“I thought our kids came out and answered the bell,” said Lamb. “Our defense was ahead of our offense in the first scrimmage, but I thought our offense got better as we went along and made some big time plays down the stretch.”
Mercer’s defense looked strong in the early going, keeping the offense, one of the highest scoring units in the nation a year ago, in check throughout much of the first half of the scrimmage. Jeremy James highlighted the strong start for the defense, recording the only interception of the day to halt an extended drive by the offense.
“Jeremy James, a true freshman, made a big interception at corner,” said Lamb. “Anytime you have a freshman at corner it makes you a little nervous, but he stepped up and made a great play. Our defense as a whole played well, there a lot of people just flying to the ball and gang tackling.”
The offense found the end zone for the first time on the squad’s fifth drive, as John Russ hit Robert Brown for a five-yard score. The unit picked steam later on though, showing why it led the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision in red zone offense last season.
Russ scored on an 18-yard scamper later in the scrimmage, before Tanner Brumby hit Justin Johnson for an 11-yard touchdown on the next drive. Alex Lakes added a pair of touchdown runs in the closing drives of the day, as the offense featured a balanced attack with nine players toting a carry and 12 players hauling in a reception.
“We have to clean up some things,” said Lamb. “The most important thing was getting out here in the heat and going through an 8 to 10 play drive, because that is what you do in a game. We have a second week of two-a-days coming and another scrimmage on Thursday night and then we’ll direct our attention immediately to Reinhardt.”
Mercer has only week remaining in its 2014 preseason camp, as the team’s final tune-up before the season opener will come next Thursday, August 14, with a 7 p.m. scrimmage at Mercer University Stadium.