The Mount Vernon High School football team knocked off a bitter rival Friday night and earned one of the biggest wins in coach Ozzie Riley’s first season.
But you wouldn’t have known it after the game.
The Mountaineers suffered a tough loss in a Big 8 Conference victory, as junior quarterback Alex Hausman was injured on the final play of a 20-14 win against the Aurora Houn’ Dawgs.
Hausman, who kneeled down on the previous play as the Mountaineers (5-2, 3-2) tried to run out the clock, rolled out on third down before being tackled with 25 seconds left. But he landed awkwardly.
A stunned crowd watched in near-silence and teams stopped play as Hausman laid motionless. An ambulance arrived 15 minutes later and eventually loaded the quarterback. The final seconds of the Bell Trophy contest were not played.
“We don’t know much about it now, but it seemed like it was a hip injury, could be a femur injury,” said Riley, a former Central High School coach. “I don’t know, but he’s in a lot of pain. We’re just praying and hoping the best for him. Until we find out something else, that’s all we can do right now.”
Hausman did not throw an incomplete pass, connecting on 11 passes for 130 yards. It included a touchdown, and he threw two interceptions.
Hausman connected with Zane Phillips on a 17-yard first-quarter touchdown, and fullback Devin Morris bulled in for a 10-yard TD in the second quarter.
But after halftime, Aurora (3-4, 2-3) seized momentum, ending its first drive with Everett Basham’s 27-yard touchdown run, and kept handing him the ball.
The senior carried the ball 13 times on a 15-play, 81-yard drive that ended on a 7-yard Basham TD run. It forged a 14-all tie.
“We felt like we challenged our kids hard at halftime,” Aurora coach Rick Scholten said. “We wanted them to come out and respond, and we felt like they did a great job of that.”
However, after Hausman converted a fourth-and-1 run on the next Mountaineer drive, Shane Williams took a pitch 59 yards for the winning score.
“We came out flat at halftime, and they smacked us in the face when they were on offense and ran down our throats,” Williams said. “But on offense, we were slowly just chopping it away on them.”
Aurora got one more chance late in the game after an Andrew Parker interception with 2:56 remaining and set up at Mount Vernon’s 30. But its drive stalled. Basham finished with 191 yards on 33 carries.
However, Hausman was on all minds afterward.
“We’re just praying for him,” said Williams, who had 171 yards on 23 carries. “He’s the best quarterback we could ask for, and we all just love him so much as a guy, more than even as a player. We love him as a friend, a student and as a teammate, and we’re all just hoping he’s all right.”