Mocs Limit Eagles in Second Half
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - With the Southern Conference's top rushing defense, Chattanooga limited Georgia Southern to 120 yards of offense in the second half en route to a 35-27 Mocs win at Finley Stadium Saturday night. Chattanooga (4-2, 3-1 SoCon) scored two touchdowns in the third quarter and added another in the fourth quarter to hold onto the win.
Georgia Southern (3-3, 1-2 SoCon) made a charge late in the fourth quarter, as junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) completed a 63-yard pass to J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) to put the Eagles in the red zone. Senior fullback Tobi Akinniranye (Atlanta, Ga.) and Shaw brought the Eagles to the one-yard line on the next four attempts, setting up Shaw for the one-yard touchdown with 1:38 left in the game to pull GS within eight points, 27-35.
An unsuccessful on-side kick put the ball back in the hands of the Mocs, but the ball went back to the Eagles on downs at GS 33 with 1:16 left to play. Junior slotback Nick Hickey (Columbus, Ga.) threw a pass to midfield which was intercepted by Jordan Tippit, sealing the victory for Chattanooga and its fourth straight win this year.
Akinniranye ran for a career-best 102 yards on the night, which included a career-long 60-yard touchdown run from a Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) handoff in the second quarter. Shaw had a touchdown run and connected with Wilcox for a 58-yard first-half touchdown reception, Shaw's longest as an Eagle. Wilcox had 121 yards receiving, a career-best total, to go along with 35 yards rushing. Georgia Southern scored on four of its first five possessions, then had its final touchdown in the fourth quarter. Chattanooga scored on its first series then didn't score again until its last drive of the half.
"We have to be able to execute," said Eagles Coach Jeff Monken. "When we executed, it was good. When we didn't block them, it wasn't very good. We are a team and we have to keep getting better as a football team. We are disappointed with where we are at right now and we have a lot of improvements to make, but we have five games to go."
Chattanooga ate up nine minutes of clock in the third quarter with its longest drive of the season. After picking up five first downs, the Mocs were pushed back to third-and-21 after fumble and holding call. UTC's Jeff Veres' 40 yard field goal attempt tumbled short, but a roughing the holder penalty on Georgia Southern gave the Mocs new life, a first down and the ball at the GS 11-yard line.
The longest UTC drive of the year, the 17-play, 80-yard drive ended as Moc quarterback B.J. Coleman first rolled out, then ran for the goal line himself to put Chattanooga up 21-20. A fumble on the third carry of the Eagles' next drive, recovered by the Mocs, put Chattanooga at the GS 25. The Mocs used four plays and just over a minute and a half on their scoring drive to take the 28-20 lead. The Mocs final score came on their first drive of the fourth quarter. On third-and-eight, Coleman launched a 43-yard post pass for Brian Sutherland for a touchdown.
"They out physical-led us, they out-toughed us," Monken said about the second half. "They blocked us and we couldn't get off blocks and we didn't block them effectively enough. They beat some blocks and made some plays."
Defensively, junior safety Derek Heyden (Atlanta, Ga.) had a game-high and career-best 12 tackles to lead the Eagles with Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ala.) recording eight and sophomore nose tackle Brent Rusell (Comer, Ga.) with seven. Linebacker Ryan Consiglio had 10 tackles for the Mocs with defensive end Chris Donald with seven.
Georgia Southern scored on both its drives to start the game as junior kicker Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) hit a 37-yard field goal to put the Eagles on the board first, 3-0. The Mocs took the lead back on the next series, 7-3. Chattanooga capped its 70-yard drive with a 46-yard touchdown off B.J. Coleman's double play action pass to Chris Awuah and point after by Jeff Veres.
Freshman quarterback Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) took over the signal calling in the final series of the first quarter. On third-and-three McKinnon handed off to Tobi Akkiniranye (Atlanta, Ga.) who rushed for 60-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 17-7 very early in the second quarter.
After both teams exchanged punts, Chattanooga started its drive at its own 44 and Wynn picked up 14 yards on the first play. Wynn rushed three more times to pick up another Moc first down. Seeminly stalled at fourth-and-nine, Coleman completed a pass to Joel Bradford for a first down. A roughing the passer penalty against Georgia Southern moved the ball to the Eagle nine-yard line to set up first and goal Chattanooga. Wynn took the ball on two carries to the one and then ran for the one-yard touchdown to bring the score to 17-14 Georgia Southern.
The Eagles helped the Mocs offense with two first downs in the first quarter on pass interference penalties in the first quarter. The first put the Mocs at their own 40, eventually setting up the 46-yard touchdown pass while the second put Chattanooga at midfield in its second drive, but the Mocs punted the ball back to the Eagles with two minutes left in the first quarter.
The Eagles ended the half the same way they started the game, with Mora hitting a 33- yard field goal after stringing 16 plays together to go 54 yards and take a 20-14 lead.
NOTES: Attendance was announced at 17,414, the second-largest crowd at Finley Stadium for a Chattanooga football game... Georgia Southern had seven different ball carriers in the first quarter... The Eagles' 16 plays in the scoring drive to end the half were the most in any scoring drive this year... Shaw's 58-yard pass was the longest of his Georgia Southern career... Akinniranye's 60-yard run was the longest by a Mocs opponent this year... The 17-7 Eagles lead was the largest deficit for Chattanooga this year and the 14-20 halftime score was the first time the Mocs had trailed at the half in 2010.
- Category: Football
- Published on Sunday, 17 October 2010 00:35