Our Lady of Mercy rolls Strong Rock

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Robert Chery hauls in a touchdown pass to stake Our Lady of Mercy to a 14-0 lead in the first half. (Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn)

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Bryce Griffin returns an interception for a touchdown.

Our Lady of Mercy made Senior Night count. In a season filled with a young team battling tough injuries, the Bobcats made the final home game for their veterans a special one, dominating the Strong Rock Patriots 41-0.
The win is a taste of what is to come for an extremely youthful squad. The team is starting seven sophomores and freshmen on both sides of the ball, with four others in significant roles.
“It’s a young team. It’s taken a while for them to gel, but this team’s best years are ahead of them because there are some really good players here,” said Mercy coach Mike Earwood. “If we can weather the low numbers in the senior and junior classes, it’s going to be exciting to watch these guys grow.”
Mercy’s defense was simply suffocating, limiting the Patriots to just 107 total yards. The pass rush was dynamic, tallying three sacks and pressuring the quarterback on every drop back.
Senior quarterback Charlie Feldner was efficient through the air, completing 5 of 9 passes for 61 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
“He deserved that,” said Earwood of Feldner’s strong night. “He’s a young man who waited patiently in the wings behind Jameson Vest.”
The running game saw a number of Bobcats contribute to 252 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. Delemarco Hodges led the way with 75 yards and two touchdowns on seven carries. Trey Robinson was next with 53 yards on seven attempts, followed by Justin Emerson with 46 yards, and Jamari Adderley with 34 yards and a score.
Mercy’s offense was unstoppable all night. After a missed opportunity late in the first quarter, the Bobcats found the end zone midway through the second quarter for the first of six times. Started by a 12-yard run from Trey Robinson, the chains moved again on a 16-yard pass from Charlie Feldner to Jamari Adderley, but the drive looked stalled. Facing fourth and three, the Bobcats made a gutsy call and faked a punt, Tyler Hill taking the snap and plowing ahead for nine yards. Feldner converted another third down, hitting Robinson for 14 yards into the red zone. Adderley capped off the drive with a three-yard plunge. Matthew Shupenus’s extra point staked the team to a 7-0 lead.
The defense and special teams combined to get the ball right back. Nicholas Hellams sacked the quarterback to force a three-and-out, and Dwight Robins pounced on a blocked punt to set the offense up on the Strong Rock 13-yard line.
Feldner made the Patriots pay, pulling in the safeties on a playaction fake and lofting it over the top to Robert Chery in the corner for a 13-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Mercy built on the second quarter momentum after halftime. Spurred by a Bryce Griffin sack to end the Patriots’ first drive, the Bobcats went to the ground. On 3rd and 17, Delemarco Hodges got a chunk back with a 14-yard run. Robinson converted the fourth down attempt with a short run. Hodges kept up the hard running, busting through the defense for a 13-yard touchdown.
The Bobcat defense joined the scoring next time around. Pushed back deep by another Hellams sack, the Patriots dug an even bigger hole for themselves. A fierce pass rush sent the quarterback scrambling, throwing the ball right to Bryce Griffin, who intercepted it and returned it for a touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
Chery made his impact on defense the next series, notching two sacks, forcing a fumble and recovering it on the second one.
Starting past midfield, Hodges went to work again, chewing up 33 yards, then punching it in again from the three.
The game well in hand, the Bobcats rotated in a number of new backs from there. Cameron Browning, Caleb Pressley, and TJ Wilson all picked up big runs as they drove into the red zone again. Garrett Keever finished it off with a 13-yard run to make it 41-0.
TJ Wilson intercepted a pass on Strong Rock’s final possession, setting up Mercy to finish Senior Night in the Victory formation.
The Bobcats are off this week before finishing the season against ELCA and Landmark Christian.

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About

Christopher Dunn has been the sports editor for Fayette Newspapers since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Game Day magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.


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