Marauders entering conference schedule red hot

FORTVILLE — After managing only six points in a Week 1 loss to Class 3A No. 6 Hamilton Heights, Mt. Vernon’s offense erupted in a Week 2 win against Marion.

The Marauders (1-1), led by fleet-footed senior quarterback Jimmy Campbell, scored 43 points in the opening half against the Giants en route to a 50-6 road win.

Campbell threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in the first two quarters alone last Friday, giving the Mt. Vernon signal caller a much needed boost of confidence after throwing three interceptions in the season opening loss to the Huskies.

“We made some mistake and a couple turnovers, really was the difference this (Week 2) week,” Marauders head coach Doug Armstrong said. “We protected the ball.”

Campbell now has three rushing touchdowns on the young season as Armstrong describes the second year starter as a “definite dual-threat quarterback.”

“He’s worked at it and had a whole year to train,” he said. “He’s a natural runner and has instincts. He has really quick feet, so he’s able to be a little shifty when he gets in the open field.”

The Marauders begin their Hoosier Heritage Conference season Friday with a road trip to Greenfield-Central, who is off to a 2-0 start in 2015. The Cougars have scored 110 points this season while only allowing 20 in wins against Indianapolis Shortridge and Indianapolis Northwest.

In last year’s meeting, Mt. Vernon scored 21 points in the first half on way to a 31-14 win at home. Braxton Shannon, who graduated, led the Marauders on the ground with 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Campbell was 2-for-5 for 55 yards and one touchdown as Cougar starting quarterback Jeremiah Fields was 9-for-24 for 131 yards.

Then junior Andy Kim led Greenfield-Central’s run attack with 18 carries for 80 yards and one touchdown.

Kim, as well as running back Michael Sosnowski and receiver Bryce Ratliff, gives the Cougars three athletic scoring threats on offense.

“They are going to be better than any Greenfield team we’ve faced the last couple years,” Armstrong said. “They are good at the skill positions for sure.

“Their line looks to be strong and aggressive.”

Mt. Vernon owns the overall series record 19-12 and has won three straight over Greenfield-Central. The last time the Cougars were able to defeat the Marauders came in overtime on Sept. 30, 2011 (6-0).

Mt. Vernon’s quick and athletic defense deserves credit for the lopsided Week 2 win. Marion did not score until one second left in the fourth quarter, a 10-yard receiving touchdown.

Coach Armstrong said what the team lacks in size and skill, they make up for in heart and desire.

“We run to the ball and play hard,” he said. “We may not have the strong, dominant guys, but as a group we’re playing pretty prideful football. It’s about improving each week.

“Our defense has been efficient, I like it.”

Mitch McCarthy and Nathan Seifert combined for 27 tackles in the opening week loss to Hamilton Heights. The pair, along with Damari Gatewood and Charles Degraff, will be instrumental in keeping the Cougar’s offense in check.

McCarthy leads the team with 23 tackles this season as Seifert and Degraff have 19. Gatewood has recorded 18.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Cougar Stadium.

Kris Mills is a sports reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 317-477-3230 or