Golden Eagles throttle ’Jackets on BW’s Homecoming with 27-14 win victory
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
Chalk this one up to the Golden Eagle defense …
Big Walnut celebrated its 2012 Fall Homecoming by handing Mount Vernon its first Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division setback with a 27–14 victory over the visiting Yellow Jackets Friday night at Golden Eagle Stadium.
“This was a complete team victory,” a smiling Joe Weaver said in his office following the game. “From our defense, which helped give us an early 21–0 lead, to our offense, which made few mistakes, we came through with one of our best performances of the season against a very good Mount Vernon team.”
Following a scoreless first quarter, a quarter that saw Mount Vernon (5–2, 3–1 OCC) control the ball for the first 9:06 on a 17-play, 58-yard series before misfiring on a 25-yard field goal attempt, Big Walnut (5–2, 3–1) got on the scoreboard thanks to senior defensive back Adam Shaheen’s 48-yard interception return at the 8:56 mark of the second quarter for a 7–0 lead.
The Golden Eagles made it 14–0 late in the opening half, taking a Mount Vernon punt at the Yellow Jacket 44 and finding the end zone 9 plays later on senior quarterback Carson Chatterton’s 8-yard touchdown run with 2:03 showing on the clock. Chatterton keyed the drive with pass completions of 13 and 11 yards to senior tight end Brant Weiss and senior back Alex Clark.
Big Walnut took the second half kickoff and marched 80 yards in 7 plays with senior back Cody Conley powering across the double stripe from 14 yards out on a third-and-4 call three minutes into the third quarter. Chatterton’s 47-yard completion to sophomore back Christian Johnson gave the Golden Eagles a first-and-10 at the Yellow Jacket 20.
Coming off a 2–8-0 season, Mount Vernon, after being held on downs at the Big Walnut 23, got the ball right back as senior Gordon Crabtree picked off a Chatterton pass and returned it to the Golden Eagle 26. Two plays later, Briggs found junior Rain Wiggand on a 22-yard scoring pass and the Yellow Jackets were on the board, trailing 21–7 with 3:10 left in the quarter.
Big Walnut was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, setting the Yellow Jackets up with a first-and-10 on their own 29. Seven snaps later, with the help of a Briggs 53-yard completion to junior Logan Rhea, Mount Vernon was back in the end zone on J.D. Orr’s 2-yard run with 10:38 left in the game and the Yellow Jackets in striking distance at 21–14.
Following the kickoff, the Golden Eagles put together an 8-play series that ended with a punt that gave the Yellow Jackets possession at their own 28 with the clock ticking under 6 minutes. On Mount Vernon’s second play, BW senior defensive back Seth Myers intercepted a Briggs pass at the Yellow Jacket 35 and returned it to the 14. Three plays later, Chatterton and Shaheen hooked up on a 10-yard pass play to put Big Walnut up 27–14 with 4:37 to play.
“This was a big win for us against a physical Mount Vernon team and we were equal to the challenge,” Weaver said. “Our defense was aggressive and continued to make adjustments to offset what Mount Vernon was trying to accomplish with the football … and it was successful.”
Big Walnut’s offense, led by Chatterton’s passing (9-for-14 for 121 yards) and Johnson’s rushing (74 yards in 17 carries), finished with 12 first downs and 231 yards in 45 plays. Shaheen had 3 catches for 39 yards and Johnson 2 for 45 yards.
“Our offense, which committed only 1 turnover, was effective, especially early on when we built the 21–0 lead,” Weaver said. “We had contributions from everyone, from our backs to our line, who had a hand in making our offense click .”
Mount Vernon totaled 15 first downs and 268 yards in total offense. Briggs was 12-for-29 passing for 130 yards. Sophomore Lucas Staten had 5 receptions for 33 yards and Rhea 4 for 76 yards. On the ground, Orr ran for 80 yards in 24 carries.
With the win, Big Walnut pulled into a second-place tie with Olentangy (6–1, 3–1 OCC) and Mount Vernon behind New Albany (5–2, 4–0 OCC) in the Capital Division standings.
Next up for the Golden Eagles? Division-leading New Albany next Friday at 7:30 p.m. in New Albany.
“I’m confident we will be ready to compete,” Weaver said. “My group continues to improve game-by-game and I honesty believe that our best football still lies ahead of us. We control our own destiny and with three games remaining on our regular-season schedule, we are in a position to make certain things happen.”