NEW PALESTINE — A piece of railroad track. A decades-old leather football helmet. Bragging rights. Pre-sectional momentum.
It was up for grabs Friday at New Palestine, and the Marauders left Shepler Field with possession of it all.
Class 4A No. 7 Mt. Vernon dominated Hancock County rival New Palestine in every facet of the game on the way to a significant 48-13 victory:
• Mt. Vernon took possession of The Boundary Rail, which was formerly part of a train track along U.S. 40 separating the Fortville and New Palestine communities. It now serves as a traveling trophy between the football programs. The Rail was introduced in 2005, and MV has never owned the trophy, until now.
(Immediately after the Marauders’ win Friday, MV senior Tyler Dicks, who rushed for 121 yards and three touchdowns, was handed a can of gold spray paint, which he applied to the previously red-and-black rail).
• Already the Hoosier Heritage Conference regular season champion, Mt. Vernon (8-1, 7-0 HHC) maintained possession of the conference’s traveling trophy, an old-school helmet, and completed its first undefeated conference season since 2003.
• New Palestine (3-6, 2-5 HHC) had won 10 of the previous 11 games in the series that began in 1968, but Mt. Vernon can make it two in a row next week. The squads will meet again on this same field in the Class 4A Sectional 13 opener.
“It was all of it,” Mt. Vernon coach said of his team’s motivation. “The biggest part is keep playing well and get ready for next week.
“We come next week, we’ll probably face a different team, a couple of (New Palestine’s) injured guys might be back. There’s been a lot of instances where teams won and then they lose in the sectional.”