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Marion County took advantage of a pair of second-quarter Taylor County miscues and pulled away from a 7-7 tie over the visiting Cardinals en route to a 39-22 district triumph on Friday night in Lebanon.
“We just did not play a complete game,” TCHS head coach Eric Graves offered. “This is technically our rival, especially in the district, and we just did not perform.”
The Cardinals had knotted the score on Brandon Williams’ second-period score and held the Knights on several possessions before a fumble at the TCHS 3-yard line set up the go-ahead score with 4:11 left before intermission.
A Marion County punt hit a Cardinal player and the Knights scooped up the loose football to lead 22-7 at half-time.
Connor Fair returned the second-half kick-off 93 yards to pay dirt and Aaron Gray’s second extra point made it 22-14.
However, the Knights added a third-quarter score and one to start the fourth frame for a 36-14 advantage.
Williams’ 35-yard run set up his own burst from a yard out with 8:19 left and then the junior stand-out caught a conversion pass that went through the hands of a Marion County defender.
“I am proud of my guys,” Graves concluded. “They played hard all the way through and they kept their composure.”
Taylor County plays at Lexington Catholic this week before three consecutive home games vs. Mercer County, Barren County and Green County.
Knights 39, Cardinals 22
at Marion County
Taylor County 0 7 7 8 — 22
Marion County 7 15 7 10 — 39
MCHS — Justin Dawson, 2, run (Aldo Perez kick)
TCHS — Brandon Williams, 6, run (Aaron Gray kick)
MCHS — Dawson, 3, run (Perez kick)
MCHS — Lincoln Haydon, 22, fumble return (Jack Hagan pass from Hayden Taylor)
TCHS — Connor Fair, 93, kick-off return (Gray kick)
MCHS — Logan Breeding, 22, run (Perez kick)
TCHS — Haydon, 21, pass from Taylor (Perez kick)
TCHS — Williams, 1, run (Williams pass from Hunter Christie)
MCHS — Perez, 28, field goal
First downs 6 14
Rushing 30-194 38-156
Passing 2-7-0 10-13-0
Passing yards 40 175
Total yards 234 331
Punts-avg 2-22 1-43
Penalties 13-80 10-78
Fumbles lost 2 0
Rushing — Taylor County: Brandon Williams 19-168, Jarrett Benningfield 5-14, Hunter Christie 2-5, Jack Miller 2-3, Garrett Haggerty 1-3, Dylan Bright 1-1.
Passing — Taylor County: Christie 2-7-0 for 40.
Receiving — Taylor County: Connor Fair 2-40.