Curtis among Mercer duo to earn SoCon honors
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.