Mercer County advances through Bureau Valley

Robert Blackford/Editor

The Mercer County Golden Eagles came from behind to score a touchdown with 17.6 seconds remaining to beat Bureau Valley 22-19.

“We were slipping and sliding all day,” said Ohlson.

The game was played in the mud and the wind and was evenly played throughout.

“Penalties and turnovers were costly for us,” said Bureau Valley head coach Jeff Ohlson. “They caught up to us today.”

“They (Mercer County) executed and got into the endzone at the end,” said Ohlson.

Mercer County got on the scoreboard first on a one yard touchdown run by Ethan Ball to give the Golden Eagles a 7-0 lead with 8:12 remaining in the first quarter. Mercer County quarterback Brett Anderson completed a 33-yard pass to Kyle Pittman on a fourth down and five play during the 74 yard drive.

Bureau Valley couldn’t get keep their offense on the field for much of the first quarter and trailed 7-0 going into the second period.

But Valley’s defense backed up Mercer County to their own four yard line and forced them to punt.

The Storm blocked the punt which fell into the hands of Alex Franklin who returned it three yards for the touchdown to tie the score at 7-7

Late in the second quarter Bureau Valley started a 43 yard scoring drive which ended with a one yard run by Austin Peterson. Jonathan King completed 12 and 10 yard passes to Peterson to sustain the drive.

Bureau Valley took a 13-7 lead into the lockerroom at the half.

Bureau Valley took the ball to begin the second half but fumbled it away on the Storm’s second play from scrimmage at the 18-yard line.

The Storm’s defense held strong and forced a fourth down and 15 play where they picked up a 15-yard face mask penalty to give Mercer County a first and goal at the Storm eight yard line.

Anderson completed a 10-yard pass to Ball on a fourth down play. The extra point by Luke Boucher gave Mercer County a 14-13 lead.

The Storm came back though and took a 19-14 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Michael Weidner.

The Storm appeared to be stopped win a fourth down pass fell incomplete during the drive but a pass interference penalty gave them a first and goal opportunity a the Mercer County five yard line.

The Golden Eagles final drive was 60 yards as they drove the length of the field in a little under two minutes.

Anderson started out with two quick passes to Tanner Benson and Ball to get the Golden Eagles into Bureau Valley territory. Anderson connected on passes to Peterson and Ball to give the Golden eagles a firs and goal opportunity at the Bureau Valley seven yard line.

Anderson scored with 17.7 seconds left on a quarterback sneak for the Golden Eagles winning score.

“I knew we could do it,” said Anderson about the game’s final drive. We just had to execute. Now we know we can do anything.”

“I’m just so proud of our guys,” said Mercer County head coach Nat Zunkel.