Mercer rushed for 409 yards, scored 8 touchdowns and shutout the newly formed Warner Royals 61-0 to move to 2-0 on the season on Saturday night in Macon, GA.
The fledgling Bears failed to score on their first possession when the 41 yard field goal attempt from Josh Shutter sailed wide right of the uprights. It was the only non-scoring possession for Mercer.
"Offensively we were able to run the ball and that's what we wanted to do coming in," said Head Coach Bobby Lamb. Four different ball carriers rushed for 50 or more yards in the game averaging better than 11 yards per carry in the process.
Mercer put its first points on the board courtesy of a short punt by Connor Killeen to the Royals 36. Four consecutive running plays softened up the defense for the Bears first scoring play. Quarterback John Russ looked right and came back left to find Jordan Marshall inside the 5. Marshall dove through the attempted tackle by Keyontre Haynes into the end zone.
Warner mounted their most successful drive in the second quarter marching 52 yards to the Mercer 30 before losing steam.
The Bears offense put it in gear in the second quarter with a 21 point scoring frenzy to end the half ahead 34-0.
Defense and special teams kept the Royals in check the rest of the way. Coach Lamb emphasized special teams during the bye week. ""Our special teams was our number one goal," said Lamb. "We wanted to come in and make a difference special teams-wise. Our main kickoff team did a much better job of staying in their lanes and maintaining their lanes and made some big plays there." The extra work paid off as the kick-off team held the Royals to 79 total yards -- that equates to less than 10 yards per return.
Lamb's punt return team harassed Warner's Killeen the entire game. In the second half, they finally got to him. Red-shirt freshman Sytavious Brown, from nearby Cordele, GA, just about took the ball off of Kilkeen's foot. Defensive back Jabari Scruggs picked up the bouncing ball returning it 12 yards for the score.
The Bears second team scored twice to close out the game. Mercer will welcome another start up program next week when Berry College comes to town.
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