For the fourth straight year, the outcome of the Mercer-Furman game came down to one possession.
On Saturday, the Paladins came out on top with a 28-21 decision for their fifth straight win this season. Mercer falls to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the Southern Conference as its three-game conference winning streak was snapped. Furman improves to 5-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference.
Furman and Mercer have split their four meetings since the Bears joined the conference in 2013, and those games have been decided by five, seven, three and seven points. Mercer’s three conference losses this season have been decided by one, three and seven points.
With the game tied at 21, Antonio Wilcox scored his third touchdown of the game on a 4-yard run with 4:48 to play. He also scored twice in the second quarter on short runs.
Mercer had to punt on its drive after Wilcox’s third score, but the Bears got the ball back at their 15 with less that two minutes to play. They got deep into Paladins territory, but Kaelan Riley had a pass intercepted in the closing seconds.
Tee Mitchell and C.J. Leggett had 1-yard scoring runs for the Bears, and Marquise Irvin caught a 25-yard scoring pass from Riley. Mitchell finished with 93 yards on 11 carries, while Riley completed 26-of-34 passes for 298 yards. Chandler Curtis led the Bears with 11 catches for 112 yards.
Lee Bennett had 17 tackles for Mercer, while Will Coneway had 11, and Eric Jackson had 10.