GREENFIELD — Rarely are a pair of football coaches more appreciative of their teams’ respective efforts after a single game than were Doug Armstrong and Roger Dodson Friday evening.
Armstrong’s Mt. Vernon squad survived one of Greenfield-Central’s best performances of the season for a 16-13 victory in the Class 4A Sectional 21 semifinals.
Dodson’s Cougars entered the matchup at 2-8; one of the losses was a 55-0 setback just four weeks ago to this same Mt. Vernon club.
Friday, however, host G-C controlled much of the action and held a 13-10 lead on the No. 10-ranked Marauders (9-2) early in the fourth quarter.
“It was a great game,” Dodson said. “Somebody had to lose and unfortunately it was us. But we played well enough to win the game, there was no doubt about it.”
G-C had five turnovers in its regular season loss to the cross-county Marauders; the blue and gold didn’t lose the football once Friday. Instead, the Cougars’ fatal flaw was penalties.
While Mt. Vernon wasn’t whistled for a single infraction, the Cougars drew seven penalties, including a pivotal roughing the passer violation following an incompletion by MV quarterback Mitch Walrod on 3rd-and-6 from MV’s 45-yard line as the visitors trailed 13-7 with 10 minutes left in the game.
The penalty gave the Marauders first down at the G-C 40-yard line. Walrod punctuated the drive with a touchdown on a QB keeper on 4th-and-goal from roughly one foot outside the end zone.