Mercer County debut is Golden

Robert Blackford/Editor
Mercer County receiver Mason Bush picks up a block from Ethan Ball at Mercer County High School's first football game Aug. 29.

 The Mercer County Golden Eagles won the school's first ever football game Saturday against West Hancock, 48-8.

"It feels good," said new Mercer County head Nat Zunkel after the victory. "The kids played well. The beauty about football is that you are never satisfied. I'm already a little nervous about next week's game."

Zunkel added, "We wanted to get on that game field. This is the first dry day we've had in a week. I'm happy with our performance. Now we'll make plans to get better.

Zunkel said, "Brett Anderson did a fantastic job of running the offense today. He didn't make any mistakes. That's what we needed him to do."

Zunkel added, "I thought Jordan Willits did an exceptional job on the defensive line. On a whole, the defense played well. They did what everybody had to do to get the job done."

Brett Anderson ran the Golden Eagle offense well completing 14 passes for 222 yards and a trio of touchdowns in the air. He also ran for a pair of touchdowns and 80 yards. His first five completions were to five different receivers.

The defense was solid throughout the contest. West Hancock didn't record a first down until the fourth quarter against Mercer County's second team. The only West Hancock score came late in the contest when West Hancock fell on a muffed punt attempt against the Golden Eagles second team.

"We knew what we needed to do and we executed," said senior lineman Jordan Willits. "We have our new defense. It seemed to work out. I can't wait to see what it does in the future. Offensively we seemed to pick up where we left off last year."

The Golden Eagles wanted to get off to a quick start and they did. Mercer County scored on its third play from scrimmage to take a 6-0 lead at the 10:45 mark. Mercer County quarterback Brett Anderson scored from 37 yards out. This after completed a 21-yard pass to fullback Ethan Ball.

"This is our last time to begin the year well. We did what we wanted to do," said Anderson, a senior this year. "For the most part we did well. We were a little jittery at first."

Ball said, "We were really anxious to get out there. We didn't play great but we played well enough to get the win. A lot of the team is coming back. Some of the new guys need to step up. We have a solid core. We should be alright."

The Golden Eagles had two drives stall in the first quarter and led 6-0 heading into the second period. Anderson scored again on the first play of the second quarter on a five-yard run at the 11:56 mark.

At the 8:09 mark Anderson completed a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Pittman and the squad took a 21 -0 lead after Max Parkinson's conversion run.

Anderson completed his second touchdown pass at the 6:27 mark. This time the completion was for 34 yards to Mason Bush. Luke Boucher's kick gave Mercer County a 28-0 lead.

The Golden Eagles scored once more before halftime as Brett Anderson completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Ball.

The Golden Eagles took a 35-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

On Mercer County's opening drive of the second half Max Parkinson scored from 16 yards out. Boucher's extra point attempt hit the upright and bounced out. Mercer County still led 41-0. The 40-point lead triggered the continuous clock.

Max Parkinson's 56-yard run to the Mercer County one-yard line set up the team's final score. Parkinson took it the rest of the way on the next play. Mercer County led 48-0 with 5.3 seconds remaining in third quarter.

McClellan said, "Our line did a great job tonight. Defensively we wanted to work on the little things We focused on getting of to a big start and we came out of here with a big win."