Golden Eagles roll to victory over Elmwood-Brimfield

Robert Blackford/Editor

The Mercer County Golden Eagles went to work Friday night, Sept. 25, and got the job done against a determined Elmwood-Brimfield team. The Golden Eagles came away with a 47-6 victory in the contest.

"The whole night seemed really strange," said Mercer County head coach Nat Zunkel after the contest. "Elmwood-Brimfield had a fantastic plan. They held the ball every possible second. We were up 21-0 at the half, but it didn't feel like it. They played a different front than we thought they would. The first three days of practice last week were three of our best. Then Thursday's practice was just blah. We felt we were the far better team. I thought we played down to their level."

Mercer County scored first in the contest as Max Parkinson put together a series of big runs on the Golden Eagles first drive. Gains of five, 13 and 11 yards on Mercer County's first three offensive plays from scrimmage set up a 16-yard touchdown run by Parkinson to give Mercer County a 7-0 lead.

The Trojans next drive lasted two plays and ended when Tanner Dunn recovered a fumble by Trojan quarterback Jake Hammond.

The Golden Eagles put together a 53-yard scoring drive. On third down and 13 Golden Eagle quarterback Brett Anderson hit Tanner Benson with a 30-yard pass for a touchdown.

Mercer County ended the first quarter with a 14-0 lead.

Cale Muske recovered another Trojan fumble on the first play of the second quarter. The Golden Eagles put together a 52-yard scoring drive culminating in a one-yard touchdown run by Ethan Ball. The Gold Eagles led 21-0 with 7:27 remaining in the second quarter.

The Trojans got going on their next drive and kept the drive alive by converting on a fourth down play. Hammond faked a punt and ran for the first down to give the Trojans some life. The Trojans drove to the Mercer County 17-yard line where Kyle Pittman intercepted a Hammond pass to thwart a scoring threat with 29.8 seconds remaining before halftime.

"We went in at halftime and it felt like we were tied 0-0 said Mercer County coach Nat Zunkel. "The defense played well. They (Elmwood-Brimfield) had four drives that ended in one punt and three turnovers."

Mercer County jumped on Elmwood-Brimfield right out of the gate in the third quarter. Anderson hit Benson on a 42-yard pass play on the first play from scrimmage down to the Trojan's 18-yard line. Parkinson carried the ball 14 yards in for the score to give Mercer County a 28-0 lead.

"I thought our second half focus was better," said Zunkel.

The Mercer County defense held the Trojans on their next two possessions one ending when Cale Muske came up with an interception.

Parkinson took over on the ground for Mercer County with gains of 16, 12 and 11 yards down to the Trojan 20-yard line.

Anderson hit Ball with an eight-yard pass for a touchdown to give the Golden Eagles a 34-0 lead.

The Trojans only score came on a 57-yard run by Nathan Galligher with 32.3 seconds remaining in the third quarter to cut the Mercer County lead to 34-6.

Mercer County scored again with 3:56 remaining when Brett Anderson ran one in from nine yards out to give Mercer County a 40-6 lead.

The Golden Eagles final score came on a 60-yard run from Austin Skiles.

The Golden Eagles were without the services of seniors Jordan Frieden and Jordan Willits, who were both injured.

Sophomore Cody Paxton stepped in to fill the shoes of Willits. "The best part about our kids is they see a need and they step up to fill it. Cody stepped up tonight. Cody is preparing for the future. Willits helped him prepare for the game and talked to him after every play."

Max Parkinson led the Golden Eagles in rushing with 124 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns. Austin Skiles had 72 yards on two carries and a touchdown.

Brett Anderson completed eight of his 15 pass attempts for 167 yards and a touchdown. Tanner Benson caught five passes for 139 yards and a touchdown.