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Bears record two defensive touchdowns in win

Lance Wise Jr. '24 returns an interception for his second-career pick-six, putting him atop the program's leaderboard for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown.
Lance Wise Jr. '24 returns an interception for his second-career pick-six, putting him atop the program's leaderboard for most career interceptions returned for a touchdown.

Mercer won Saturday against Wofford 31-17, continuing the trend of teams denying Wofford any wins this season. The win moved the Bears up to 3-2 against Southern Conference opponents, while the Terriers languish at the bottom of the Conference table with a 0-5 record.

The Bears were once again buoyed by their defense, who scored two touchdowns in the second half to help keep Mercer's edge over Wofford.

Immediately following a touchdown by the Bears’ offense in the fourth quarter, defensive lineman Solomon Zubairu ‘24 recorded a strip sack and recovered the ball in the endzone for his first career touchdown. In the game, Zubairu had two sacks, three QB hits and five total tackles.

Not long after, Lance Wise Jr. ‘24 recorded his second career pick-six, returning the interception 79 yards to the endzone. The pick was the eighth of his career, which is a new program record. His two career interceptions returned for touchdowns are also a program record. Wise also had a crucial pass breakup in the endzone during the third quarter that led to a failed fourth-down conversion attempt by the Terriers.

The offense was powered by an efficient game from Carter Peevy ‘26, who went 23-for-26 and scored one touchdown, tallying 238 passing yards. On the first drive of the game for the Bears, Peevy led the team on a 99-yard, 17-play drive. In the third quarter, Peevy was flushed out of the pocket and delivered a throw on the run to Parker Wroble ‘25 for 15 yards.

The receiving corps for the Bears was well-rounded with 11 players on the team recording at least one catch. Ty James ‘24 led the team again with 56 yards on five receptions, followed closely by Devron Harper ‘24, who had 53 yards on four receptions. Reserve players like Scooter Risper ‘24 and Travion Solomon ‘26, both Macon natives, had receptions.

Al Wooten II ‘25 led both teams in rushing yards, with 38 yards over 10 attempts. The Bears finished with 100 yards on the ground, their third-lowest total this season.

Next week, Mercer heads to Cullowhee, North Carolina to take on Western Carolina University. Mercer has beaten WCU in seven straight games, winning last season in Macon, 49-6. This season, the Catamounts are 3-1 in SoCon and 5-2 overall. WCU has the highest-scoring offense in the conference, averaging nearly 38 points a game, 16 more than Mercer. 

Mercer’s defense is the best in the conference, allowing just 322.5 yards per game, while the Catamounts have averaged 506.3 yards per contest so far this season.

The game will start at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28.


Gabriel Kopp

Gabriel Kopp '26 is majoring in Journalism and Law and Public Policy at Mercer University. He has written for The Cluster since he started at Mercer, and currently works as the Sports Editor. When he isn't studying, he enjoys going for runs and reading the New York Times.


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