By Brady Extin | The Times-Post
PENDLETON — Playing in front of a raucous homecoming crowd wasn’t enough for Pendleton Heights to overcome the defending 4A State champions on Friday night.
Mt. Vernon traveled up the road and spoiled the homecoming festivities, beating Pendleton Heights (2-4) 46-14. The win dropped the Arabians to 2-4 (1-3, Hoosier Heritage Conference).
Story continues below photos.
The homecoming parade beforehand had the packed Pendleton Heights crowd rowdy and ready to go. But it took the Marauders just seven minutes to silence them.
They broke onto the scoreboard first on a 23-yard Joliba Brogan run.
The Arabians weren’t going to go down easy though.
A missed tackle by Mt. Vernon on the following drive led to a 61-yard scramble by Pendleton Heights quarterback Isaac Wilson that set up the tying touchdown.
A few plays later he found Jalen Jordan on a 5-yard pass.
But that was as close as Pendleton Heights got.
On the Marauders next drive, two big gains from Luke Ertel to George Burhenn moved the chains before Ertel found Eli Bridenthal in the end zone for the 20-yard score.
Mt. Vernon added a 37-yard field goal and a Bridenthal 3-yard touchdown run to take a 32-7 lead into halftime.
The 3-yard run was nearly a game-changing play for Pendleton Heights when in a pile of people at the goal line an Arabian defender came away with the ball and ran it back 100 yards for what the players, coaches and crowd all thought was the momentum-changing score they needed before halftime.
Much to the chagrin of the crowd, after a meeting by the officials it was ruled that Bridenthal broke the goal line.
Pendleton Heights made one final push, and scored on the opening drive of the second half.
Wilson led the team down field on a few big runs before punching in the 1-yard score.
They had a few more chances to cut into the lead, but the Marauder defense forced a few timely turnovers to stall the Arabians.
Following a blocked punt that set Pendleton Heights up at the Marauder 30-yard line the offense turned the ball twice.
The first fumble recovery was negated by a Marauder roughing the passer, but a few plays later on a ball that was caught at the 5-yard line a strip and recovery took all of the wind out of the Arabians sails.
Pendleton Heights will face another HHC opponent at 7:30 p.m Friday when they travel to Muncie to play the Delta Eagles (3-3).