The Bears fell to the Furman University Paladins 23-13 in a crucial conference game.
Prior to the game, Mercer was ranked #11 in the Division 1 Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll while Furman was ranked #16. The winner of this game was a large determining factor in how the Southern Conference playoffs would look. After the Bears' loss, it is up in the air what position they will hold.
The game started off slow and neither team would get on the board until the last two minutes of the first quarter when Furman kicker Ian Williams kicked a 44-yard field goal.
The Bears would start out the second quarter with a touchdown off a 3-yard pass from Fred Payton to Ty James. After Devin Folser nailed the extra point, the score was 7-3. With 37 seconds left in the second quarter, Furman would score off a 7-yard run and were up 10-7 at the half.
Furman scored three times in the second half: one 56-yard touchdown pass and two field goals. The defense managed to keep the Bears out of the endzone until the fourth quarter when Payton met Travion Solomon with an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Payton went 29-41 and threw for 263 yards with two touchdowns. Devron Harper had 192 yards receiving and rushed for 24 yards. Lance Wise had nine tackles for the defense and Ken Standley had eight.
Mercer now stands at a 7-3 overall record and 4-1 in conference play.
The Bears will travel to Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday to play the Samford University Bulldogs at 1 p.m. EST.