The Mercer County football team suffered their first loss of the season Friday night at Madison Central (1-0) in double overtime, 19-13.
The Titans entered extremely hostile territory in the Indian’s opening game at their new athletic facility.
“This was a special night for Madison Central, but it was also a special night for us,” said Mercer Head Coach Chris Pardue. “I thought our kids played extremely hard and I can’t be more proud of the effort they gave tonight.”
Mercer started the game by marching 79-yards for a touchdown on their opening drive. Running back James Johnson busted a 51-yard run setting up first and 10 on the Indians’ 10-yard-line. Johnson finished the drive off on the next play, and following a Stetson Cooley extra point, Mercer led 7-0, with 8:49 remaining in the first quarter.
After turning the Indians over on downs on Mercer’s 13-yard-line, the Titans began to march the ball down the field again picking up two first downs as they approached midfield.
“We did make some mistakes tonight, but it wasn’t one mistake that determined the outcome of this game,” said Pardue.
One of those mistakes, a fumble by Johnson, put Mercer in a deep hole they were unable to climb out of, halting their drive and forcing a punt.
The Indians took advantage of good field position and more Mercer mistakes. This time coming in the form of an encroachment penalty on third down to keep the Madison Central drive alive. Dominique Hawkins capped off the Indians drive with a six-yard touchdown run and a Ben Durham extra point tied the game at 7-7, with 11:33 remaining in the first half and would remain level going into halftime.
The Indians opened the second half by marching all the way to the Titans’ red zone. After reaching the 20-yard-line, they were turned away by Mercer’s defense, turning the ball over on downs for the third time.
The Titans committed their first turnover of the game on their ensuing drive on an Austin Sparrow intercepted pass at the Indians 31-yard-line.
Madison Central drove all the way to Mercer’s 13-yard-line before missing a field goal attempt with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Mercer drove 87-yards on 12 plays including a fourth down and seven yards to go before Johnson picked up his second rushing touchdown of the game. Unfortunately for the Titans the play was called back on a holding call and three plays later Mercer turned the ball over on downs at the Indians 21-yard-line.