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Mercer defeats Jacksonville in 45-42 shootout

AP - Sports

MACON, Ga. (AP) -- John Russ threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more to lead Mercer past Jacksonville in a 45-42 shootout Saturday.

Russ got the Bears (9-1, 5-1 Pioneer Football League) on the board first with a 13-yard touchdown run, but the Dolphins would fight back, scoring three straight touchdowns.

Russ scored again on a 12-yard run and threw a 24-yard touchdown to Jordan Marshall to tie it up, but Jacksonville scored on the last play of the first half as Frantz Caudio punched it in on fourth-and-goal.

The Dolphins (4-6, 3-4) increased the lead to 35-24 when Kade Bell threw an 18-yard touchdown to Adrian Riley.

Mercer stormed back as JeTarii Donald rushed for a three-yard touchdown, and Russ threw two more scores to take a 45-35 lead.

Jacksonville eyed a late comeback as Caudio scored again with 2:40 remaining, but Bell fumbled on their next possession.

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