Titans run over Allen County

Published 11:44 am Sunday, September 1, 2019

The Mercer County Titans improved to 2-0 on the young season after a convincing victory over Allen County-Scottsville 32-19 in the first game of Saturday’s McDaniel Wealth Management Rebel Bowl.

“It was big,” Mercer coach David Buchanan said of the win. “I wish we’d played a cleaner game, but our guys made some plays and hung in there and I was proud of them.”

It didn’t take long for the Titans to get on the scoreboard. On just the second play from scrimmage, Malachi Yulee broke a 76 yard touchdown run to put the Titans ahead 7-0.

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Yulee would finish with 207 yards and was named MVP of the game.

Malachi Yulee finished with over 200 yards and game MVP. (Photo Derek Brightwell)

The next score wouldn’t come until midway through the second quarter as both teams buckled down on defense and it was the Patriots crossing the goal line, but after a failed point after attempt, the Titans still led.

That changed when Allen County quarterback Trace McEntyre stretched the ball across the goal line before fumbling it to give the Patriots the lead. The failed 2-point conversion meant the lead was only 12-7.

After that it was all Titans. To close out the first half, Kaelin Drakeford connected with Dillon Warren for a long TD pass for the go ahead score, but a botched snap on the extra point meant the lead was only 13-12 heading to halftime.

Kaelin Drakeford celebrating in open field as he approaches the goal line on his punt return for a TD. (Photo Derek Brightwell)

Drakeford got in on the scoring action in a more personal way when he took an Allen County punt the distance to extend the lead to 19-12. 

Yulee would have had another long touchdown (this time for 88 yards), but offsetting penalties negated the run, and the sideline’s celebration cost the Titans 15 yards. That didn’t matter, however, Brayden Dunn broke through the Patriots’ defense for a 58 yard score and a 26-12 lead.

Brayden Dunn broke free for a 58 yard TD. (Photo Derek Brightwell)

After a Jackson Peavler interception gave the ball back to the Titans, Yulee’s run set them up inside the 5 yard line and Peyton Owens finished the drive off to go up 32-12.

“(Yulee) did a nice job and I think we blocked pretty good for him, too,” Buchanan said of his running back. “That’s why I was glad Peyton Owens scored down here because Peyton did a lot of blocking tonight.”

Allen County scored again late in the game to tighten up the final score, but Mercer didn’t need to do anything with the ball on the next drive and ran the clock out for the win.

At 2-0, Buchanan still think that his team can play better. He points to miscues made and knows that if his team can tighten up the play, they can go to another level.

As for next week, Mercer will face its first true road test as the Titans head to Anderson County on a short week.

“We’re going to do what we did last year,” Buchanan said of the weekly preparation. “Monday is basically going to be a video, stretch and walkthrough. Tuesday we’re going to have a regular week. Monday we’re going give the bodies a little bit of a break.”
That game will be at Anderson County on Friday, Sept 6 at 7:30 p.m.