NEW MARKET – Things didn’t start well for the Southmont Mountie football team in their Sagamore Conference opener against county rival North Montgomery.

However, it’s not how you start the game, but it’s how you finish it. Down 24-0 with 6:39 remaining in the first half, Southmont outscored the Chargers 41-7 down the stretch to pull out the 41-31 victory.

“To be able to come back and do what we did tonight was awesome.” said an ecstatic Mountie head coach Desson Hannum. “It’s tough to start a season with two losses, I felt like we were doing good things, we just couldn’t get out of our own way and we started the same way tonight.”

The Chargers scored in all phases of the game in the first half. They started their scoring with a 20-yard Corbin Osborne field goal. They scored a defensive touchdown on a 36-yard fumble recovery by Tanner Webster, and saw Collin Knecht throw touchdown passes of seven yards and 69 yards to wide receiver Dalton Surface to build a 24-0 lead midway through the second.

That’s when the Mountie offense started clicking. Kyle Nunemaker had a five-yard touchdown run and a 49-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 24-13.

The defense forced a turnover as Elijah Sparks intercepted Knecht’s pass with time winding down in the first half to set up Hunter Chadwick’s 10-yard pass to Boone Welliever to cut the North lead to 24-21 at the half.

“I thought our kids got out to a great start, but it’s the same thing that plagued us the first couple of weeks—we didn’t play a good second quarter.” Charger head coach Josh Thompson said. “The last two weeks we were able to hold on and tonight we weren’t able too.”

The teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter. Antonio Burks scored on a two-yard scamper to make it 28-24 in favor of the Mounties.

However, North Montgomery answered right back with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Knecht to Surface to regain the lead 31-28.

Southmont’s last two scores came on Chadwick touchdown passes of 15 yards to Kaleb Swick, in the third, and a 55-yard score to Burks in the fourth, to seal it for the Mounties.

“Hunter made some plays when we needed him too.” Hannum said. “We look to him to continue making progress.”

Southmont outgained the Chargers 481 yards to 353. Nunemaker had 25 carries for 197 yards rushing, and Chadwick had three touchdown passes to go along with his 129 passing yards.

The Chargers were led by Bryce Frederick’s 71 yards on six carries and Collin Knecht’s 260 yard, 3-touchdown performance.

North Montgomery (2-1, 0-1 SAC) is back in action next Friday when they host Lebanon.

The Mounties (1-2, 1-0 SAC) will travel to Dover to battle the Western Boone Stars.