Bears suffer last-second Homecoming loss, look towards spring schedule

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Image: Jen Jones

John Harris (57) blocks for Mercer’s quarterback Harrison Frost (18) as Frost attempts a pass during the second quarter of the game.

The Bears lost their one and only home game of the season this year to Abilene Christian University by a score of 20-17 Saturday. With the game tied at 17 points each, Abilene Christian kicked a field goal with just seconds remaining to secure the road win against Mercer. 

The dagger field goal finished off the Bears’ fall 2020 season with another loss, giving Mercer an 0-3 record. Mercer’s next game will be in 2021 in the form of a Feb. 20 showdown with fellow Southern Conference team Wofford.

While the Bears’ fall campaign finished without a win, it should be noted that there were some major plays and players in this game as well as the other two this season that seem promising for the spring 2021 season.

Mercer safety Lance Wise had 20 tackles and was one away from beating the program record Saturday against the Wildcats. Wise was then named FCS Co-Player of the Week due to his career-high 20 tackles.

Issac Dowling finished with nine tackles and gained his fourth sack of the year, helping the Bears’ defense hold strong overall. The Bears played well throughout the game, only falling short in the game’s final seconds. 

Despite a rough start to their football campaign, the Bears still had some solid performances and memorable moments in their three games this year.

Another high point for the Bears came in their first game of the season against Jacksonville State University. During the game, Tyray Devezin lead in rushing yards and became the fourth player in program history to get 2000 rushing yards in his career. Isaac Dowling recorded a game-high of 15 tackles. 

The most impressive play of the season came in the same game courtesy of the versatile Deondre Johnson. Johnson took the opening kick-off in for a touchdown, giving Mercer an early lead against the Gamecocks. The Bears then traveled to Army and suffered a 49-3 loss.

Mercer scored first again this game and held Army to just a single third-down conversion during the first half but could not stop Army’s offense. Tryay Devezin gained a new team-high of 71 rushing yards, but his performance on the ground couldn’t match Army’s production. 

The Bears then finished off the season at home with the tragic loss against the Wildcats of Abilene Christian. They recorded nine sacks within the three games this season, almost meeting the 10 recorded last season.

With some of these bright performances in mind, Mercer’s football team will attempt to bounce back and earn wins against Southern Conference opponents during Spring 2021. 2021 play for Mercer begins with a matchup against Wofford Feb. 20.