LEXINGTON - Two things Mercer County could not do if the Titans wanted to stay with Lexington Catholic on Friday were lose turnovers and give up big plays.
Both of those things hurt Mercer as the Knights led by 31 points at the half and cruised to a 48-7 Class AAAA district win.
Both turnovers by the Titans led to Catholic touchdowns, and the Knights outgained Mercer 383 yards to 104.
“That’s a great football team bottom line. You’ve got a Division I quarterback, probably two or three Division I-type receivers that were a lot faster than I thought they were. They didn’t look that fast on film,” Mercer coach Paul Rains said. “They had some great speed out there. They had the edge on us a couple of times and just looked like they were shot out of a cannon.”
Catholic junior quarterback Kyle Bolin, who committed to Louisville recently, went 12 of 19 passing for 145 yards and four touchdowns and he and Reese Ryan completed passes to 10 different receivers.
Mercer helped get Catholic on the board with a turnover on its second play. After forcing a punt on the Knights’ opening drive, Dexter Banks ripped off an 18-yard run on the Titans’ first play before Jaylen Whitley fumbled on the next play and Catholic recovered at the Mercer 27-yard line.
Three plays later, Bolin hit David Bouvier with a quick screen to the left he turned into an 11-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with 9 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first quarter.
“You can’t turn the ball over, and we do that right off the bat. We get a nice stop, we get the ball, we get a nice run to get out of the hole and we turn the ball over,” Rains said. “You cannot do that. It just lets the air right out of you.
“It just sets you up for failure, and we just basically spotted them seven. You don’t have to spot LexCath seven points. It needs to be the other way around.”
The Knights scored two more times late in the first quarter.
Bolin had a 35-yard run and Amoh Kumengisa ripped off a 25-yard run, then scored on a 15-yard run to cap the four-play drive as Catholic led 14-0. With 18.9 seconds left in the first period, Bolin hit Bouvier on another quick screen left, which he turned into a 31-yard touchdown for a 21-0 led.
In the second quarter, Bolin hit Adam Bush for a 7-yard score and Jake Pumphrey booted a 44-yard field goal as the Knights led 31-0 at the half.
Bolin threw his fourth touchdown pass t on Catholic’s first drive of the third quarter, finding Kumengisa on a 7-yard pass to make it 38-0 with 10:12 left in the third.
After Trey Queenan picked off J.T. Long’s pass, Marcelis Logan finished off a five-play drive with a 14-yard scoring run to make it 45-0 with 7:46 left in the third to get the continuous clock going. Bobby Jacoby kicked a 27-yard field in the fourth quarter to cap the Knights’ scoring.
Long finished 10 of 26 passing for 102 yards and was sacked five times. Tyler Devine had five catches for 53 yards.
As disappointed as Rains was in the Titans’ play, he was also upset with the fact they were whistled for eight penalties, including six that were either personal fouls or unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
“I want them to conduct themselves in the right way. We kind of got into mouthing and pushing and shoving. And of course, LexCath was part of that, too. It’s a two-way street,” he said. “But you’ve got to go back and line up and get ready to snap the football.
“I think that comes from several years of not being on the winning side of things. You focus on the wrong things.”
Mercer finally got on the board when Travis Hooper scored on an 8-yard with 3:02 to play. He led Mercer with 39 yards on eight carries.
“Our offense late in the game, even though we were going against some of their younger players, we executed well. That’s the main thing,” Rains said. “Hopefully we can carry some of this on next week against Nelson County.”
Mercer County 0 0 0 7 — 7
Lexington Catholic 21 10 14 3 — 48
Lexington Catholic — David Bouvier 11 pass from Kyle Bolin (Jake Pumphrey kick), 9:34.
Lexington Catholic — Amoh Kumengisa 15 run (Pumphrey kick), 3:00.
Lexington Catholic — Bouvier 31 pass from Bolin (Pumphrey kick), :18.
Lexington Catholic — Adam Bush 7 pass from Bolin (Pumphrey kick), 8:12.
Lexington Catholic — FG¿Pumphrey 44, 3:14.
Lexington Catholic — Kumengisa 7 pass from Bolin (Pumphrey kick), 10:12.
Lexington Catholic — Marcelis Logan 14 run (Pumphrey kick), 7:46.
Lexington Catholic — FG¿Bobby Jacoby 27, 7:49.
Mercer — Travis Hooper 8 run (Rett Pigman kick), 3:02.
First downs 6 18
Rushes-yards 21-40 27-188
Passing 102 195
Total Net Yards 142 383
Comp-Att-Int 11-26-1 19-27-0
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 8-99 11-61
RUSHING—Mercer, Travis Hoper 8-39, Dexter Banks 3-22, Isaiah Burrus 2-7, Jaylen Whitley 1-0, J.T. Long 7-minus 29. Lexington Catholic, Marcelis Logan 4-88, Amoh Kumengisa 7-67, Kairon Snowden 5-30, Kyle Bolin 7-21, Reese Ryan 1-minus 18.
PASSING—Mercer, Long 11-26-1-102. Lexington Catholic, Bolin 12-19-0-145, Ryan 7-8-0-50.
RECEIVING—Mercer, Tyler Devine 5-53, Russell Sims 3-12, Burrus 2-28, Aaron Miller 1-9. Lexington Catholic, Kumengisa 3-59, David Bouvier 3-47, Calvin Zimmerman 3-24, Adam Bush 3-8, Snowden 2-7, Malik Guidry 1-28, Nathan Burke 1-8, Chris Noll 1-5, Braxton Couch 1-3.