CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Michael Hiers threw four touchdown passes and ran for a score and Samford won the Southern Conference title with a 35-24 victory over Chattanooga on Saturday in a match-up between ranked teams.
Samford (9-1, 7-0 Southern Conference), ranked ninth in the FCS coaches poll, collected its first title since 2013 and will look to sweep the conference schedule in its regular-season finale against Mercer next Saturday.
Hiers threw three touchdown passes to Kendall Watson and also had a 1-yard TD run as Samford built a 28-7 lead late in the second quarter. Hiers tossed an 80-yard TD pass to D.J. Rias that made it 35-17 early in the third. Hiers was 37-of-47 passing for 353 yards. Rias made four catches for 100 yards.
Chattanooga had just two possessions in the fourth quarter that led to a punt and missed field goal. The Bulldogs kept the ball for the last eight minutes of the game.
Ailym Ford and Preston Hutchinson each ran in for scores from short yardage in the third quarter for 12th-ranked Chattanooga (7-3, 5-2 Southern Conference). Hutchinson completed 24 of 37 passes for 320 yards but threw two interceptions. Ford carried the ball 24 times for 144 yards.