Mercer's football team put the Wofford Terriers to the sword, dismantling their struggling Southern Conference opponent 45-14 at home in Five Star Stadium.
The Bears, who improved to 5-2 on the season, recovered from a shaky start to make light work of the Terriers.
Mercer's quarterback Fred Payton was impressive throughout the contest. The junior threw for 357 yards on 19/27 attempts, resulting in three touchdowns.
The first quarter was productive for the Bears, with the first touchdown coming just three minutes into the game. Payton threw a 26-yard pass to wide receiver Ty James for the score. James, who had 153 receiving yards and two touchdowns on the night, was the teams’ most productive receiver.
Another touchdown came shortly after as running back Fred Davis punched it in from eight yards out. Davis ran for 91 yards off of 18 carries on the day, continuing his solid season.
Wofford bounced back with a touchdown of their own to end the first quarter. The second quarter then began poorly for Mercer when the Wofford defense forced a fumble which they returned 55 yards for the touchdown.
With the score tied at 14, the Bears needed a quick response. It looked as if that response would happen, but the offense squandered the opportunity. With 6:58 to go in the second quarter, Mercer fumbled the ball in the red-zone, resulting in a turnover just when it seemed the Bears’ advantage would be restored.
The disappointment was short-lived, however, as the very next play resulted in a Mercer touchdown off of a Wofford fumble. The back-to-back fumbles gave the Bears the lead. After a late field goal from Devin Folser to tack on, the Bears entered the halftime break in a commanding 24-14 advantage.
The team never looked back. Three more Mercer players scored touchdowns in the second half, including a superb 49-yard run from Al Wooten II to cap off the win. The final score was 45-14.
While the offense exploded, the Bears' defense also played well and stifled the Wofford offense throughout. The defense held Terriers quarterback Bryce Corriston to just 58 yards on 8/17 passing. This was compounded by a staggering nine punts from Wofford compared to Mercer’s three.
The Bears are now second in the SoCon standings, with only East Tennessee State University above them. Mercer currently sits at 4-1 in conference play.
Next up is an away game against The Citadel, who are third to last in the conference. The game is this Saturday, Oct. 30 and will kick off at 2 p.m.