Kokomo’s football opener Friday night featured everything the Wildkats are used to under seventh-year coach Brett Colby: dominant line play; a physical running game; the bravado to trust the run on fourth down; and lopsided time of possession.
Only this time, the Kats were the ones facing that onslaught.
Mount Vernon of Fortville took a few pages from Kokomo’s playbook and took physical play right at the Kats, beating Kokomo 29-19 at Walter Cross Field.
“That’s the offense that we know how it works, we kind of invented it here in the state of Indiana,” Colby said. “We’re taking a dose of our own medicine.”
MV ran for 272 yards. The first option was running back Dan Werner, who ran for 97 yards before leaving in the second half with an injury. Fullback Brayton Shannon found plenty of success up the middle and finished with 114 yards and two touchdowns.
“Up front our guard, center, guard are all returning starters. They’re all darn good players,” MV coach Doug Armstrong said. “Our fullback runs with heart. He’s a weight-room warrior and he ran his butt off.”
Kokomo struck first, pouncing on a miscue from the MV kick receive team on the opening kickoff. Three plays later Kat quarterback Tayler Persons took a lateral 10 yards in for a score and a 7-0 lead. But MV rebounded to control the opening half. The Marauders moved the ball 47 yards before getting a field goal on their opening drive, then capitalized on an interception to march 53 yards for a touchdown on their second possession for a 10-7 lead.
The Marauders never trailed again.
Kokomo trimmed the margin to just three points at 16-13 with an 81-yard TD strike from quarterback Persons to tight end Marcelle Kenner with 6:15 left in the third quarter (with a great block by Bo Baker helping), but MV put the margin up to 10 points six plays later, then took all the wind out of the Wildkats in the fourth quarter.