She gives tradition the boot

April 17, 1995|By Knight-Ridder News Service

DURHAM, N.C. -- Heather Sue broke a few hearts Saturday night.

Kicker Heather Sue Mercer's 28-yard field goal with 1:22 left in Duke's Blue-White scrimmage gave the Blue team a 24-22 win at Wallace Wade Stadium. Mercer assured herself of making history, too, as the first female to earn a spot on Duke's football team.

"She is on the team," Duke coach Fred Goldsmith said. "She's worked hard, and has to continue to work hard."

The scrimmage seemed reserved for a show of arms, as quarterbacks Spence Fischer, Dave Green and Matt Rader completed 32 of 46 passes for 538 yards and four touchdowns.

Mercer, however, stole the show with the game-winning field goal, which was set up by Kenan Holley's 28-yard interception return to the White team's 32. The Blue team moved the ball on the ground before being stopped, with fourth-and-one from the 10. Mercer, who kicked the extra point after the first touchdown, trotted onto the field, awaited a snap and kicked an end-over-end ball that cleared the middle of the uprights.

"I was thinking, 'Don't miss,' " said Mercer, a walk-on sophomore from New York who didn't make the team last year. "I was thinking, 'Just be calm.' I figured I wasn't going to be out there anymore. I figured they'd score a touchdown and go for the two-point conversion."

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