A quintet of things to watch down the stretch


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1. Can anyone slow down Mt. Vernon, or are the Marauders on a collision course with Delta?

Akin to a snowball tumbling downhill, the Marauders (4-1, 3-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference) have gained strength as the season has wore on en route to achieving the title of the top scoring 4A team in Indiana (45.6 points per game). After rushing for 179 yards in a season-opening OT loss to Kokomo, Mt. Vernon has gained 320, 396, 443 and 513 yards on the ground in four straight wins, the last of which was a 58-26 dismantling of two-time sectional champion Pendleton Heights (3-2, 1-2 HHC).

“We seem to block with a lot of passion and effort on offense. When I talk to the kids, I say, ‘You got to fight for a block.’ We fight for our blocks,” MV coach Doug Armstrong said. “And our backs block for each other, so our overall blocking is really what’s impressed me the most.”

With a win over Shelbyville (2-3, 2-1 HHC) Friday, Mt. Vernon can make the conference race a two-team contest between themselves and Delta (4-1, 3-0 HHC). If Anthony Burnett, Tyler Dicks  and Kameryn Risper can dive, dodge and drive their way through the Eagles on Oct. 5 in Muncie, the Marauders should capture their first league crown since 2003.

2. Multiple QB options for New Pal

Max Disman was slated to be the starter at quarterback entering this fall before suffering a knee injury over the summer, less than a year after enduring a season-ending knee injury early last season. The six-foot-5 senior, a natural drop-back passer, made his return last week offers a nice change of pace to incumbent Blake Luker, who is more of a dual-threat signal-caller.

However, Charlie Hill says there is no QB controversy.

“Blake Luker is clearly our starting quarterback. The plan would be to be in position with the game to get Max a chance to play a little bit,” said the first-year head coach. “He’s working to be in better condition, to get tempered to the collisions of the game. For now, Blake’s carrying the flag for us.”

NP (2-3, 1-2 HHC) has a chance to salvage its season in the coming weeks, with its first home game of the season Friday against Yorktown (2-3, 1-2 HHC), followed by a road game at Shelbyville and then finally  home tilts against G-C and MV to close the 2012 regular season.

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