During the course of a sports season, a letdown usually occurs at some point. The descent normally arrives because of an underestimation of an opponent or after a big win in the previous game. When the letdown arrives, it provides a test of will and puts players’ character and grit on trial.
Inexplicably — or perhaps unsurprisingly if football fans have followed Mt. Vernon’s insatiable desire for success this season — the Marauders have played to their capability in each of their games this season.
Not after earning redemption for its 2011 31-7 sectional loss to Pendleton Heights by handling the Arabians 58-26 in Week 5. Not after shutting out Delta 35-0 on Oct. 5 to claim the program’s first Hoosier Heritage Conference title since 2003. And not after either of its away victories against New Palestine, the first of which secured the Boundary Rail for the first time in MV history.
“Every week our guys have had a chance to slip up for one reason or another, and we just haven’t really played bad. New Pal (in the sectional quarterfinals) hit a couple passes on us, but we still rushed for (348) yards,” said second-year MV coach Doug Armstrong. “We haven’t come out flat or made mistakes. We just come out, block, run hard and tackle people. And when we don’t get the ball thrown over our head, we’re a pretty decent team.
“They’re pretty motivated. They’ve been motivated for the past 12 months. We’ve got to be able to beat the third good team we’ve already beaten.”
That third team 4A No. 4 Mt. Vernon (10-1) wants to topple for the second time in 2012 is Delta (8-3) in Friday’s Sectional 13 championship game in Fortville. MV’s last sectional title was in 2006, Delta’s in 2009.
With a win, the Marauders would be on the road next Friday against 4A No. 3 Roncalli (10-2) or 4A No. 7 Cathedral in a one-game regional final. Delta would either host Cathedral or visit Roncalli.