By Doug Gorman
The Mt. Vernon Crusaders are back.
After losing for the first time last week since the 2001 Georgia Christian Athletic Association state title game, Mt. Vernon bounced back in a big way Friday night, beating Bible Baptist 36-0.
Mt. Vernon rolled up 295 yards of total offense while holding Bible Baptist to 65. The bulk of Bible Baptist's yardage came on its final drive when it marched the ball inside the Mt. Vernon 5-yard line before turning over the football on a fumble.
"I think losing last week was a good wake up call for us," said Mt. Vernon coach C.E. Rhoades. "I think some of our guys had gotten into reading their press clippings."
The Crusaders scored on all but two series in the first half and led 24-0 at the break.
Twice in the first half, and once in the second half, Mt. Vernon turned the ball over inside the Bible Baptist 10.
Nathan Cook started the scoring for Mt. Vernon on the Crusaders' first play from scrimmage when he scored on a 40-yard run.
That set the tone for Cook's big night of putting up offensive numbers.
The sophomore running back scored three touchdowns and rushed for 126 yards on 12 carries.
Kevin Hall also finished with 36 yards and a touchdown.
Jackie Wright also scored a touchdown for the Crusaders en route to the win.
Wright also had an interception as part of the team's stellar defensive performance to go along with 11 tackles.
J.D. Pickyard led the way in tackles with 12.
One of the most dramatic plays in Mt. Vernon's victory came as part of its second scoring drive.
Facing a fourth-and-six situation, quarterback Clayton Fielder connected on a 38-yard pass to Chase Stowe to keep the drive alive.
Three plays later, Cook was in the end zone for his second touchdown of the game.
Toward the end of the game Rhoades emptied his bench.
"We were playing a lot of younger and inexperienced players toward the end of the night," he said. "The only way for inexperienced players to get experience is to play."
Mt. Vernon travels to Macon next week for a game at Gilead.