MOUNT VERNON — The start may have lulled Mount Vernon into a false sense of security.
Two impressive scoring drives to start the game had the Mustangs, ranked No. 7 in Class 2A, up 15-0 after less than seven minutes of play. At that point, the offense bogged down, but the defense stood tall, stopping visiting Union three times inside the 20 in the second quarter.
Those defensive stands provided momentum for the hosts as they went on to get the offense going in the second half en route to a 36-0 District 6 win over Friday night at Ash Park.
“We had a great game plan coming in and we were able to execute that,” said Mustangs Coach Lance Pedersen of the Mustangs first two drives. “Then Union made some nice adjustments and we didn’t make the proper adjustments back.”
After Trenton Pitlik scored on a 2-yard run, Colin Swantz hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass from Brady Ketchum. The two-point conversion had the Mustangs up 15-0 and it appeared the route was on.
But Union (0-5, 0-3) kept fighting. They drove the ball down to the Mount Vernon 3 on its next drive, but weren’t able to score on fourth down. The Knights had two more chances before the break, only to be denied by the hosts.
“Our defense was outstanding tonight,” Pedersen said. “We have a bend, but don’t break philosophy. Our offense put us in a terrible position a couple of times and our defense did a great job of keeping them out of the end zone.”
The Mustang offense bounced back in the second half. Ketchum added two more scoring passes, 34 yards to Elijah Exley-Schuman and a 10-yarder to Swantz. Tyler Panos added the capper on a 3-yard run in the final two minutes.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Ketchum finished 14-of-26 for 249 yards passing and three scores. On the ground, Pitlik and Panos each ran for 77 yards as Mount Vernon moved to 5-0, 3-0.
The Mustang defense held Union to just 29 yards rushing on 31 carries.
Next week the Mustangs hit the road to play longtime rival Solon.
“Our ultimate goal is to get better next week,” Pedersen said. “We know we have a huge opponent this coming Friday and we’re going to see what we can do.”
Union will look for its first win of 2020 at home against South Tama.
AT ASH PARK
First downs 10 18
Rushes-yards 28-29 35-158
Passing yards 179 249
Comp-Att-Int 16-26-1 14-26-1
Punts-Avg. 5-33.2 4-31.8
Fumbles-lost 1-1 0-0
Penalties-Yards 1-5 2-10
Union 0 0 0 0 — 0
Mount Vernon 15 0 7 14 — 36
MV — Trenton Pitlik 2 run (Lincoln Griebel kick)
MV — Colin Swantz 35 pass from Brady Ketchum. (Pitlik pass from Ketchum)
MV — Elijah Exley-Schuman 34 pass from Ketchum (Griebel kick)
MV — Swantz 10 pass from Ketchum (Griebel kick)
MV — Tyler Panos 3 (Jake Coon kick)
RUSHING - Union: Brandon Tompkins 17-19, Grant Behrens 4-(minus 1), Jacob Carey 2-7, Tyler Wilson 1-5, Brady Hilmer 1-(minus 13), Dallas Blackburn 2-6. Mount Vernon: Trenton Pitlik 11-77, Brady Ketchum 3-4, Tyler Panos 21-77.
PASSING - Union: Grant Behrens 16-25-1-179, Brandon Tompkins 0-1-0-0. Mount Vernon: Brady Ketchum 14-26-1-249.
RECEIVING - Union: Michael Niebergall 5-46, Max Eikamp 5-39, Jacob Carey 3-88, Gibson Purdy 1-7 Brandon Tompkins 2-(minus 5). Mount Vernon: Colin Swantz 4-64, Trevor Ellison 2-48, Aiden Nosek 5-50, Elijah Exley-Schuman 1-34, Tyler Panos 1-23, Brody Ulch 1-30.