Dowden makes up for misses, boosts Mercer in third OT

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Tyray Devezin scored on four short runs and Caleb Dowden kicked a winning 38-yard field goal in the third overtime, atoning for two earlier missed kicks, and Mercer outlasted Samford 36-33 on Saturday night.

Dowden missed an extra point in the third quarter and a 35-yard field-goal attempt that would have won it with 2 seconds left in regulation but came through with two field goals in the OT periods.

The teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime and field goals in the second before Samford’s Mitchell Fineran, who made 4 of 6 field goals, missed from 39 yards to open the third OT. Mercer gained four yards on its third OT possession before lining it up for Dowden.

Chris Oladokun accounted for all three of Samford’s touchdowns with a 1-yard run, a 12-yard pass to Kendall Watson and a 3-yard run that came in the first OT.

Mercer (4-5, 3-3 Southern Conference) led for about 5 ½ minutes of regulation, first taking a 3-0 lead late in the first quarter then going ahead 23-20 on Devezin’s third touchdown run late in the fourth.

Devezin rushed for 130 yards on 38 of his team’s 44 carries.

Jay Stanton had 141 rushing yards on 23 carries for Samford (4-5, 3-3).

Samford linebacker John Staton had 22 total tackles, three solo. Mercer linebacker Sidney Otiwu had 21 total tackles, eight solo. He was ejected near the end of Samford’s touchdown drive in the first overtime. The reason for his ejection was unclear.