Mercer extended its winning streak to three games with a win against The Citadel on Saturday, beating the winless Bulldogs in Charleston, South Carolina, 38-16. The win puts Mercer at third in the Southern Conference with a 5-2 record, and a 7-3 record overall.
The defense had yet another stellar performance, putting points on the board for the third straight game. After The Citadel won the coin toss and elected to receive the ball to start the game, Ken Standley ‘25 came away with an interception that he returned for a touchdown on just the third play of the game from scrimmage. It was Standley’s first career interception and touchdown.
For his performance, Standley earned SoCon Defensive Player of the Week after leading the team in tackles with nine total, seven solo.
Throughout the game, The Citadel had trouble keeping the ball out of Mercer’s hands as the Bears’ Richie Coffey, a graduate student, recovered his third fumble of the season in the third quarter. To ice the game, Tavion McCarthy intercepted his second pass of the season with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter. The three turnovers for the defense in the game brought the season total up to 18.
Elsewhere on the field, the offense took advantage of short-yardage drives set up by the defense, running the ball 38 times for 155 yards as a unit. Brayden Smith ‘27 tallied nearly a third of those yards on his 50-yard scamper to start the fourth quarter. It was Smith’s first career touchdown on a designed run for him, who typically lines up as a receiver.
On a day where the Bears focused on the run game, Carter Peevy '26 passed for 147 yards, going 10-for-17 and two touchdown tosses. Ty James '24 led the team with 74 yards on three catches, while Devron Harper '24 caught his second touchdown pass of the season alongside 76 all-purpose yards.
The Bears finish off the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 11 against Samford. The result of that game will have playoff implications because with Mercer sitting in third place in the conference, there is no guarantee that they will be placed into the post-season tournament. After this weekend, there is one more week of games, but Mercer will not play. The current second-place team, Chattanooga, will take on the University of Alabama.
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.