nice halftime adjustments,” said head coach Lance Pedersen. “We came out defensively and really slowed them down. We started finding some weaknesses, and the defensive line started taking over.”

Realizing they needed to make a change, the Mustangs began to click better, both offensively and defensively, after the half. Midway through the third quarter, junior Paul Ryan rushed into the end zone. Ryan totaled 193 yards in the game. Just two minutes later, Matt Gearhart got open and caught a pass from Adams to tie the game up, 27-27.

The Mount Vernon defense was able to hold West Liberty scoreless in the second half, which heavily contributed to the win.

Since the score was tied going into the fourth quarter, the pressure still was on. Snedden was able to catch a shot from Adams to take the lead, 34-27.

Adams passed for 177 yards and three touchdowns.

The Mustangs host Williamsburg on Friday.

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