Semi-finals in sight for Golden Eagles
By Robert Blackford/Editor
The Mercer County Golden Eagles football team advanced to Class 2A Semifinals Saturday afternoon with a 41-0 victory over Farmington. The defending state champions advance to the semi-finals with the victory.
The Golden Eagle defense stifled Farmington the entire afternoon allowing only one first down the entire first half and finished with the team's sixth shutout of the season.
"We were a little nervous on offense the first couple of series," said head coach Nat Zunkel.
The Golden Eagles got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter.
Mercer County pounded away on the ground with junior Matt Weeks and senior Tyson Russell. Russell finished the drive with a 10 yard run for a touchdown. Mercer County led 6-0 with 5:22 remaining in the first half.
Less than two minutes later Mercer County added on to their lead. Junior Dalton Howard blocked a Farmington punt and recovered the ball in the endzone for the touchdown. Mercer County led 12-0 with 4:15 left in the first half. Russell completed the conversion run and Mercer County led 14-0.
The Golden Eagles weren't finished.
Farmington picked up their only first down of the opening half on their next series. The Farmers punted and gave Mercer County the ball back at their 37 yard line with 1:24 remaining.
With 63 yards in front of them the Golden Eagle offense went to work. Mercer County quarterback Spencer Wood completed a pair of 12 yard passes to Tyson Nylin and a 19 yard pass to Tyson Russell to set up the Golden Eagles third touchdown of the day. Wood completed a 28 yard touchdown pass to A.J. Line with 3.5 seconds remaining to give the Golden Eagles a 20-0 lead. Wood completed the conversion pass to Kale Moreland and Mercer County led 22-0 at the half.
The Golden Eagle defense continued to stifle Farmington in the third quarter. Mercer County got on the board midway through the third quarter as Russell scored on a 30 yard run with 4:57 left in the period. The conversion pass failed and the Golden Eagles led 28-0.
Golden Eagle Ben Nichols recovered the ensuing kickoff giving Mercer County the ball at the 28 yard line. Two plays later the Golden Eagles scored again. Wood completed a 21 yard pass to Nylin down to the Farmers' one yard line. Curtis VanWinkle scored on a one yard run and Mercer County led 34-0 with 4:24 left.
After the Golden Eagle defense forced another three and out the Golden Eagles took over again at the 50 yard line. The Golden Eagles Eagles completed an eight play drive with Wood connecting with Line again a 25 yard touchdown pass.
Freshman Jacob Dellitt kicked the extra point and Mercer County led 41-0.
With the 40 point lead meant the clock ran the rest of the game. The Golden Eagles had another chance to score with 6:38 remaining but coach Zunkel had the offense take a knee rather than score again.