Titans defeat Tigers, 53-14, advance to second round of playoffs

Mercer County junior running back Donald ‘D’ Smith ran for 81 yards on just seven carries Friday night. Smith also scored his team-high 11th rushing touchdown.

Daarik Gray

Herald Staff

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The Mercer County football team got out to a commanding 40-0 halftime lead Friday night, helping them cruise to a 53-14 win over the visiting Clay County Tigers in the first round of the Class AAAA State Playoffs.

“Our guys have been able to work and improve and I think that is a big reason why we are still getting better and that is a good sign going forward,” said Mercer County Head Coach David Buchanan. “It is really pretty simple for us, we have to continue doing what we’ve done all season long. There is no magic formaula. There is no special November practice plan.”

Mercer County did continue what they’d been doing the previous five games, which was dominate on the defensive end. The Titans’ defense held Clay County to only 117 total yards, most of which didn’t come until the fourth quarer, when the Titans were already ahead 53-0.

“I thought we played well defensively. I thought we were very physical,” said Buchanan.

Things were also clicking offensively for the Titans.

Mercer scored on their first five possessions, including two touchdown passes by Drew Davis.

Davis’ first touchdown pass came on Mercer’s first possession of the game, as he found senior Christian Crawley for a 6-yard score. 

The second touchdown pass from Davis was much longer as he connected with Chase Moore for a 38-yard touchdown, putting the Titans ahead 21-0 with 3:49 left in the first quarter.

“I just tried to get the ball to the athletes in the open field,” said Davis, who was 4-4 with 70 yards passing. “They had some gaps in the secondary, so all I had to do was get the ball to the athletes and let them do the work.”

Junior Dustin Baker got the final touchdown of the first quarter to put Mercer County ahead 27-0 after one.

Mercer County’s leading rusher, Donald ‘D’ Smith, extended the lead to 34-0 early in the second quarter on a one-yard touchdown run. 

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