Russ' 4 TDs leads Mercer past Ave Marie 42-21

AVE MARIA, Fla. (AP) John Russ threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, and Mercer beat Ave Maria of the NAIA 42-21 on Saturday night.

Mercer (3-1) scored three touchdowns in the first 7:30. Russ connected with Payton Usher for a 53-yard touchdown on his first pass attempt, and hit Chandler Curtis on his third pass for a 28-yard score. Alex Lakes ran for a 54-yard touchdown to put the Bears up 21-0.

Russ threw an 8-yard touchdown pass and ran for a 4-yard score in the second quarter. He was 11 of 16 for 181 yards passing and ran for 18. Lakes finished with 109 yards on nine carries.

Kaleb Coffee ran for 95 yards on 12 carries, including a 54-yard touchdown to lead Ave Maria (0-3). Matthew Kreichman threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Ryan O'Rourke to cap the scoring for the Gyrenes.

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