Mercer football holds final scrimmage of preseason camp

Mercer football holds final scrimmage of preseason camp

The Mercer University football team had its final scrimmage of the preseason on Thursday night, going through a 60-play workout at Mercer University Stadium.
MACON, Ga. (MERCER ATHLETICS RELEASE) -  The Mercer University football team had its final scrimmage of the preseason on Thursday night, going through a 60-play workout at Mercer University Stadium.

After handing out the official team posters and signing autographs during Fan Day festivities prior to the scrimmage, the Bears went through one of their final tune-ups for the 2014 opener against Reinhardt on August 28.

Mercer’s first team offense started the scrimmage with an impressive eight play, 75-yard drive that was capped with John Russ’ 41-yard touchdown strike to Derek Owings. The offense struck again moments later, behind another big pick up by Owings.

The sophomore tight end was on the receiving end of a 28-yard pass play from Michael Haynes to help set up another score. Haynes would connect on a six-yard completion to JT Palmer just five plays later for the offense’s second touchdown of the night.

“The first string offense was outstanding on the first couple of drives,” said head coach Bobby Lamb. “John Russ did a nice job on the first drive, hitting Derek Owings, who made some big plays in the passing game for us. I though Michael Haynes looked really good, outside of the late interception in the red zone.”

Despite surrendering several long drives early on, the defense showed a lot of promise as the scrimmage wore on. Nevin Harton picked off Haynes just inside the 20-yard line to force the lone turnover of the scrimmage, while the Bears’ pass rush tallied seven tackles-for-loss and four sacks on the night.

“Our pass rush by the defensive line was really good tonight,” said Lamb “I was really pleased with the effort of our defense, they really ran to the ball and made some things happen after our first two drives.”

Mercer will wrap up its 17-day preseason camp tomorrow afternoon, as the team turns its attention to the season opener at Mercer University Stadium in two weeks.

“Our focus has been on game one against Reinhardt in two weeks,” said Lamb. “We have one goal in mind and that is beating Reinhardt on August 28.”
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