Mocs Fall 27-13 in Season Opener Against Jacksonville State

MONTGOMERY—The 12th-ranked Chattanooga Mocs dropped a 27-13 decision at the hands of No. 5 Jacksonville State in the Cramton Bowl. The game was started of college football season in what was dubbed the Guardian FCS Kickoff Classic.

Nick Tiano, making his first start for his hometown team after transferring this spring from Mississippi State, accumulated 286 yards total offense to lead his side of the ball. Lucas Webb and Kareem Orr each had an interception pacing the defense.

It was a see-saw game through the opening 41 minutes. JSU had a 13-6 lead when Jonathan Hagler snagged a Tiano offering returning it 52 yards for the score and a two-touchdown advantage.

Big plays spurred the win for the Gamecocks. Along with the pick-6, Roc Thomas rambled 76 yards for a first quarter touchdown, while Shaq Davidson made the final tally for his squad with a 59-yard TD catch from Bryant Horn.

There was no quit in the Gig City lads. A late 4-yard strike from Tiano to Joseph Parker capped an eight-play, 89-yard scoring drive that took less than two minutes. The ensuing onside kick sealed their fate as the Gamecocks recovered and ran enough clock to limit the Mocs chances.

Parker led all receivers with six catches for 56 yards. Richardre Bagley added another five for 55. Tavon Lawson made a game-high 14 stops transitioning from safety to linebacker.

Thomas was the Gamecocks MVP on this night. He ran 19 times for 122 yards and caught three passes for 68 more. Horn threw for 182 yards completing 14 of 20 passes with two interceptions and the touchdown. He also gained 31 yards on the ground in seven attempts.


  • First game of the Tom Arth era. He is now 40-9 in five years as a head coach including a 40-8 (.833) mark at his alma mater John Carroll.
  • Lucas Webb’s interception deep in Mocs territory near the end of the first half was the 11th of his career. That’s tied for fourth in UTC history with David McCrary (1982-85) and current director of football ops Kadeem Wise (2010-13). It’s two behind the record of 13 by Phillip Aldridge (1982-85) and Bucky Wolford (1965-67).
  • Richarde Bagley moved into second-place for receptions by a running back (74) as his five tonight pushed him past Carlos Locklyn’s (1996-99) 71. Darryle Streeter (1984-88) is the all-time leader with 90.

  • “I am proud of the way our defense fought through the entire game. With the exception of a couple of plays, we played very well on that side of the ball. Offensively, it was great to see coming out in the fourth quarter and getting a chance to work a two-minute situation and going down and scoring a touchdown. I think that says a lot about the character of the group and not giving in and not quitting.” – Head Coach Tom Arth.

  • Three different Mocs receivers caught five passes which tied or set new career highs for Parker (6), Bagley (5) and Bingo Morton (5-49).
  • Linebackers Lawson (14) and Tae Davis (8) combined for 22 tackles transitioning from defensive backs to the center of the defense.
  • Take away the 135 yards on JSU’s two TD plays, and the Gamecocks managed just 231 yards on their other 57 plays.
  • The Mocs have the week off before heading to LSU Sept. 9. The contest in Baton Rouge is a 7:30 p.m., Eastern time, kickoff on SEC Network Alternate. Tickets are available here on or by calling the ticket office during working hours at (423) 266-MOCS (6627).
    Categories: College, Local News, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UTC Mocs
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