MACON, Ga. (AP) Alex Lakes rushed for 112 yards with two touchdowns and Mercer pulled away in the fourth to beat Western Carolina 38-24 on Saturday.
WCU made it a seven-point game with 5:48 to go on Logan Howard's 30-yard field goal. The ensuing kickoff was returned 31 yards by Chandler Curtis and a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty set up Mercer on the WCU 40. Seven plays later, Lakes' 2-yard plunge sealed it with 1:53 left.
John Russ completed 18 of 32 attempts for 224 yards and three touchdowns for Mercer (3-3, 2-2 Southern).
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Western Carolina (1-5, 0-4) went up 14-3 midway through the third on Connell Young's 2-yard touchdown run, but Mercer responded with three straight touchdowns, including Russ' 19-yard pass to Sam Walker and Marquise Irvin's 21-yard scoring catch. Russ hit Curtis for a 5-yard touchdown to put Mercer up 31-21 with 14:46 remaining.
Tyrie Adams went 25 of 39 for 384 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Catamounts.