Golden Eagles advance to quarter finals
The Mercer County survived a trip to Elmwood and escaped with a 14-7 victory over the Elmwood-Brimfield Trojans.
The Golden Eagle defense had two goal line stands during the contest and the offense scored just enough points to win.
The Golden Eagles will host Stark County next week in the 2A quarterfinals this weekend.
Mercer County imoproved to 11-0 with the victory while Elmwood-Brimfield finished the season with a 10-1 record.
The opening quarter was a battle of defenses. Golden Eagle quarterback Tanner Matlick's first pass attempt was intercepted.
The Trojans went on a 12 play drive but were forced to punt.
The Trojans got on the scoreboard first as William Bean scored on a three yard run at the 4:33 mark. The score was the culmination of a 19 play drive. The key play during the drive was Trojan Jason Harkness's eight yard run for a first down on a fourth down play, a fake punt. The Trojans led 7-0.
Mercer County answered with a six play 62 yard scoring drive. Derrick Morford got the drive started with a 24 yard run. Tanner Matlick completed a 14 yard pass to Alex Robinson down to the 20 yard line. Zach Nelson took the ball across the goal line to help Mercer County knot the score at 7-7 with 2:57 remaining.
The Golden Eagle defense held the Trogans offense to a three plays and out on their next drive. On the ensuing punt Payton Holmes returned the ball 38 yards to the Trojans 19 yard line.
Matlick hooked up with Tyson Nylin in the corrner of the endzone and Mercer County led 14-7 a the 1:05 mark.
Mercer County finished the first half with a 14-7 lead.
The Trojans started the second half with a 12 play drive down to the Mercer County four yard line. But the Golden Eagle defense held and its offense took over.
The Golden Eagle ground game took over and Morford picked up massive amounts of yards on runs of 11, 11, 6, 18 and 13 yards.
Still the Golden Eagles were forced to pnt after a penalty pinning Elmwood inside their 20 yard line.
The Trojans put together a 15 play drive but were ultimatly shut down at the Golden Eagle three yard line.
With its back against the wall at their own three yard line the Golden Eagles put together a 13 play drive to run out the clock. Matlick hit Alek Blaser on a 27 yard plass play on third down and seven to keep the drive alive. Matlick later hit Alex Robinson on an 11 yard pass on a third down and eight play to keep the drive alive.