Mercer

Mercer pulls out win in marathon game against VMI

Mercer senior wide receiver Stephen Houzah catches a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter of Saturday’s game.
Mercer senior wide receiver Stephen Houzah catches a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter of Saturday’s game. Special for the Telegraph

The Mercer Bears (3-2) took on conference rival the VMI Keydets (0-5). The Bears came away with a win 48-38 over the Keydets. This is a good bounce back win after a tough loss last week. Here are our three takeaways from Mercer’s win over VMI.

1. The longest game ever played—or at least it felt like it

This one is more of a personal gripe but the game started at 1:30 p.m. and was barely into the 4th quarter at almost 5:00 p.m. A lot of that had to do with VMI’s passing attempts. The Keydets threw the ball 70 times in the game and only completed around half of those. Each time VMI would throw an incompletion the clock would stop. This happened a whole lot. For reference, two games are tied as the longest in college football history. One was a seven overtime game in which the Kentucky Wildcats lost to the Arkansas Razorbacks. The final score was 71-63 in a game that lasted 4 hours and 56 minutes.

2. Mercer’s offense doesn’t miss a beat.

Heading into the game there were concerns about the Mercer offense with Robert Riddle out for an extended period of time. Kaelan Riley picked up right where he left off last season when he was the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. Riley threw a pair of touchdowns and helped open up the rushing game. Speaking of the running backs, both Tee Mitchell and Tyray Devezin eclipsed the 100-yard mark. Going forward Tee Mitchell might be the most important player on both sides of the ball. When Mitchell plays well the Bears generally win. That held true today.

3. Houzahhhh Daddy?

Stephan Houzah switched from cornerback to wide receiver this season. Houzah was arguably the Bears best cornerback, and the switch was a bit surprising. I understand why the switch was made. Houzah is a big play threat every time he touches the field. Against VMI he scored on a 55-yard touchdown catch. He has now scored in 4 straight games. The switch to wide receiver has given Mercer another certified playmaker across from top option Marquise Irvin.

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