CINCINNATI, Ohio-- The 2017-18 version of the Mount St. Joseph football team is prepared to finally hit the field this Saturday. The Lions will travel up Interstate 71 to take on the Crusaders of Capital University.
This will be the first time in more than 17 years that The Mount will be led onto the field by someone other than Rod Huber. Coach Huber retired from the program in March. This season the Lions will be led by Tyler Hopperton a 2012 graduate of The Mount, who has played or coached at The Mount for the past nine years. Coach Hopperton is excited to get his team on the field for the first time, " I am just excited to finally get the ball in the air on Saturday. It has been a grind the last three weeks for camp, our guys are ready to finally play a real game." This will be the Lions first offical game of the season, a week after the team scrimmaged a very good Centre College team. "We got alot of good things done last week against Centre, we learned alot about our team. While our starters were on the field we equated ourselves very well against a team that has a chance to win their conference this season."
This matchup is sure to be a good one, Capital went 4-6 last season in a very tough OAC. They will be led by a quartet of Senior captains, offensively it will be quarterback Nick Iske and running back Cory Heeter leading the charge. Heeter was the Crusaders leading rusher a season ago with 359 yards although sitting the final four games of the season after sustaining an injury. Defensively the will be led by linebacker Derek Eibon who led the team in tackles a season ago with 81. As a team the Crusaders averaged 20.8 points per game on offense and allowed their opponents to score 40.0 points per game.
The Lions got off to a rocky start in 2016 as they dropped their first three contests of the season. They found a way to right the ship though and won six of their final seven contests to finish the season 6-4. They even held out hope at an HCAC title until the final week of the season. The Mount welcomes back a large portion of the roster that came oh so close to an HCAC title a year ago, and they hope to build upon that experience.
Leading the offense this season will be quarterback Chaiten Tomlin (Mt. Orab, OH/ Western Brown) who was Honorable Mention All-HCAC a season ago and the conference's Freshman of the Year. Tomlin will lead what promises to be a potent offensive attack for the Lions, as he has weapons all over the field. Wide recievers AJ Glines (Harrison, OH/ Harrison), Grayson Roberts (Cincinnati, OH/ Reading), and Kendall Sprowl (Indianapolis, IN/ Pike) will be Tomlin's top targets on offense along with a plethora of other recievers. Joining him in the backfield will be returning starter at running back, big Cory Hastings (Dayton, OH/ Carroll). Joining them in the backfield will be newcomer Nykwuan Presswood (Cincinnati, OH/ Taft) who promises to provide a change of pace from Hastings. Up front the Lions offense will be led from the interior as Cole Tepe (Cincinnati, OH/ Elder), Brad Murphy (Cincinnati, OH/ Elder), and Max Swoboda (Cincinnati, OH/ Moeller) all return.
On the other side of the ball the Lions also return some serious talent. The entire starting defensive line returns led by All-HCAC performers Nolan Miller (Cincinnati, OH/ Northwest), Cory Hardin (Louisville, KY/ Ballard) and Dustin Applegate (Cincinnati, OH/ Elder). They also return both starting cornerbacks, who both earned All-HCAC a season ago in Tyler Hannah (Cincinnati, OH/ Summit Country Day) and Tavon Robertson (Louisville, KY/ Ballard). As a unit the Lions only allowed opponents to score 22.3 points per game a season ago, and forced 21 turnovers.
This promising season gets underway on Saturday September 2nd at Bernlohr Stadium with the opening kickoff scheduled for 1:30PM. Come early be LOUD and GO LIONS!!!