Cur­tis among Mercer duo to earn SoCon hon­ors

Calhoun Times - - SPORTS WEDNESDAY -

From Mercer re­ports SPARTANBURG, S.C.

–A pair of Mercer foot­ball play­ers were named the South­ern Con­fer­ence De­fen­sive and Special Teams Play­ers of the Week on Mon­day for their per­for­mances in Mercer’s 35-33 win at No. 25 Western Carolina on Nov. 11.

Line­backer Lee Ben­nett and wide re­ceiver and for­mer Cal­houn High stand­out Chan­dler Cur­tis earned the SoCon’s weekly de­fen­sive and special teams hon­ors, re­spec­tively, af­ter play­ing piv­otal roles in Mercer’s sec­ond win over a na­tion­ally ranked team this sea­son.

Cur­tis to­taled 184 all-pur­pose yards, high­lighted by a com­bined 174 re­turn yards (128 kick, 46 punt). The Cal- houn, Ga. na­tive, saw his 39-yard punt re­turn in the first quar­ter and 77-yard kick re­turn in the fourth quar­ter both trans­late to even­tual touch­downs for Mercer, the lat­ter of which ended up be­ing the de­ci­sive touch­down of the game. The 39-yard punt re­turn is Cur­tis’ sec­ond long­est of the sea­son while the 77-yard kick re­turn is the third long­est in pro­gram his­tory.

Ben­nett to­taled 16 tack­les (five solo, 11 as­sisted), one in­ter­cep­tion, one fum­ble re­cov­ery and 1.5 tack­les for loss in yet an­other stout in­di­vid­ual de­fen­sive ef­fort. The se­nior cap­tain has three per­for­mances of 16-plus tack­les over the last five games and ranks third in the SoCon with 102 to­tal tack­les. Ben­nett played a role in both of Mercer’s two gained turnovers; the in­ter­cep­tion was the fourth of his ca­reer while his fum­ble re­cov­ery was his SoCon-lead­ing third of the sea­son.

Mercer con­cludes the 2017 reg­u­lar sea­son with a non­con­fer­ence road trip to No. 1 Alabama on Satur­day. The Bears and Crim­son Tide will kick off at noon (12 p.m.) ET at Bryant-Denny Sta­dium in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

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