Football is back at Five Star Stadium for the second week in a row. The No. 11-ranked Mercer Bears will face off against the defending Southern Conference champions, the ETSU Buccaneers, at 4 p.m. Oct. 15. Here are three things to know before you go.

Arrive early to tailgate

Mercer football players high-five fans during the Bear Walk before the game against Western Carolina on Oct. 8. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Tailgating starts at 11 a.m. on Black Field, so make plans to get here early. This week’s Ford Concert Series features country musician Nate Smith, singer-songwriter Carter Faith, and Macon native and Mercer alumna Molly Stevens, a country-folk artist. Toby and Tot will lead the Bear Walk, featuring the marching band, cheerleaders and football team, into the stadium at 1:30 p.m. This is a great time to high-five your favorite player! As always, there are inflatables for the kids and the Fall Line beer garden for adults. College football games also will be played on a video wall, so you don’t have to miss a second of the game day action.

The Bears’ offense and defense are on fire

Mercer linebacker Isaac Dowling, No. 3, tackles Western Carolina quarterback Carlos Davis on Oct. 8 in Five Star Stadium. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

Be on the lookout for big plays on both sides of the ball.

Linebacker Isaac Dowling was named the Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 10 following Mercer’s 49-6 win over Western Carolina. Dowling had his first two career interceptions during the game as well as a team-high seven tackles. Among all SoCon defenders, he has the fourth-most tackles and tackles for loss this season, with 46 and six, respectively.

On offense, quarterback Fred Payton is one of three Football Championship Series (FCS) quarterbacks with zero interceptions this season and is fourth in the FCS in passing efficiency. Wide receiver Devron Harper leads the SoCon and is third in the FCS in total touchdowns with 12 and is tied for the most receiving touchdowns in the FCS with eight.

Tickets are only $4.78

Toby and Tot lead the Bear Walk before the game against Western Carolina on Oct. 8. Photo by Christopher Ian Smith

If you’ve been waiting to see a Mercer football game, now’s the time. All tickets for the game against ETSU are only $4.78 as part of our 478 Day promotion. To buy these special tickets, click here. In addition, Macon native DeAndre Smelter, a former professional football player, is giving back to his hometown by providing complimentary tickets to local schools and nonprofits.

Meanwhile, Mercer will be celebrating its employees as part of Faculty-Staff Appreciation Day. Faculty, staff and Mercer Engineering Research Center employees are eligible for up to six free meal and game tickets when they show their Bear Card at the designated table on Black Field.

We’ll also be celebrating United Way of Central Georgia and its partners as part of United Way Day.

Mercer vs. ETSU

  • When: 4 p.m. Oct. 15
  • Where: Five Star Stadium
  • Tickets: $15-$25, buy online at
  • On TV: ESPN+
  • On Radio: Mercer Sports Network – 100.9 The Creek FM or

Feature photo by Christopher Ian Smith


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