The Bears defeated Western Carolina 49-6 at Five Star Stadium on Saturday.
The offense had a great game with seven touchdowns, six of which came in their first nine drives of the first half. But the defense had a standup performance against the Catamounts only giving up 249 yards, 74 of which were rushing and 175 passing. They also limited WCU to 11 first downs for the entire game, while Mercer’s offense moved the chains 27 times.
Issac Dowling had a great night with eight tackles, three solo and five assisted, along with two interceptions. Shi’heem Watkis also had an interception, allowing the Bears to capitalize on their offensive opportunities.
Fred Payton threw for 247 yards completing 16 of his 22 passes and throwing three touchdown passes. Devron Harper was his main target with six receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown that came late in the second quarter. Harper rushed for 22 yards and found the endzone earlier in the second quarter.
Austin Douglas rushed for 29 yards, finding the endzone early in the first quarter, and had one reception for 20 yards. Drake Starks also scored in the first quarter off a 15-yard pass from Payton.
Al Wooten scored with 44 seconds to go in the first when he went on a 2-yard run into the endzone. Wooten had a total of 35 rushing yards in the game. Brandon Marshall scored at the beginning of the second quarter off a 9-yard pass from Payton. Marshall would be the only Mercer Bear to score in the second half when he went on a 13-yard run into the endzone. He had 12 receiving yards and 53 rushing yards in the game.
The win put the Bears' overall record at 5-1 and 3-0 in Southern Conference play. They will host Eastern Tennessee State University on Oct. 15.