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Mercer Playing at a Championship Level

By BJ Bennett
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The Bears have played their way into the conversation for both a championship and a bid into the FCS playoffs.

Mercer remains one of the hottest teams in college football.

Still a relatively-young program, debuting in the Southern Conference in 2014 after reintroducing football the year before, the Bears are now part of the national narrative. Impressively, Mercer has notably won four games in a row overall, boasting three consecutive wins over ranked opponents in Chattanooga, Furman and East Tennessee State. Going back to the end of February, the Bears are 5-1. Recent successes have Mercer surging into second place in the league, trailing only VMI in the SoCon standings. These Bears have become contenders.

Mercer's 21-13 victory over ETSU was a major one. The Bears never trailed.

On a 4th down with just over one minute remaining, the deciding play of the game, Danijah Gammage sacked Brock Landis for the win. Mercer needed just one more play to secure the victory. The versatile Yahsyn McKee had a couple of highlights with a 63-yard fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, also returning a kickoff 80 yards. Quarterback Carter Peevy threw a touchdown pass and ran for another. Punter Caleb Dowden downed three kicks inside the 20-yard line and had a late 57-yarder. In all, Mercer forced three turnovers, protected the football and had just ten penalty yards on the evening.

The Bears, furthermore, have played their way into the conversation for both a championship and a bid into the FCS playoffs.

A victory at Samford to finish the spring schedule would move Mercer to 6-2 this calendar year. Beyond just that, should the Bears beat the Bulldogs and VMI lose to The Citadel on Saturday, Mercer would win the Southern Conference title. Currently on a run for the record books, even more history, for Drew Cronic and the Bears, is potentially within reach. This weekend will come with championship implications. Mercer enters the final game of the regular season with as much momentum as any team in the country.  

With multiple wins over ranked teams, the Bears have not lost in a month. Mercer is playing at a championship level.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports