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Marion County added another chapter to the Mercer County High School's tough season Friday night but not before letting the Titans stick around.
The Titans (0-7) had their share of chances but couldn't pull out their first win of the season against Marion County (4-2) at John J. Boswell Stadium on Friday night.
"We had our best week of practice in several weeks," Head Coach Jeff Robbins said. "We had two real good full pad practices. The other two days were good as well. I'm not sure we don't come out nervous at home. In three home games we've turned the ball over 12 times compared to turning it over two times on the road. I'm going to see if I can't get the rest of the games changed to away or at least a neutral site."
The Titans trailed 21-15 after pinning Marion County High School senior punter Alex Mayo in the end zone for a safety on a blown snap with 11:55 to go in the fourth quarter.
With Knight turnovers and miscues piling up, Mercer had momentum going in the fourth quarter.
A big play by the Knights senior wide out Bryson Bell would give the Knights more cushion as Bell scampered 49 yards for a touchdown with eight minutes to go to put the home team up 28-15.
The Titans weren't done yet as senior Tre Dunn hit Jamel Taylor for a 31-yard reception with 7:20 left.
Dunn and the Titans found themselves at fourth and six on the Knights 40 when Dunn threw a pick to Knights junior Jordan Bell on the 27 with five minutes left.
Dunn would have another chance after the Titans defense forced a three and out. However, Marion County senior lineman Wes Stayton dropped a scrambling Dunn for an 11-yard loss to all but crush the Titans on fourth and six. Stayton had a fantastic game, picking up five tackles for a loss, one sack, one pass break up, eight solo tackles and seven assisted tackles.
On the next play from scrimmage Bryson Bell scored the go ahead touchdown with a 44-yard run around the right side to put the Knights up 35-15 with 2:25.
A fumble at the line of scrimmage during the Titans next possession was recovered by Marion County as they bled the clock to take the win.
Russell Mays had the lone touchdown for the Titans, scoring on a 95-yard breakaway to tie the game 7-7 in the second quarter. Kicker J.J. Blau was 2-2 with field goals from 30 and 32 yards out.
The Knights were too much on the ground, accumulating over 300 yards on 38 carries. Bryson Bell led the way with 182 yards and four touchdowns. Dylan Peterson added 121 yards rushing. He is just short of averaging 100 yards rushing per game.
Marion County was 1-for-3 passing, the only completion a 46-yard touchdown reception by Valis Mudd.
Mercer led a balanced attack with 150 yards on the ground and 106 through the air.
The Knights begin district play with Bullitt East High School (2-4) next Friday at John J. Boswell Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Statistics At Marion County MERCER 0 10 3 2 - 15
MARION 7 7 7 14 - 35
Marion County - Bryson Bell 44 yard run (Mark Corbett kick), 9:31, 7-0.
Mercer County - Russell Mays 95 yard run (J.J. Blau kick), 5:48, 7-7.
Marion County - Valis Mudd 46 yard reception from Ryan Peterson (Corbett kick), 1:45, 14-7
Mercer County - Blau 30-yard field goal, 0:02, 14-10. Third Quarter Mercer County - Blau 32 yard field goal, 5:15, 14-13.
Marion County - Bell 1 yard run (Corbett kick), 3:28, 21-13.
Mercer County - Safety on blown punt snap, 11:55, 21-15.
Marion County - Bell 49-yard run (Corbett kick), 8:07, 28-15
Marion County - Bell 44-yard run (Corbett kick), 2:25, 35-15
TEAM STATISTICS Total rushing yards - 307 Total passing yards - 44 Total rushing yards allowed - 150 Total passing yards allowed - 106