Mercer County taken down by Taylor County

Published 12:40 am Saturday, October 14, 2017

HARRODSBURG — It didn’t take long Friday night to see that Taylor County was too much for Mercer County on the line of scrimmage.

Mercer scored on the game’s opening drive, but Taylor steamrolled the Titans for most of the rest of a 47-19 victory at Alvis Johnson Field.

Taylor scored on all five of its first-half possessions, running the ball behind a dominant offensive line on its first 27 plays from scrimmage and on 56 of 58 plays overall for an average of 5.7 yards per carry.

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Mercer (5-4, 2-1 District 4A-5) couldn’t keep pace because it was also having trouble with the Cardinals’ defensive front. The Titans were outgained 332 yards to 217 in their final district game.

The loss will almost certainly leave the Titans with the No. 3 seed in their district and force them to travel for the first round of the playoffs. Mercer is off next week before its regular-season finale Oct. 27 against Boyle County.

“They kicked our tails up front – both sides of the ball,” Mercer coach David Buchanan said. “I thought we were further along than this, but right now I don’t have a whole lot of answers. We’ve got to do some soul-searching, and we’ve got to find ways to get better.”

Fullback Logan Parker rushed for four touchdowns for Taylor (6-2, 2-1). He scored on runs of 1, 4, 5 and 4 yards and finished with 97 yards on 15 carries.

Wes Oliver had a game-high 106 yards on 17 carries for the Cardinals, who rushed for 319 yards.

Taylor scored three times in just over 4 minutes early in the second quarter to take a 28-7 lead, then tacked on another score about 5 minutes later.

Mercer showed some life late in the first half when it drove 80 yards in seven plays for a score. Malachi Yulee rushed for 52 yards to the Taylor 6-yard line, and Jackson Lewis ran in from there with 45 seconds left in the half to pull the Titans within 35-7.

They managed only one second-half score, however, as Bryson Yeast reached the end zone on a 4-yard run five plays after Taylor’s only turnover, a fumble recovered by Mercer’s Jon Jon Logue.

Yulee led Mercer in rushing with 66 yards on only three carries, and Lewis ran 10 times for 40 yards.

Mercer quarterback Gunnar Gillis threw for 84 yards, most of them coming on a 54-yard pass to Aaron Johnson on the opening series.