INDIANAPOLIS — If Mt. Vernon arrived at Lucas Oil Stadium for its game against Rushville Saturday overconfident in the slightest, the Marauders were infused with a dose of reality before their game as they watched two-time defending sectional champion Pendleton Heights fall 17-14 to Shelbyville in Game 1 of the Hoosier Heritage Conference Challenge.
As the Golden Bears celebrated at midfield and the Arabians slumped off to their locker room, MV coach Doug Armstrong challenged his team.
“Pendleton took it easy,” offered the second-year MV coach. “We need to not take it easy.”
Message received, loud and clear.
Behind an unrelenting ground attack that piled up nearly a half-millenium of yardage, the Marauders (3-1, 2-0 Hoosier Heritage Conference) surged to a sizable halftime lead for the third week in a row and never looked back, dominating Rushville (1-3, 0-2 HHC) 55-14.
After jumping to intermission advantages of 28-0 and 46-0 in its two previous tilts versus Marion and Yorktown, Mt. Vernon battered its way to a 41-0 lead after two quarters on the strength of its quick-strike run game.
The black-and-gold churned out 238 rushing yards in the first half and six touchdowns, the first five of which arrived on scoring drives of two, two, four, two and two plays.