THE SPORTS BUZZ FOR SEPT. 7: Bearcats have had great games with Mercer and Harrodsburg

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Rivalry resumes this week

By John Herndon

Over the years, Anderson County has had some great football games with both Mercer County and Harrodsburg. Friday night will mark the first meeting between Anderson and Mercer since Harrodsburg High closed. I make my picks of the best games in the two series. At the end is a listing of every game in the longtime series.

Greats in the rivalries

Anderson vs. Mercer

1966 Anderson 68, Mercer Co. 0

Billy Bean has a field day, runs past the Scotties with four touchdowns.

1972 Anderson Co. 67, Mercer Co. 13

On the way to a district championship, the Bearcats rout Mercer as Anthony Stratton scores five rushing touchdowns. It is a school record that still stands today.

1983 Mercer Co. 7, Anderson Co. 6

A missed extra point does the Bearcats in.

1985 Mercer Co. 3, Anderson Co. 0

It's not often a high school game is a 3-0 affair. But Mercer's Todd Davis did the Bearcats in with a long field goal. It was a matchup of two coaches who would eventually become known among Kentucky's best, Anderson's Sam Harp and Mercer's Larry French.

1988 Mercer Co. 19, Anderson Co. 0

Anderson had planned to throw all night but a torrential rain scrapped those plans.

1989 Anderson Co. 27, Mercer 21 (overtime)

It was one with more twists and turns than one could imagine. Trailing 21-15 late in the fourth quarter and facing fourth and long, Anderson quarterback Randy Gillis and end Brian Klink connect on a pass that gets the first down by about a yard. The Bearcats score the tying touchdown in the last seconds, only to have the extra point attempt blocked. In overtime, Anderson got the ball first and scored, but Mercer fumbled on its first play. Eric Young recovered to seal the Bearcat win.

Anderson vs. Harrodsburg

1952 Anderson 12, Harrodsburg 6    Anderson's first win over Harrodsburg

1972 Anderson Co. 20, Harrodsburg 0

Still one of the biggest wins on the Anderson field. Harrodsburg, one of the favorites for the Class A championship, had just been the subject of a major feature in the Courier-Journal. The year before, Harrodsburg had beaten Anderson 51-0, but the upstart Bearcats had raised some eyebrows with a 4-2 start. Still, the Pioneers were supposed to make quick work of the Bearcats.

Anderson simply dominated with a 20-0 win on the way to the school's first district championship.

1973 Anderson Co. 12, Harrodsburg 6

Harrodsburg was again one of the state favorites, but the Anderson defense, on its way to being the state's best that year, shut down the vaunted Pioneer attack. Ken Rideout took a pass from Mike Russell  in the closing seconds to give Anderson the 12-6 win at Harrodsburg.

1983 Anderson Co. 7, Harrodsburg 0

The Bearcats had not beaten Harrodsburg since 1973 and had not even scored on the Pioneers in six games but the underdogs pulled off the upset, underscoring the fact that the rebuilding program under George Fallis was well underway.

1986 Anderson Co. 24, Harrodsburg 7

This one was memorable simply because it was the last of the series. It was the eighth game of the season and Anderson had never even trailed all year until Harrodsburg scored quickly in the first quarter. A long punt return by Chris Franklin and Brian Renaud's field goal got the Bearcats going. While Harrodsburg did not close until 2006, it was the last time the old rivals met on the gridiron.


Anderson Co. vs. Harrodsburg

Series: Harrodsburg won 21-13-2

First meeting: 1949 (HHS 26, AHS 0)

Last meeting: 1986 (ACHS 24, HHS 7)

Anderson Co. vs. Mercer Co.

Anderson leads series 19-13

1963 Anderson 39, Mercer Co. 7

1964 Anderson 45, Mercer Co. 0

1965 Anderson 35, Mercer Co. 0

1966 Anderson 68, Mercer Co. 0

1967 Anderson Co. 16, Mercer Co. 0

1972 Anderson Co. 67, Mercer Co. 6

1973 Anderson Co. 48, Mercer Co. 0

1977 Anderson Co. 28, Mercer Co. 0

1978 Mercer Co. 14, Anderson Co. 13

1979 Mercer Co. 12, Anderson Co. 6

1980 Mercer Co. 12, Anderson Co. 0

1981 Mercer Co. 18, Anderson Co. 6

1982 Anderson Co. 21, Mercer Co. 6

1983 Mercer Co. 7, Anderson Co. 6

1984 Mercer Co. 12, Anderson Co. 10

1985 Mercer Co. 3, Anderson Co. 0

1986 Anderson Co. 21, Mercer Co. 6

1987 Anderson Co. 21, Mercer Co. 7

1988 Mercer Co. 19, Anderson Co. 0

1989 Anderson Co. 27, Mercer Co. 21 (OT)

1990 Anderson Co. 14, Mercer Co. 7

1991 Anderson Co. 21, Mercer Co. 7

1992 Anderson Co. 44, Mercer Co. 0

1993 Anderson Co. 35, Mercer Co. 21

1994 Anderson Co. 6, Mercer Co. 0

1995 Anderson Co 15, Mercer Co. 6

1996 Anderson Co. 48, Mercer Co. 0

2001 Mercer Co. 36, Anderson Co. 8

2002 Mercer Co. 27, Anderson Co. 13

2003 Mercer Co. 26, Anderson Co. 6

2004 Mercer Co. 31, Anderson Co. 6

2005 Mercer Co. 48, Anderson Co. 22