Mercer holds off Campbell for first road win

QB John Russ led Mercer to its first road victory of the season. (Mercer)

QB John Russ led Mercer to its first road victory of the season. (Mercer)

John Russ threw for 180 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 132 and another score to lead Mercer to a 38-31 victory over host Campbell on Saturday.

Mercer (7-1, 4-1 Pioneer Football League) held on after building a 28-point lead for its first road win.

“This was an unbelievable win for our program,” coach Bobby Lamb said on the school’s website. “When you go on the road, you have to just keep fighting for 60 minutes, and we did that. We jumped on them early with some big plays and our defense held on in the fourth quarter.”

JeTarii Donald added 128 yards rushing after leading rusher Payton Usher (Northgate) left with an injury.

Russ (Mill Creek) threw a 23-yard scoring pass to Robert Brown to give the Bears a 38-10 lead with 14:37 left in the game.

Campbell (1-7, 0-5) had 544 yards of offense.

Appalachian State 38, Georgia Southern 14

Kameron Bryant threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for two more, to help host Appalachian State break a four-game losing streak with a 38-14 win over Georgia Southern on Saturday.

Marcus Cox added 104 yards rushing for the Mountaineers (2-6, 2-3 Southern Conference).

Kevin Ellison (Habersham Central) rushed for 95 yards and threw for 72 to lead the Eagles (4-3, 2-3). Leading rusher Jerick McKinnon (Sprayberry) left with a sprained ankle and didn’t return.

North Alabama 57, Valdosta State 7

Valdosta State committed six turnovers, and the visiting Lions scored the final 54 points to hand the Blazers the worst loss in school history.

Valdosta State’s Cayden Cochran threw four interceptions, and North Alabama’s Lamar Smith returned a fumble 83 yards for a score as North Alabama (5-2, 3-1 Gulf South Conference) won its fourth consecutive game.

Cedric O’Neal (Dublin) rushed for 92 yards to lead the Blazers (5-2, 3-2), who have lost two of their past three. Cochran was 24-of-45 passing for 249 yards and one touchdown.

Albany State 30, Clark Atlanta 7

Frank Rivers ran for a touchdown and threw for another to lead the visiting Golden Rams.

Glen Stanley recovered a fumble for a score, and Zachary Gayden-Holley (South Gwinnett) kicked three field goals for Albany State (3-4, 2-1 SIAC), which rushed for 246 yards.

Clark Atlanta (2-5, 1-4) had 54 yards of offense.

North Carolina Central 24, Savannah State 10

Andre Clarke rushed for 140 carries to lead the visiting Eagles.

Antonio Bostick was 24-of-49 passing for 219 yards and a touchdown and rushed 13 times for 90 yards to lead Savannah State (1-8, 0-5), which has lost six consecutive games.

Bostick’s 3-yard scoring pass to Edward Lackey (East Paulding) gave the Tigers a 10-7 second-quarter lead, but N.C. Central (4-4, 2-2) scored the next 17 points.

Benedict 29, Morehouse 26

Eduardo Hernandez kicked a 22-yard field goal with 31 seconds left to lift the visiting Tigers.

Hernandez’s kick capped a 12-play drive that began on Benedict’s 45 with 4:45 remaining in the game.

Thomas Williams rushed for two touchdowns, and Monquavious Johnson (M.L. King) threw a scoring pass for Morehouse (2-6, 0-3 SIAC), which has lost four consecutive.

Thursday’s score

Delta State 38, Shorter 17

Saturday’s scores

Cumberlands (Ky.) 28, Reinhardt 24

Birmingham Southern 42, Berry 0

Methodist 43, LaGrange 41

Albany State 30, Clark Atlanta 7

Benedict 29, Morehouse 26

Fort Valley State 52, Concordia 19

N.C. Central 24, Savannah State 10

North Alabama 57, Valdosta State 7

Presbyterian 49, Point 19

Appalachian State 38, Georgia Southern 14

Mercer 38, Campbell 31

West Alabama 45, West Georgia 14

10 comments Add your comment

Be the Bear

November 4th, 2013
9:39 pm

My a nus makes lots of money working at home

Be the Bear

November 2nd, 2013
9:16 pm

Clearly a school where football makes sense … Georgia State … not so much

Football Dad

October 28th, 2013
6:34 pm

Thanks Andy for the link. Great article as usual. We are glad he is on our team! I know we who support Reinhardt, and those who support Mercer (Awesome job Bears – Thanks for a great first game experience), really appreciate recognition on the state level. We both have hard working student athletes who have had an incredible first year. By the way, Reinhardt stayed in the NAIA Top 25 this week at #22 despite our close loss to the #2 team. We have five teams from our conference ranked in the Top 25. Keep up the work Andy!


October 28th, 2013
6:29 pm

C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S Mercer Bears on a great first season !!!

Andy Johnston

October 28th, 2013
10:31 am

Thanks for the comments. We’ve received a lot of praise for the state notebooks and roundups.
Football Dad, here’s a link to the state college football notebook that was published Saturday and appeared on this blog on Friday:

Mercer Bear

October 28th, 2013
9:19 am

The Stadium holds 10,000. There attendance is number 1 in the Pionner League they are averaging about 8,500 a game, had over 12,000 opening game.


October 28th, 2013
7:46 am

Mercer fan….how large is the Mercer football stadium seating capacity? How has the attendance been in their first year?

Football Dad

October 27th, 2013
9:35 pm

Thanks Andy for great articles and updates on college football in Georgia other than the biggest programs. In addition to Mercer, hat’s off to those 19th ranked Reinhardt Eagles. They had the #2 team in NAIA beat Saturday but could not hold on. They were leading 24 – 7 with 10 minutes to play in the fourth quarter and just ran out of gas. And like Mercer, they too are a mostly all freshman team. Coach Cronic and staff have done a fantastic job with that team.


October 27th, 2013
10:13 am

Thank you Andy Johnston for giving us updates on all of Georgia’s football teams. Who could have guessed the Mercer Bears could have such a magical first season and with a roster dominated by Freshmen. With so many football disappointments this year, there is one team that has exceeded everyone’s expectations: Da Bears.

Mercer fan

October 27th, 2013
12:49 am

Great job John Russ..great Win coach Lamb. Super 1st year.