Mercer football blew spectators away as they collected two more wins against Campbell University and Davidson College to add to their now 8-1 record.
Wide receiver Adrian Humphrey is proud of the team’s performance thus far, and has high hopes for the final outcome of the season.
“It feels amazing to be doing way better than what everyone expected us to do,” Humphrey said. “This whole time the coaches and players knew what the goal was, which is not to just win a few games, but to win conference. I know we have it in us to go all the way.”
The Bears faced the Campbell Camels in Buies Creek, N.C., on Oct. 26. This was Mercer’s first away game since their one and only defeat of the season in San Diego.
The head-to-head battle against Campbell was one of the closest scoring games yet, but the Bears fought hard to pull out a 38-31 victory.
The first play from scrimmage came from Jordan Marshall with a 72-yard touchdown to put the Bears on the board 7-0, giving Mercer an early lead.
Mercer kept a steady lead throughout the first two quarters of the game.
By halftime, the Bears led Campbell 31-10 with 255 rushing yards.
After a fumble from Campbell, Mercer’s first play of the second half came from a 23-yard touchdown pass from John Russ to Robert Brown, making the score 38-10.
The Camels responded with a 3-yard touchdown pass to make the score 38-17.
Two more touchdowns from the Camels cut Mercer’s lead 38-31.
With less than three minutes left in the game, the Bears held their ground to prevent a Camel comeback, giving Mercer their seventh win of the season.
Once again, Russ led Mercer’s offense with 180 yards passing, 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
Jetarii Donald completed 138 yards on 23 carries and two scores, highlighted by a 43-yard touchdown run.
Tyler Ward and Mike Gray led the Bears’ defense with 11 tackles, while Lendell Arnold added 10.
The Bears added another win to their record after dominating the Davidson Wildcats 51-26 on Nov. 2.
By the halftime mark, Mercer already led the Wildcats 21-8.
Soon after a touchdown by Davidson in the beginning of the third quarter, Sebastian Hicks picked up a fumble to return it for a 23-14 lead.
The run game continued when Russ rushed for a 30-yard touchdown to make the score 30-14.
Davidson came right back with a touchdown, but failed on the two-point conversion, making the score 30-20 with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
In the beginning of the fourth, Donald ran a 4-yard touchdown to give Mercer a 37-20 lead.
Donald recorded his third touchdown of the game after taking a pass from Russ for 51-yards to make it 44-20.
The Wildcats tried to close the score gap after converting on short and goal for a touchdown.
However, Brown scored a late touchdown to give Davidson no time to catch up, and taking home another Bear’s victory.
Donald, JT Palmer and Josh Jones finished with three receptions, while Corey Lockett had one sack and three tackles for loss.
The Bears look forward to the final weeks of the season, and said that they are grateful to have the opportunity to be a part of Mercer’s returning football team.
Eli Grambling said, “My favorite thing about Mercer football is honestly just getting to live out the dream I had as a kid; Running the tunnel in front of thousands of screaming fans, the Bear walk, everything. It’s all such a blessing.”
After two back-to-back away games, the Bears will return to Mercer University Stadium on Nov. 9, where they will face off against the Jacksonville Dolphins at 3 p.m.