By watching the Mercer Bears play this season, you would be shocked to learn that this is the first time the university has fielded a football team in 70 years.
Mercer reactivated its football program — which was disbanded back in 1942 — this fall, and the Bears have jumped out to a 4-0 start, with the latest victory coming over defending Pioneer Football League co-champion Drake on Saturday. It was a monumental win for the fledgling program, and it also featured perhaps the defensive play of the year in the FCS.
That play came courtesy of sophomore defensive back Alex Avant, who tipped a pass from Drake’s Andy Rice, gathered the deflection, reversed field twice and broke at least five tackles before romping into the end zone. The pick-six will go down as a 33-yard return, but Avant covered close to double that distance as he weaved through the Bulldogs’ would-be tacklers.
Check out the play in the video below.