Mercer County rolls over El Paso-Gridley, 41-7

Robert Blackford/Editor
Mercer County's Landon McIntosh sacks the El Paso-Gridley quarterback during the Golden Eagles 41-7 victory Saturday at George Pratt Memorial Field in Aledo.

The Titans of El Paso Gridley had no answer for the Mercer County passing game and couldn't move the ball against the Golden Eagle defense.

The two combined for a 41-7 Golden Eagle victory over the Titans.

"We played fantastic run defense today," said Titan coach Dave Svehla. "They have some very talented skill players and they did a really great job today.

Mercer County quarterback Tanner Matlick completed 15 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns against the Titan defense.

"He throws the ball as well as anyone we've seen all year," said Svehla. "He was really poised. His receivers ran good routes and caught the ball."

El Paso-Gridley closes out the season with a 7-3 record. Mercer County improved to 10-0 and will travel to play Elmwood next week 10-0.

Svehla said, "I'm proud of my kids."

Mercer County jumped on El Paso-Gridley early as Matlick hit Alex Robinson with a 54 yard touchdown pass with 9:39 remaining in the first quarter.

"That's what we've talked about doing all year," said Mercer County head coach Nat Zunkel, "getting off to a fast start. We had a good week of practices and stepped up our game. Not a single player out there wasn't excited to be on the field.

The Golden Eagles followed that up with a nine play drive which culminated with Matlick hit Devin Morford with an 11 yard touchdown pass at the 4:55 mark in the first quarter. The Golden Eagles went up 14-0.

"Tanner's a big time quarterback. When he throws the ball its pretty special."

Midway through the second quarter Matlick found Zach Nelson on a 20 yard pass for a touchdown Fredrick Jenssen's kick made the score 21-0 at the 5:24 mark.

The Golden Eagles added another touchdown at the 2:13 mark as Matlick scored on a two yard run.

Mercer County led 28-0 at the half

The Titans' offense had only one first down in the first half.

It didn't get any better in the third quarter for the Titans. Mercer County's defense continued to be stingy and  Matlick kept the Golden Eagle offense moving. Matlick completed a six yard touchdown pass to Nelson with 3:23 left in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff Mercer County's Tyson Nylin's big hit caused a fumble that the the Golden Eagles recovered. four plays later Matlick scored on a quarterback sneak from four yards out. "I ripped off my guy and went don the field and made the play," said Nylin.

El Paso-Gridley scored late on a 20 yard run by Kevan Frank