Mercer 35, No. 25 Western Carolina 33
E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field
Cullowhee, N.C. - Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017
With the loss ...
- It marks back-to-back home losses for the Catamounts for the first time this season as Western Carolina finishes with a 3-2 home record;
- Western Carolina drops to 7-11 on Hall of Fame Day dating back to 2000, halting a three-game winning streak on the day;
- Relegates Western Carolina to fourth-place in the Southern Conference standings behind first-place, Wofford (9-1, 7-1 SoCon) -- which clinched at least a share of the SoCon championship and secured the league's automatic bid into the post-season -- with second-place Furman (7-3, 6-1 SoCon) and third-place Samford (7-3, 5-2 SoCon) ... the latter two meet in the final week of the regular season next Saturday;
- WCU can no lower than fourth in the SoCon standings but no higher than a third-place tie with Samford, but would have the tie-breaker based on the head-to-head seasonal victory;
- Is WCU's first loss to Mercer in Cullowhee (1-1) while evening the all-time series (2-2);
- Senior RB Detrez Newsome moved closer to a school-record, third-consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season, which would make him the first Catamount to ever do so ... Newsome had 60 yards on 19 carries to give him a total of 993 yards rushing this season -- sitting just seven yards shy of the 1,000-yard plateau ... Newsome rushed 19 time to give him 594 career rushes, fifth in program history as he by-passed Carlton Terry (579, 1987-90);
- With 60 rushing yards on Saturday, Newsome now has 3,621 career rushing yards, moving him into SECOND all-time in school history ... Newsome most recently by-passed former Catamount great, Brad Hoover (3,616 yards from 1996-99) ... He only trails all-time leading rusher, Darrell Lipford (4,089, 1974-77).
- Newsome scored a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter giving him 36 career rushing scores in his career, tying the career record set by Otis McIntosh (1968-71) ... Newsome already owns the school's career touchdown record, currently with 46 career TDs;
- With 118 all-purpose yards on Saturday -- 60 rushing, 58 receiving -- Detrez Newsome has eclipsed the 100 all-purpose yard mark in 21 of his last 22 games;
- Redshirt sophomore QB Tyrie Adams completed 35-of-47 passes for 378 yards and three touchdowns ... the 35 completions were one shy of matching his career-high (36 vs. Gardner-Webb in 2016) ... Adams moved passed Willie Perkins (4,449 yards from 1982-86) into eighth-place in career passing yards in school history with 4,793;
- With TD passes in all but one game this season, Adams has already surpassed his seasonal TD pass total from his 2016 SoCon Freshman of the Year campaign where he had of 15 TD passes ... Adams has 21 scoring tosses in 2017, matching a WCU single-season record held by Jeff Gilbert (1983) ... Adams' 36 career TD passes already rank him fourth in program history;
- With 2,225 seasonal passing yards, Tyrie Adams ranks 10th in WCU's single-season record books;
- Senior wide receiver Terryon Robinson had nine catches for 119 yards and a touchdown ... It was the first 100-yard receiver for WCU since Robinson (8-for-124 yards) and Steffon Hill (5-for-104) against Samford on Sept. 23, 2017 ... Robinson recorded his eighth career, 100-yard receiving outing, while collecting his ninth career game of nine-or-more receptions ... His 48-yard receiving TD in the fourth quarter gives him 19 in his career, matching Michael Banks (19, 1999-2002);
- Robinson has 2,806 career receiving yards, sixth in WCU program history -- and just 17 yards shy of fifth-place Michael Banks (2,823 yards from 1999-2002) and just 78 yards shy of fourth-place Eric Rasheed (2,884 yards from 1981-84);
- Robinson's 10 seasonal touchdown receptions ranks him tied for 10th in WCU's single-season ledgers, matching Gerald Harp's 10 scores back in 1978;
- Sophomore WR Connell Young posted career highs in catches (8) and yards (76) ... Newsome matched his career-best with seven receptions ... Sophomore tight end Austin Phillips hauled in his first career receiving touchdown, a score just before intermission;
- Redshirt senior LB Daniel Riddle finished with nine tackles on Saturday giving him 327 in his four-year career, fourth in program history ... Riddle moved past five former Catamounts on Saturday on the career total tackles chart including Rock Williams (319, 2009-12), Bernard Jones (320, 1981-84), Ricky Smith (320, 1977-80), Julius Grant (326, 1996-98), and Eric Johnson (326, 1996-98) ... Riddle trails only Tom Bodine (453, 1991-94), Ace Clark (340, 2011-14), and Kenny Banks (331, 1990-94);
- WCU scored on the opening drive of the game for the fourth time this season -- and the second week in a row ... Adams connected with Steffon Hill from 34 yards out for a touchdown at 11:29 to cap a nine-play, 83-yard drive ... the Catamounts also scored on their opening drive of the second half for the fifth time this season on a Joshua Gibson 31-yard field goal;
- Tra Hardy turned in a career-high 119 yards on kickoff returns ... It was his fourth career 100-yard performance in the return game and his third-straight game going over 100-yards on kickoff returns;
- Marvin Tillman led WCU's defense with 11 tackles, his sixth double-digit tackle game of his career;
- Redshirt junior punter Ian Berryman had an average of 46 yards on the day and two punts inside the 20-yard-line including one downed inside the one-yard line.
Miscellaneous Notes: - Western Carolina's team captains for Saturday's game were: senior RB #21 Detrez Newsome, redshirt senior LB #58 Daniel Riddle, redshirt senior OL #68 Tanner Poindexter, #35 Keion Crossen, senior DB, and redshirt junior punter #83 Ian Berryman ... Mercer won the coin toss and deferred to the second half ... WCU received the kickoff to start the game;
- Western Carolina honored the memory of 2017 football signee "Super Cam" Brown, with a pregame moment of silence prior to Saturday's game;
- Former Western Carolina football student-athlete and longtime football coach Don Powers was enshrined into the Western Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame on Saturday morning ... Powers played for the Purple & Gold from 1963-67 under head coach Dan Robinson, and had two different coaching stints at his alma mater spanning 18 years ... While at Western Carolina, Powers was associated with some of WCU's most prolific teams and coached some of the greatest players in school history ... His wife, Jane, and his family were recognized on the field during the first and second quarter break;
- Football senior players honored today were: punter Destry Barnwell, offensive lineman Sean Biette, defensive back Keion Crossen, defensive lineman Ezavian Dunn, running back James Foushee, defensive lineman Zachary Greene, defensive back Tra Hardy, wide receiver Steffon Hill, defensive back Alex Jackson, wide receiver Hunter Jacobs, defensive lineman Tyler Junius, defensive lineman Sheldon Kinard, linebacker A.J. Newman, running back Detrez Newsome, offensive lineman Tanner Poindexter, linebacker Daniel Riddle, wide receiver Terryon Robinson, tight end Chris Seaborn, tight end Tyler Sexton, linebacker Tahjai Watt, and linebacker Kendall White;
- Current Western Carolina students who are military veterans -- Vinnie Lupica, Chris Ramseur, and Kevin Rumley -- led the team onto the field Saturday afternoon with the American flag ... Senior defensive lineman Ezavian Dunn carried the "All You Got" flag to lead the team on the field.