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Henry County Beats Titans In Overtime Thriller

The Harrodsburg Herald/Wesley Bird
Freshman Ashton Drakeford scrambled for a 17 yard touchdown against the Henry County Wildcats Friday, Oct. 14. Drakeford had 96 yards receiving and a touchdown in the second half.

Wesley Bird
Herald Staff

The Mercer County Titans football team (3-5) lost a heart breaker in overtime to the Henry County Wildcats (7-1) Friday, Oct. 14. It came down to inches on the final play, but Mercer’s mistakes on special teams cost them the game. Being a district game the winner received a home playoff game against the three seed of the sister district and the loser travels to the second seed of the sister district come playoffs.

Mercer started the game with freshman Ashton Drakeford at quarterback as junior Thaddeus Mays dealt with an upper body injury. Drakeford’s first play of the game was a 20 yard completion to Mays down the right sideline. Drakeford continued the drive with two passes to senior Wade Lane for 20 yards and junior running back Denim Griffieth picked up 15 more on the ground. Mercer was first on the scoreboard with a 17 yard scramble from Drakeford. Senior Jase Cocanougher hit the extra point and was perfect on the night making all five kicks, 7-0.

Henry County’s first offensive drive was all runs as they crossed middle field. Senior Zayden Jackson had a tackle in the back field to bring up a third down. The Wildcats fumbled it on the next play with junior Kingston Mays recovering the ball for the Titans.

Drakeford kept the Mercer offense moving with a 17 yard roll out pass to T. Mays. The Titans hurt themselves with two negative plays and had a touchdown brought back because of holding. Mercer turned the ball over on downs after Drakeford was sacked on fourth and 11 to give Henry County the ball on their own 43 yard line.

The Wildcats picked up a first down, but junior Caden Semrau made a big stop on first down and Henry County struggled to pick up yards in the air. Drakeford didn’t field the pursuing punt clean and the Wildcats recovered the ball on Mercer’s six yard line. Henry County punched in the tying touchdown to begin the second quarter with a three yard run up the middle, 7-7.

Drakeford was sacked twice on Mercer’s next drive and they were forced to punt. K. Mays and Semrau came through with some big stops in the trenches to stop the Wildcats’ run game and Mercer got the ball back on Henry County’s 11 yard line after they punted.

Mercer’s offensive line created some space and Griffieth broke a 30 yard run followed by senior Morgan Pennington scoring on a 55 yard run up the middle on the next play, 14-7. The momentum was short lived with the Wildcats returning the kickoff  90 yards to tie the game back up, 14-14.

Mercer went three and out on their next drive, but so did Henry County. Junior Myles Haygood made a great tackle behind the line of scrimmage on third down to get the Titans the ball back. The Titans picked up seven yards with Griffieth on their first play, but the next two Drakeford passes fell incomplete.

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