LEBANON-There's no such thing as a moral victory.

That was the message from Southmont coach Desson Hannum after the Mounties' 21-0 loss at Lebanon Friday.

But it's hard to argue that the Mounties made strides in the game.

"We're in it to play as hard as we can. And I think that is probably THE best effort I have gotten from the team all season," Hannum said. "We talked before the game about needing all 11 people to do their job. I think we got what we needed out of all 11 people."

On paper, the teams were nearly identical. Lebanon (2-2, 1-1 SAC) gained 257 yards of total offense to Southmont 240.

The difference was Lebanon kept Southmont out of the endzone.

"The defense we played tonight was bend, don't break," Lebanon head coach Kent Wright said. "The coverages we played allowed them to get some stuff underneath, but when it comes to it we're going to make a stop."

Southmont converted two fourth-down plays during their second possession of the third quarter and got all the way down to the Tiger 10-yard line before finally running out of magic.

The Tigers intercepted the fourth down pass in the endzone and the offense took over. They promptly punted.

"We had some breakdowns obviously. But we were able to move the ball offensive in the middle quarters," Hannum said. "I think we wore them down a little bit. It was unfortunate we didn't come away with a score a couple times."

The Mountie offense got back to work and drove 45 yards to the Tiger 15 before once again turning the ball over, this time on downs.

The Tigers took over with 7:10 left and ran 5:48 off the clock before punching in the dagger on a 4-yard run.

Southmont quarterback Mitch Dehne threw the ball 23 times and completed seven of them for 149 yards. Jarrett Todd was his favorite receiver. He caught three balls for 68 yards.

The staunch Lebanon defense held the Mounties to 91 rushing yards on 33 attempts. Eighty-one of those yards came in the second half. The Mounties netted only 10 yards and zero rushing first downs in the first half.

"They're a tough team. We knew going in to this game that it would be ugly and we were OK with that. That's the best defense we've seen all year," Hannum said. "Their front is as good as we will probably see all year. And we held up against them for the most part later in the game."

Zach Worm led the team with 58 rushing yards. He gained 57 of those after halftime.

The Mounties will return to the county next week with a trip to Crawfordsville.