'A gutsy' win for Mahomet-Seymour

'A gutsy' win for Mahomet-Seymour

MAHOMET — Mahomet-Seymour football coach Keith Pogue didn't know what to expect heading into this season from a young, inexperienced team that had talent to spare.

And to Pogue, Friday's 40-21 win over Mattoon typified that mindset. While mistakes existed, the Bulldogs recovered onside kicks, forced three interceptions and pulled away late.

"I thought it was a gutsy performance," Pogue said. "But we still have so many things that we're just on the edge of being good. We got it done tonight and I'm pleased with that, but we've got to take a big step if we're going to contend for the Apollo."

In a game that was scoreless for over a quarter, Jordan Veldman scored a 58-yard touchdown early in the second. Lucas Morgan tacked on another touchdown run on a direct snap, a play the Bulldogs instituted early in the season. Ryan Emmerd caught a 10-yard pass from Dawson Finch near the back of the end zone to make the score 22-7 at the half.

Mattoon made it a one-possession game early in the third, and it stayed that way until Veldman set up a 5-yard touchdown run with a 36-yard scamper. Mattoon once again made it a one-possession game with 4:55 left, but Josh Johnson scored on a 59-yard catch less than a minute later to make it 34-21. Morgan then fought his way through multiple tackles to seal the game with 2:54 remaining on another direct snap.

The Bulldogs' student section wore green, as did many other Mahomet-Seymour fans, to show support for Mattoon after Wednesday's school shooting, and both sides of the stadium gave a standing ovation to the other before the game.

"That Mattoon team came out, and after all of the things they've been through, I admire the way they played this football game," Pogue said. "That game was a lot closer than 40-21."

In addition to their general inexperience, the Bulldogs' schedule was almost completely new in their first year in the Apollo Conference. After a 3-2 start, Pogue is beginning to see how his team matches up.

"We knew (our schedule) was front-heavy. We knew Washington was outstanding, we knew Taylorville would be a tough out," Pogue said. "We thought we got a little lucky to beat Mascoutah, to be honest. We're a little behind from what I thought we'd be in terms of maturity and not making mistakes, but we'll get that fixed."