The Tigers scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to beat Mercer 35-7.
By BILL ALBRIGHT
SHARON -- For the first half of Friday's Mercer County Athletic Conference contest between Mercer and Sharon, it was anybody's game.
In the second half, that all changed.
The Tigers went on the prowl, scoring 28 unanswered points to break a 7-7 halftime tie and register a 35-7 win over the visiting Mustangs.
"Going into the locker room, we knew we had to step it up," Sharon coach Bo Reichart said. "We made some adjustments, the defense started to fly around, causing some turnovers and we were able to score some points off their efforts."
Despite the loss, Mercer first-year coach Gary Krenzer had nothing but good things to say about his team.
"Sharon has a great football team and in the second half they proved it," Krenzer said. "But my kids played better than any other Mercer team has played in the past several years against Sharon."
The Mustangs (1-3) scored a touchdown on a 14-yard pass from Zack Wasser to Luke Erdos and had another drive turned away when Laroy Taylor picked off Wasser deep in Sharon territory.
"All things considered, we might have had the upper hand in the first half," said Krenzer. "We were down deep in their territory later in the half, but we just didn't finish the job and score."
The Tigers (2-2) wasted no time taking control of the game in the third period.
Marcus Gilliland blocked a Mercer punt on the Sharon 47 and the Tigers ran nine straight times, capped by a Marcus Smith touchdown, to take a 14-7 lead.
Gilliland then pounced on a Mustang fumble at the Mercer 15 and Smith, who had 166 yards rushing, went the distance on the next play to make it 21-7.
"When Marcus gets going, I don't think there is anybody who can stop him," Reichart said. "In the second half, he simply came out and did what he had to do. I just kept telling him to keep running hard that the holes would be there for him."
Reichart also praised Gilliland's defensive effort.
"He is coming around," said the first-year Tiger mentor. "At the beginning of the season, he knew that he could be a player. For the past two weeks, he has stepped it up and is doing the right things and it shows."