Riley accounts for 5 TDs in first game as Mercer rolls 48-7

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MACON, Ga. (AP) – Kaelan Riley threw for three touchdowns and ran for two more in his first career game to lead Mercer to a 48-7 win over Jacksonville in a season opener on Thursday night.

The redshirt freshman was 18 of 26 for 206 yards and ran 10 times for 54 yards. Riley replaced John Russ, who started every game in his four years, which coincided with Mercer bringing back football in 2013 after dropping the sport in 1942.

It was the Bears’ largest season-opening win since beating Georgia Southern 77-0 in 1937.

Riley connected with Sam Walker for 8- and 18-yard scores and scored on a 4-yard run as the Bears led 27-0 at halftime. He added a 58-yard strike to Edmond Graham and a 13-yard scoring run in the third quarter as the lead reached 48-0.

LeMarkus Bailey had 10 tackles and an interception for the Mercer defense.

Caysaun Wakeley had 15 tackles for Jacksonville, which turned it over three times.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 310 Tucker Sargent joined the 41NBC news team in April 2012. He hails from "The Great State of Alabama," as he calls it, but you won't catch him saying "Roll Tide!" Tucker grew up near Auburn, before moving to north Alabama. He graduated from Danville High School in 2007 and loves to return to the Tennessee Valley any chance he gets. He moved back south to Troy, Alabama after high school, where he graduated from Troy University in 2011 with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism. He interned in Huntsville at WAAY-TV before joining 41NBC. His passion is sports, and his favorite teams are the Auburn Tigers and Troy Trojans. On the weekends you can catch Tucker watching college football on Saturdays and NASCAR on Sundays! He's proud to call middle Georgia home for now and could always use a story idea from you, so don't hesitate to get in touch with him!