A familiar fight in Class A ended with the team usually on the short end of the battle pulling off a huge upset win.

Coach Pat McLearn's Mercer Mustangs (8-3) stunned unbeaten Mercyhurst Prep 28-20 in practically the Lakers own backyard at Paul Weitz Stadium in Harborcreek as Andrew Erdos, Rawlins Huntley and Kyle Mariacher each found the end zone on long touchdown runs.

“Like we said before the game, we’re trying to make this rivalry a little bit more competitive,” McLearn said. Since 2006, Prep has beaten Mercer four times in seven tries and earlier this season mounted a 28-14 win over the Mustangs in Mercer.

“My guys played hard tonight,” McClearn added. “I’m so proud of them.”

After forcing the Lakers to punt on the opening drive of the game, Mercer struck early on just the Mustangs third play from scrimmage as Huntley broke a 67-yard run for a 6-0 lead. The PAT, however, was blocked by Prep.

In the second quarter, the Mustangs then put together an 11-play, 82-yard drive before Huntley added another rushing TD to the tally from 17 yards out. Huntley then added a two-point conversion score on a pitch the the left of the end zone from Erdos.

Prep answered with a 13-play, 69-yard drive of its own, scoring on an 11-yard pass from Tony Cordovano to Dwayne Kanady, leaving just 1:18 left in the half after Tyler Helffrich booted the extra point.

Just 22 seconds later, Mariacher cut loose of the Laker defense, running for a 59-yard score. A Will Juergens kick gave the Mustangs another 14 point lead.

The Lakers weren't ready to letdown though before the half. Three plays later, Cordovano found Kanady again for a long 64-yard TD pass, momentarily quieting the mighty Mercer faithful as the Lakers cut the halftime score to 21-14.

On Mercer’s first play from scrimmage in the second half, Erdos snuck through the Laker defense and ran all the way to the end zone for a 78-yard score. Another Juergens extra point returned the Mustang lead to 14.

Later in the third, Cordovano found Kanady yet again on a 46-yard TD pass. Prep botched the extra point as the score sat at 28-20. The two players connected five times in the game for 153 yards.

A back-and-forth final frame left the Mustangs with the ball last with 5:35 remaining as Erdos and Mariacher combined to pick up 60 yards as Mercer milked the clock to lock up the win.

Erdos led the Mustangs ground game with 162 yards on 17 carries.

The loss shattered the Region 2-A champion Lakers (10-1) shot at a District 10 title, while Mercer moves on to a second rematch in as many games, this time with Sharpsville.

Mercer topped the Blue Devils 28-14, picking up its second of what is now seven straight wins.

———

MERCER 6 15 7 0 28

MERCY. PREP 0 14 6 0 20

Scoring plays

M — Huntley, 67 run (kick failed)

M — Huntley, 17 run (Huntley run)

MP — Kanady, 11 pass from Cordovano (Helffrich kick)

M — Mariacher, 59 run (Juergens kick)

MP — Kanady, 64 pass from Cordovano (Helffrich kick)

M — Erdos, 78 run (Juergens kick)

MP — Kanady, 46 pass from Cordovano (kick failed)

Team stats

MERCER MERCY.PREP

13 First downs 12

419 Rushing yards 132

0 Passing yards 163

3-0-0 Att-comp-int 12-7-0

419 Total yards 295

2-0 Fumbles-lost 0-0

5-45 Penalties-yards lost 2-8

Individual stats

Rushing: MERCER — Erdos 17-162, Mariacher 18-151, Huntley 7-103, Hennegan 1-3 ; MERCYHURST PREP — Horton 18-70, Kurzik 10-30, Cordovano 5-17, Kaiser 3-13, Schwenk 4-2.

Passing: MERCER — Erdos 2-0-0, Hennegan 1-0-0; MERCYHURST PREP — Cordovano 12-7-0-163.

Receiving: MERCER — none; MERCYHURST PREP — Kanady 5-153, Kaiser 2-10.

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