Yes, Mercer suffered its second straight loss, but Bears head coach Bobby Lamb was pleased with his team’s effort Saturday.
Mercer dropped a 24-10 decision to Auburn on the road, but Lamb saw plenty of positives in the game. Auburn finally put the game away with Kamryn Pettway's third touchdown — a 4-yard run with 4:50 remaining.
“A few mistakes here and there but a tremendous effort,” Lamb said. “I can’t be more proud of a football team for coming into a place like this and playing the way we did.”
In their first game against an SEC program and first against an FBS ranked program, the Bears (1-2) forced five turnovers, including four fumbles. Redshirt freshman quarterback Kaelan Riley completed 20-of-32 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown — a 7-yarder to Marquise Irvin in the fourth quarter.
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Mercer returns to Southern Conference play this week at East Tennessee State.
Tough home opener
Tied at 3 late in the first half, Fort Valley State stumbled into the break and allowed Miles to take control, and the Golden Bears did just that.
Miles scored 16 straight points before the half and pulled away for a 29-10 win to drop the Wildcats to 0-2 and 0-1 in SIAC play. Fort Valley State hosts Benedict this week.
Around the state
Kennesaw State beat Alabama State (20-14), while Georgia State lost to Penn State (56-0), Savannah State lost to Montana (56-3), Albany State lost to North Greenville (35-27), West Georgia lost to Delta State (17-7), Valdosta State lost to North Alabama (30-24), and Shorter lost to Florida Tech (31-6).