Sectional Championship Football

Mounties take down No. 1 Linton to win first sectional title in school history


LINTON — Southmont football finally did it. They way the did it and who the beat do it was even more special and this group of Mounties wouldn’t have it any other way. Friday Southmont, for the second straight year made the trip down to Linton-Stockton. This year it was for the right to hoist the Class 2A Sectional 37 trophy. The Mounties had never won a sectional title but after what will go down in Mountie history as one of the greatest games, South can now call themselves champions after a 36-34 overtime win which can only be described as an instant classic.

Let’s fast forward to the overtime period as throughout the game there were countless game changing plays, but what it came down to was a drive for both teams from the 10-yard line. Linton won the toss to begin OT and deferred as is expected. Southmont’s offense took the field first and three straight runs by senior fullback Wyatt Woodall would get the Mounties down to the one-yard line and facing a fourth and goal. What proceeded next was South having three straight penalties, two of them called back touchdowns. That made it a 4th and goal from the 17. Southmont senior QB Nolan Boyer rolled out to his right and thought he had a running lane. After about a gain of seven yards, Linton cut him off and right behind Boyer was Woodall yelling for Boyer to pitch the ball. Boyer did and Woodall, exactly like last week in the OT win over Cascade, wasn’t going to be denied and ran the final 10 yards for the score to make it 34-28.

Southmont coach Desson Hannum elected to go for two, and once again just like last week, Woodall marched behind his three senior offensive lineman in Will Cody, Waylon Gomez, and Kasey Line and the two-point try was good.

Fast forward to Linton’s offensive drive and they faced a 4th and goal from the five. Paul Oliver found his receiver for a five yard score, and the Mountie defense needed a single stop for history. Oliver took the direct snap and was immediately met by the Mountie D and that was the ball game.

“It’s hard to put into words what this win means for our program,” Hannum said of capturing the first sectional title in school history. “This has been 17 years in the making. I felt like we earned this one because our kids have had a next man up all tournament. We needed every single person on this team tonight to get the job done and now we can call ourselves champions.”

With 5:11 to go in the third quarter the game was tied at 28 all. For the last 17 minutes of the game both teams defenses held firm but Southmont’s was being put under constant duress drive after drive and every single time when the Mounties needed them to, the Mountie D got a stop. Twice Linton got the ball in Mountie territory and four total times in those final 17 minutes of the game. Not once did Southmont move an inch. It was a performance that Hannum made sure his defense led by defensive coordinator Mitch Denhe got the credit they deserve.

“Our entire defensive staff does a really good job of putting our guys in the right position,” Hannum said. “We did everything we had to do to be in this game and that included them getting stops for us when we needed them to the most.”

The No. 1 ranked Miners end their season at 10-2 while the Mounties secure a winning record on the season and move to 7-5.

Linton tallied 449 total yards of offense while the Mounties churned out 328 of their own. Boyer ended the game 10-17 for 158 yards and a 30-yard touchdown to Kyler McCandless. Woodall, despite battling a toe injury, wasn’t going to come out of the game as the senior ran the ball 23 times for 137 yards and three scores. On defense it seemed as if he was involved in nearly every tackle as that’s what the Mounties have been accustomed to.

“When you have a chance to make history, the injury is the last thing that was on my mind,” Woodall said. “This season has been full of obstacles for me and for our team and no matter what we overcame whatever was in our way. Getting over those obstacles is what defines this team and how tough we really are. I have been playing with guys like Nolan and our guys up front for so many years and we trust each other. Nolan put his faith in me to catch the ball on that play in OT. We ran the exact same play for the two point conversion as we did last week and it worked out again.”

A year ago the Mounties fell just short in a 35-29 loss to the Miners right on that same field. Woodall and teammates weren’t going to have that same feeling again.

“A year ago I sat on that field and cried hugging my seniors,” Woodall said of last season. “From that moment on our goal from the beginning of the summer was that we had to beat Linton if we wanted to win a sectional title. To get back here and avenge that loss and capture the schools first sectional title, man does it feel special and this group wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Southmont with their first sectional title in school history will now get to be back at home next week when they host Eastern Hancock who won the Sectional 38 title with a 47-14 win over Winchester. The dream season for the Mounties continues and the senior class that has given so much to the program gets to continue playing together for one more week.