The Mercer County Golden Eagles football team defeated Ridgewood, 41-0 on Friday night, Aug. 30.
It was a big night for Mercer County Golden Eagle fans. Not only were they looking forward to the first football game of the year. Fans also got a first hand look at improvements to the athletic complex that included a new all weather track and scoreboard.
If that wasn't enough, they also inducted three members into the school's Hall of Fame prior to the start of the game. Dr. Randy Dunn, Col. David Lawson and Clayton Rush were the first inductees into the Hall of Fame since the Westmer and Aledo school systems consolidated.
When the induction ceremony was finished and the looks at the all weather track were over the Golden Eagles got down to the business of football.
Sophomore Spencer Wood took over the duties of quarterback from last year's all stater performer Tanner Matlick and looked good throughout the contest.
The Golden Eagles drove 68 yards on their first possession and scored on Tyson Russell's two yard run. Wood hit Tyson Nylin on two passes for 18 and 16 yards during the drive and Russell contributed with a 25 yard run to start the drive.
The Golden Eagles struck again late in the first quarter at the 1:55 mark as Wood scored on a one yard run. Wood also completed the conversion run and Mercer County led 14-0.
The Golden Eagles forced a fumble early in the second quarter and were quick to capitalize. Wood completed a four yard touchdown pass to A.J. Line as Mercer County increased its lead to 21-0.
The Golden Eagles scored again with 3:43 remaining in the second quarrier as Wood hit Nylin for five yards and a touchdown.
With 2:36 remaining in the first half the Golden Eagles drove 65 yards scoring with 16.7 seconds remaining in the half when Wood snuck it across the goal line for a second time. Wood completed passes to A.J. Line, Tyson Nylin and Matt Weeks along the way.
The Golden Eagles led 35-0 at the half. Ridgewood failed to get a first down throughout the first half and had only one all game long and that after Mercer County was already ahead by 41 points. The Golden Eagle defense also forced three turnovers on the night.
The Golden Eagles scored once more in the second half, a 13 yard run by Tyson Russell at the 6:45 mark to give the Golden Eagles a 41-0 lead and start the continuous clock.
"Considering the circumstances, I was proud of our boys effort," said Mercer County head coach Nat Zunkel after the game. The temperature was hovering around 100 degrees just prior to the start of the game. "This was our first game. I'm happy but not content. We've been dying to get a game in and under our belts. I'm very excited. "We'll learn from our mistakes. It's really is a special night with the unveiling of the new field and the Hall of Fame."