Carbondale Head Coach Bryan Lee was glad to see his running game step up and control the line of scrimmage Friday against the Mount Vernon Rams on the road. The Terriers commanded the game and ended with a 41-8 victory.
“We did a heck of a job stopping their running game,” Lee said after Friday’s victory. “Our defense had a high motor all night and we kept their run game off the edge.”
The Terrier defense also succeeded at stopping Mount Vernon’s running game up the middle. At the end of the night, the Rams accounted for negative two yards on 31 carries against Carbondale. The only offensive success all night for the Rams happened in the first quarter when quarterback Nick Malone hit Amir Spann to make the score 14-8 in the Terriers’ favor.
“We had our chances,” Rams Head Coach Mark Goodheart told the Mount Vernon Register-News. “In fact, we were moving the ball in the second half, but kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
The Rams did have 231 yards in the air. But 72 of those yards came on the first quarter scoring strike to Spann. The Terrier secondary kept Spann in check the rest of the game.
“They (Carbondale) started to double team Amir after our score,” Goodheart said.
Shutting off Amir had to do with Carbondale’s defensive line and linebacker play throughout the contest.
“You would have seen the toss to Amir more often if Nick had more time to throw,” Goodheart said.
Most of that line pressure came from senior Carbondale defensive tackle Lucas Clough.
“Lucas had a couple of key stops and sacks,” Lee said. “The four Rams turnovers had to due with our rush and also our
Carbondale kicked into high gear after the Rams were pinned deep in its own territory and tried to pass its way out. Carbondale’s secondary intercepted Malone for the first of three interceptions thrown by the Rams. From that point on, the rout was on.
Senior running back Courtney Hunter had a breakout game with 190 net yards on 11 carries. He had three touchdowns — two on the ground and one through
Hunter’s touchdown reception was from once backup, now starting quarterback, Jakeba Burleigh. The junior took over for Seth Germann two weeks ago and hasn’t disappointed. He threw for 198 yards and four touchdowns in his first varsity start behind center. The terriers rolled to 438 total yards on the night.
After the secondary picked off Malone in the second quarter, Burleigh immediately hit wide receiver Shandon Scott-Rivers with a 15-yard scoring pass on the short field — giving the Terriers a 21-8 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Carbondale expanded its lead to 35-8 on another Burleigh touchdown pass and a 32-yard scoring sprint by Hunter. Hunter added an exclamation point in the fourth quarter with a 66-yard run and score to make the final 41-8.
Now it’s off to Belleville Althoff for the Terriers. It’s a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday night. The Crusaders are a dangerous team even though it suffered its first loss of the season two weeks ago against South Seven powerhouse Centralia.