By Rob Calhoun

Led by a strong running game, a ball control offense, and a stout defense, Mt. Zion pulled away for a 32-7 win over Charleston in high school football Friday night under rainy and windy conditions.

The Braves gained 360 yards on the ground and were able to control time of possession, holding the ball nearly three times as long as the Trojans. Mt. Zion had the ball for 35 minutes, 19 seconds in the game compared to Charleston’s 12:41. The control of the clock led to Mt. Zion running 93 offensive plays with the Trojans running 38.  

Charleston was limited to 124 yards of total offense, with 41 coming on one play when Zayvion Johnson-Mitchell broke loose for the long run in the fourth quarter.

The Trojans went three and out on the first three possessions of the game.  Sandwiched between the short drives were two touchdowns by Mt. Zion.  Both scores came on 11 play drives, one for 43 yards and the other for 65 as the Braves took a 12-0 lead after the first quarter.

The start of the third drive for Mt. Zion was costly, as their top receiver Christian Keyhea got injured.  It was at that point that the Braves started keeping running the ball. Zac Girard and Adam Lutz combined for 280 yards overall.  Lutz’s one-yard touchdown run gave the Braves a 19-0 lead at the half.

After both teams punted on the first possessions of the second half, Charleston was able score. Aiden Archibald intercepted a pass from Tyson Evans to give Charleston the ball at the Braves’ 6-yard line. Nate Shrader scored three plays later on a 4-yard run to make it 19-7.

The Braves answered with a score late in the third quarter when Girard scored on a 5-yard run.  Mt. Zion scored again in the last quarter on a three-yard run by Evans.  

Mt. Zion is now 6-2 overall and 4-2 in the Apollo, tied for second with Effingham.  Charleston drops to 2-6, 1-5.

Charleston will play its final game next Friday when it hosts Salem at 7 p.m. for senior night.

Listen to Rob Calhoun for every Charleston High football game on Victory 103.9

15:31OPPZac Girard2RunKick Blocked06
10:46OPPTyson Evans1RunPass Failed012
25:33OPPAdam Lutz1RunBrayden Traxler019
35:07CHSNate Shrader4RunConnor Woodley719
30:51OPPZac Girard5RunBrayden Traxler726
46:51OPPTyson Evans3RunKick Blocked732



Charleston: Zayvion Johnson-Mitchell 4-45; Jack Nelson 6-13; Nate Shrader 5-8 1 TD; Hunter White 1-5

Mt. Zion: Adam Lutz 30-153 1 TD; Zac Girard 29-127 2 TD; Jayger Damarin 8-44; Christian Keyhea 6-25; Tyson Evans 6-11 2 TD


Charleston: Jack Nelson 6-21 53

Mt. Zion: Tyson Evans 9-14 78 1 INT


Charleston: Langdon King 3-44; Chet Shrader 1-7; Luke Nelson 1-1; Nate Shrader 1-1

Mt. Zion: Christian Keyhea 4-36; Grant McAtee 2-24; Chiren Petty 2-10; Ethan Hamrick 1-9