Golden Eagles shut out Princeville, 27-0

Robert Blackford/Editor
Mercer County's Derrick Morford picks up some yards against Princeville.

The Mercer County Golden Eagles improved to 5-0 with a 27-0 victory over Princeville (3-2) on Friday night, Sept. 23.

The Golden Eagle Defense  held Princeville in check throughout the entire game for its first shut out of the season.

Mercer County needed its defense to step up as the offense sputtered at times.

"We kept shooting ourselves in the foot offensively," said Mercer County head coach Nat Zunkel. "I'm disappointed we didn't start better but we scored on our second possession."

The Golden Eagles did score on their second possession, a 38 yard touchdown run by Derrick Morford. Morford would lead the Golden Eagles with 99 yards rushing. Mercer County led 7-0  with 2:30 remaining in the first quarter.

It would be the only score of the first half.

Princeville had their chances taking over at the Mercer County 26 and 28 yard lines in the first half and 34 yard line in the third quarter but coming up empty each time.

"Our defense had a great game," said Zunkel. "If we're inside the 30 yard line we're scoring."

The offense lost lineman Brent Rillie early on in the game to an injury. "We've told the boys don't be satisfied with being the backup. Compete for time. We've got big sophomore and junior classes but the seniors have stepped up this year. Sophomores "

With seven seconds remaining in the third quarter the Golden Eagles pushed in for their second score of the night on a 10 yard touchdown pass from Tanner Matlick to Alec Blaser. Mercer County took a 14-0 lead into the fourth quarter.

"The defense got a couple of stops in key situations nude pressure situations," said Matlick.

The Golden Eagles offense started to gel a little in the final period. Morford scored his second touchdown of the game on a 20 yard run with 9:58 remaining in the contest.

"Once the offensive line started opening holes it was off to the endzone," said Morford.

The Golden Eagles added another score at 4:33 when Jesse Snyder ran nine yards for the touchdown.

"We've had to play four quarters three weeks in a row," said Zunkel. "We have a lot to improve on.