Wofford drops road game at Mercer

College Football

MACON, Ga. (WOFFORD ATHLETICS) – Wofford fell to SoCon rival Mercer 45-14 at Five Star Stadium on Saturday night.

The Bears scored the first 14 points and the Terriers answered with 14 to tie the game. Mercer scored the 31 unanswered points for the final margin and held the Terriers to their lowest offensive production of the season.   
Wofford is 1-6 overall and 0-5 in the Southern Conference. Mercer is 5-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. The Terriers were led by Irvin Mulligan with 47 rushing yards and Alec Holt with 39 receiving yards. Fred Payton was 19-of-27 passing for the Bears with three touchdowns, while Fred Davis ran for 91 yards and a touchdown.
“Obviously we didn’t play well enough tonight,” said Wofford head coach Josh Conklin. “We didn’t execute well enough on offense or defense well enough. We are beat up a little bit right now on defense and playing some young guys, but we expect them to come out and play and execute the defense to a certain level. On offense it was really not good. We have another opportunity ahead of us next week to figure out a way to put it together and try to get a win.”
The Terriers had the ball to open the game and went three-and-out and punted. On the first drive by the Bears, they had two first downs and then scored a touchdown on a 26-yard pass from Fred Davis to Ty James for a 7-0 lead at 12:10 in the first quarter. Wofford had one rushing first down by Bryce Corriston before punting. Mercer had one first down and then completed a 50-yard pass. The drive was capped by an eight-yard run by Fred Davis for a 14-0 lead at 5:26 in the opening quarter. Wofford answered with four first downs that were followed by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Alec Holt to cut the lead to 14-7 with 1:02 left in the quarter.
After the Bears gained two first downs, Micheal Mason pressured the quarterback and Joe Beckett forced the fumble. Beckett recovered the ball and returned it 55-yards for a touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 with 12:33 on the clock. Mercer had one first down on the ensuing drive and punted. Wofford then went three-and-out and punted. The Bears took over at midfield and had three first downs to move to the ten-yard line. On a run by Fred Peyton, Harrison Morgan forced a fumble and recovered it at the seven-yard line with seven minutes left in the half. On the next play, Bryce Corriston fumbled and Isaac Dowlings recovered it in the endzone for a 21-14 lead with 6:50 on the clock. The Terriers had one first down before punting back to the Bears. They had a first down and then a 41-yard pass completion to move into the red zone. The drive stalled and Mercer had a 29-yard field goal to extend the lead to 24-14 with 1:31 remaining in the half. Wofford ran the clock out to end the half.
To begin the second half, the Bears had four first downs before throwing a nine-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall for a 31-14 advantage with 9:12 on the clock. Wofford went three-and-out on their first possession of the half. Mercer had a first down before punting back to the Terriers. Wofford began their drive at the one-yard line and had two first downs before having to punt. With the ball back, the Bears had two big first down passes before a 24-yard touchdown pass from Fred Payton to Ty James to make it a 38-14 game with 12:24 left in the game. Wofford went three-and-out for the fifth time in the contest and the Bears had one first down before a 49-yard touchdown run by Al Wooten pushed the lead to 45-14 with 9:25 on the clock. The Terriers had one first down on their next drive before punting with six minutes remaining. Wofford’s defense forced a three-and-out and took over at the 35-yard line with 3:38 left in the game. After another three-and-out and punt by the Terriers, Mercer gained one first down and ran out the clock.
Wofford had a season-low 176 total yards, with 118 rushing yards. Mercer had 567 total yards, a season-high by an opponent. Mercer had a 25 to 11 advantage in first downs. Wofford was 4-of-12 on third down. Mercer was 7-of-12 on third down. Wofford was called for three penalties to none for Mercer. The Bears had a 34:01 to 25:59 time of possession advantage.
Wofford vs. Mercer Post-Game Notes
With the loss, the series that began in 1915 is tied at 7-7. It is the first win by Mercer in the series since joining the Southern Conference, ending a seven-game winning streak by Wofford.  
The fumble returned for a touchdown by Joe Beckett in the second quarter was the first for the Terriers since September 17, 2016, against Johnson C. Smith when Mikel Horton recovered a fumble in the endzone.
Joe Beckett led the team with eight tackles on defense and had 2.5 tackles for loss.
Game captains were Micheal MasonPeyton Derrick and Nathan Walker.
Attendance at Five Star Stadium was 7,224.
The Terriers return home on October 30 against Western Carolina. Single game tickets are available at www.woffordterriers.com/tickets.

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