FRIDAY FEATURE

Southmont football wants to prove they belong

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Through five games, Nick Scott has thrown for 346 yards and six touchdowns — the most by a Mountie quarterback in a season since 2018. Currently, Wyatt Woodall leads the Sagamore Conference with 544 rushing yards, while Carson Chadd leads the conference with a 10.9 yards per carry average — totaling 295 yards on just 27 carries. He leads the league with seven total touchdowns.

There’s a reason Southmont, who is ranked No. 9 in the latest Class 2A AP poll, is 5-0 for the first time since 1981.

But they’re not done yet.

“Going into the 1st half of the season we knew we had a chance to win every game and would have to play well to make it happen, but I don’t think anyone expected us to be 5-0 at this point,” 15-year Southmont coach Desson Hannum said. “It really is a testament to our kids. Having some early success helped our kids gain confidence.”

While Southmont has steamrolled through its first five opponents, scoring at a clip of 31.2 points per game, it’s their 9.6 point per game defensive average that’s been most impressive.

“Leadership and believing in the new defense that the coaches installed has led to the 5-0 start,” senior Collin Martin said.

The leadership and success has come from all areas. Martin, who is one of just four seniors, has set the tone up front — blocking for a running-back core that is averaging 245.2 yards oer game. While Woodall returned this season as a sophomore as one of the Mounties’ top defenders and the new featured tailback. Sophomore Waylon Gomez has also landed in the mix defensively, averaging almost five tackles per game.

“I am not surprised about our 5-0 start at all,” Gomez said. “I don’t believe that past seasons define us as a team, and we have only used it as inspiration to be better. I believe our 5-0 start to the season can be accredited to the work we put in during the off-season and the team mentality we have.”

Wins over Fountain Central, North Putnam, Seeger, Frankfort, and Crawfordsville have all come easy for the Mounties, but the four remaining Sagamore Conference opponents — Danville, Western Boone, Lebanon, and Tri-West – will be the ultimate test.

“We realize that the back of our schedule is loaded with some of the best teams in Sagamore Conference,” Hannum said. “A few of them are currently ranked. Our goal is to be competitive and give ourselves a chance to win. We realize that we have continue to improve each and every week to set ourselves up to compete for a sectional championship at the end of the season.”

The rigorous part of the schedule starts Friday night with a trip to Class 3A No. 4 ranked Danville (4-1, 3-0 SAC) — a match-up of the lone two undefeated Sagamore Conference teams. 

Many give the Mounties no chance, but the belief in themselves has never been stronger.

“This team has finally gotten rid of the weeds planted by previous seasons,” Woodall said. “That weed is that we can’t compete with teams bigger than us. We know this season is different.”

Not only have the Mounties put in the work the last offseason, they’ve improved at every position. Last week’s 41-14 win over county rival Crawfordsville secured Southmont’s first winning since 2017 and now they’re chasing their first SAC championship since they won three in a row from 2009-11. And they believe their team speed can help them do it.

“I think overall the team is pretty fast,” Martin said. “I think the speed pretty well matches up with the rest of the conference because we don’t have a lot of size which is what everyone else in the conference has.”

And when Southmont ball carriers get to the edge, they can be dangerous. As a team the Mounties are averaging 6.6 yards per carry, and have scored 16 rushing touchdowns.

“We are a much faster team then we have been over the last few seasons,” Hannum said. “We believe that our athletes on the perimeter have had the advantage in most situations vs. the competition that we have seen up to this point. Many of our guys worked hard during the off-season and summer to improve both their strength and speed, and several of these guys competed in track to improve their speed.”

For the last year the chatter has been about Danville’s chances at an undefeated season, a Class 3A title, and how will the three-time defending state champion Stars fair in Class 3A. Football in Montgomery County has been an afterthought for the rest of the conference.

But the Mounties are ready to prove everybody wrong.

“We will prove that we belong,” Woodall said. “These teams will overlook us and that is our advantage.”

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