The Titans football team picked up their third straight win Friday night defeating Taylor County in a shoot out, 72-31. The Titans improved to 5-3 on the season with the win.
Mercer totalled more than 700 yards of offense, with more than 350 coming on the ground and in the air. It was the team’s defense that had Head Coach Chris Pardue worried allowing a .500 Cardinals team to amass 336 yards and 31 points.
“It made me worry a whole lot, because I thought the last two weeks we played good defense, but we didn’t play good defense this week in practice. In fact, yesterday’s pregame practice, we ended it way early, because we tackled just exactly like that in practice yesterday,” Pardue said. “And we’ve got to learn from that. We’re getting close to playoff time, and you can’t take a step back like that once you start playing in the postseason or you’ll be going home.”
The offense more than made up for the defenses’ lack luster performance scoring 34 points in the first quarter and gaining more than 400 yards of offense in the first half.
“We did some good things offensively. I think we’re getting better all the time offensively. And both of our quarterbacks played extremely well tonight. James (Johnson) ran the ball hard and the offensive line, I thought, did a super job opening holes in there,” Pardue said.
Mercer’s Chris Crawley-Goodman opened the scoring two minutes into the game on a 39-yard end around run and a Stetson Cooley extra point gave Mercer a 7-0 lead.
A fumble recovery by the Titans on the ensuing kickoff set the Titans up with first and 10 at the Cardinal’s 35-yard-line. It took James Johnson one carry to reach the endzone and 11 seconds after their opening touchdown, the Titans doubled their total taking a 14 point lead. Johnson ended the game with 243 yards on 15 carries and five rushing touchdowns.
Taylor County answered on their next drive by marching 69 yards on six plays before punching it in on fourth and goal from the one-yard-line with 5:58 remaining in the first quarter.
That was enough time for Mercer to score two more touchdowns in the quarter. The first, a 69 yard pass and catch from quarterback Drew Davis to Russell Sims and another 62 yard passing touchdown from Davis, this time to Layne Peavler.
Davis ended the game with 282 passing yards and three touchdowns, the third and longest, a 78 yarder, came in the start of the fourth quarter to quarterback and wide receiver Darion Lewis.