Mercer University football is back on a winning streak after defeating Valparaiso University Saturday afternoon. The Bears powered past the Crusaders to win 35-21 to remain undefeated at home.
Mercer is now 5-and-1 on the season and 2-and-1 in Pioneer League play.
Quarterback John Russ threw nine passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, including a 93-yard play in which receiver Josh Jones ran the distance after catching the ball mid-field.
Russ also rushed for 100 and two scores, yet he still saw room for improvement in his game.
“We definitely wanted to be more in control throughout the game than we were,” Russ said. “We had some mental busts, I had some mental busts that I should’ve completed some more passes, completed some more plays, but it happens. It’s part of football and you gotta keep fighting through the game.”
Valparaiso was held to just 44 rushing yards, but had better luck throwing the ball. Quarterback Eric Hoffman had 30 completions on 39 attempts for 316 yards.
Mercer team captain and linebacker Corey Lockett gave Valparaiso credit for their scoring plays.
“I mean we gave up a lot of chunks of yards, big plays, explosive plays, that’s what we gave up in the first half,” Lockett said. “We were stopping their run game pretty good, and short game passes we were stopping them too, but it was those explosive plays that were catching us.”
Mercer takes on Division-III Carnegie Mellon University in non-conference play at home this coming Saturday at 1 p.m.