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ETSU takes SoCon title, edges Mercer 38-35

November 21, 2021 GMT

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — Tyler Riddell threw a 13-yard touchdown to Malik Murray with 1:47 left and No. 8-ranked East Tennessee State beat No. 21 Mercer 38-35 on Saturday to win the Southern Conference title.

Mercer kicker Delvin Folser missed a 42-yard field goal attempt for a chance to tie it as time expired in front of a record crowd of 10,594.

It was the fourth time this season ETSU (10-1, 8-1) rallied to win after trailing in the second half. The Buccaneers built a 21-10 halftime lead before the Bears (7-3, 6-2) scored 18 points in the third quarter.

Quay Holmes ran for 132 yards on 25 carries and in the process broke George Searcy’s single-season rushing record and Brandon Walker’s career rushing mark. Riddell completed 26 of 29 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns.

Fred Payton threw for 375 yards for Mercer with two touchdowns but was intercepted three times.

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