Mocs have six takeaways, defeat Mercer in SoCon showdown

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Preston Hutchinson threw three touchdown passes and Chattanooga had six takeaways in knocking off Mercer 41-21 on Saturday in a matchup of teams unbeaten in Southern Conference play.

Hutchinson was 20 of 32 with 291 yards passing without an interception. Ailym Ford, the SoCon’s leading rusher, added 123 yards on 22 carries with a score and went over 3,000 career yards. Jamoi Mayes made eight catches for 121 yards and a TD for the Mocs (6-1, 4-0), ranked eighth in the FCS coaches poll.

Mercer (6-2, 4-1), ranked 11th, came into the game as the nation’s leader with 18 takeaways but had none against the Mocs.

Mercer’s Fred Payton entered the game 21 passing touchdowns and just one interception but threw three picks Saturday, including one Kameron Brown returned 53 yards for a TD. Brown had two picks. Payton did throw for three scores to break a tie for the most in a season for a Bear. Ty James caught seven passes for 126 yards with a TD.

The Mocs led 17-0 after the first quarter and 27-14 at halftime.

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