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Home News-Telegram Sports Winnsboro, Mount Vernon collide Friday

Winnsboro, Mount Vernon collide Friday

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WINNSBORO — Lumped in what is considered one of Texas’ toughest districts; Winnsboro has fallen from its place of glory held just one season ago.             Not ranked in this year's State Farm/Texas Football poll, Winnsboro has had an offensive struggle in 2009. The Red Raiders have only been able to summon 13 points to their opponents' 65.

Only one thought will be in the minds of the 'Raiders come this Friday-the rivalry between them and Mount Vernon that spans from the 3A days. Mount Vernon will make the short trip to Red Raider Stadium Friday with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m. The visiting team is picked over Winnsboro by three points according to the Harris Ratings Poll.
“They have a good offense. They work the spread and really mix it up with the running and passing game. We will have to be ready to get some good coverage on them,” said Steve Pinnell, Red Raiders head football coach on the upcoming game with the Tigers. “We will have to get better in the secondary covering the pass.”
In week one action, Winnsboro improved even though the scoreboard did not reflect it. The 'Raiders chalked up 270 yards of offense (100 more than the week before) against Pittsburg. Senior Christian Bosold is new to his quarterback position in fact the 'Raiders have many that are new on both sides of the ball.
“On offense we moved the ball better, and Bosold did better. They are all starting to come on good,” said Pinnell. “Pittsburg had speed, once their defense got a step on us it was over.”
Against the Farmersville Farmers, Winnsboro suffered a hard 15-7 loss for week zero action. “We had no consistency,” Pinnell mentioned earlier. “We really struggled on offense.” The only connection the 'Raiders could make was an 8-yard pass from Bosold to Ashton Slaughter for a TD.
“However, our guys bounce back quickly,” Pinnell said. “We will be just fine.”
Winnsboro has had a week to think and practice even though it has been somewhat “sloppy” due to recent rains. Although it isn't hot, the rain has brought out another opponent-vast amounts of fire ants. If anything, this might make everyone move a little faster.
“I can't remember a year when we haven't played Mount Vernon,” recalled Pinnell. “We were always in district together. Last year, they beat us by one point. We are hoping to make a good showing for our home opener.”
The Mount Vernon Tigers have been on a winning roll blanking Rains 20-0, pushing over Gladewater 19-8, and last week edging out the soaking wet Cooper Bulldogs 24-21.
The hometown purple Tigers got a standout performance from Kellan Carrell at quarterback against Cooper. Carrell completed 12 of 21 passes for 171 yards (this is one yard more than Winnsboro's entire offensive total was in the Farmersville game), he also rushed for 107 yards on 15 carries and picked off a pass while playing defense.
Booting the football for the Tigers is Anibal Hernandez. Before the season started, Tiger head coach Charles Swann predicted that he had the foot to challenge all others. And, he proved that in last week's game by making crucial extra points for Mount Vernon as well as an impressive 47-yard field goal. Last year he cleared 28 for 31 of PATs and five for seven of his field goals.
“He (Anibal Hernandez) is getting good with the range of 50-yards,” Swann said on his secret weapon. “He is not affected by the weather. He has a strong leg and is accurate. It (his abilities) can make the difference in a tight game. We have emphasized that special teams can win a ball game-that offense, defense, and special teams weigh in each as an equal third.”
Overall, Mount Vernon had 32 rushes for 132 total yards against the Bulldogs.
Swann is trying to keep his team undefeated Tigers grounded with a rivalry game that has spanned years and years at their feet.
“It will be a good ball game for the school and community. The winner gets the bragging rights for a year, but for us (Tiger team) it is just another important ball game,” Swann said. “We really want to keep the momentum rolling into district. This is something we have talked about since before the season started. It will be a fun game, and we are looking forward to it.”
Swann knows that team records hold no count with a game like this, that even when a team is down-that is the time to expect the unexpected. He feels like Winnsboro will still be in the playoff hunt for District 13-2A.
As for his own purple Tiger team, Swann is trying to keep everyone healthy and injury-free while still working his back-ups. He will be holding them accountable for Friday's outcome. In this, he will be relying on the leadership that his quarterback provides.
“He is a leader and is smart,” said Swann on Carrell. Carrell's performance really “took over” in the Cooper game. Swann will have his key players: Carrell, Hernandez, along with brotherly duo Colby and Colton Keener ready for this week's game.
Besides predicting the outcome of the big rivalry game, a prediction of a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms and precipitation is in the forecast.
Both teams are hoping the weather cooperates so the usual standing room only, big crowd turns out for all the action.
“A dry field would be better,” added Swann. “But it is the same conditions for both teams.”
 

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