Tiano with 3 TDs as Chattanooga beats Mercer 34-17

MACON, Ga. (AP) — Nick Tiano threw for two touchdowns and ran for another score as Chattanooga beat Mercer 34-17 on Saturday.

Tiano was 18 of 31 for 190 yards passing for the Mocs (3-3, 2-0 Southern Conference). Ailym Ford ran for 116 yards and a score and Victor Ulmo kicked two field goals.

Chattanooga trailed by seven early but a fumble recovery by Ty Boeck deep in Mercer territory led two plays later to a Tiano throw to Bryce Nunnelly to even the score. The ensuing kickoff was returned 98 yards by Mercer’s Deondre Johnson for a touchdown and the Mocs trailed again, 14-7. Ford’s 8-yard scoring run made it 14-14 early in the second quarter and an Ulmo field goal just before halftime put the Mocs up 17-14.

Tiano opened the second half for Chattanooga with a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped with a short touchdown throw to Chris James for a 24-14 lead. Mercer’s only score in the second half was Caleb Dowden’s field goal early in the fourth.

Robert Riddle threw for 228 yards and a touchdown for the Bears (2-4, 1-2).