Mocs finish season with loss to The Citadel

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC Athletics) — The Chattanooga Mocs football team suffered a 24-21 loss to The Citadel Bulldogs in the final contest of the regular season on Saturday afternoon inside Finley Stadium.

Following the loss, Chattanooga falls to 6-5 overall and 5-3 in Southern Conference play. The Citadel improves to 4-7 and 3-5 in league action.

“I don’t think we played our most inspired football in the first half, which is very disappointing because we haven’t been that way,” said Coach Rusty Wright. “I told them in the locker room we are our own worst enemy this year, and that comes right squarely back to me.”

Tyrell Price began the scoring two plays in with a 75-yard rush to the house to put the Mocs up 7-0. The Citadel had a quick answer, putting together a 15-play, 71-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at seven.

After a Chattanooga fumble, The Citadel took over on the UTC32 and used a 9-yard touchdown pass to take a seven-point lead with just over five minutes to play in the first half.

The Mocs knotted it up on their next drive with a 7-play, 72-yard drive capped off by an Ailym Ford 9-yard run. Before the break, the UTC defense gave the ball back to the offense with their second fourth down stop of the game. The Mocs regained the lead with six seconds remaining in the half on Ford’s second TD of the contest, a 5-yard run.

The Citadel began the second half with a 37-yard field goal to cut the Bulldogs’ deficit to 21-17. After the two teams exchanged seven straight punts, The Citadel used a 57-yard run from Sam Llewellyn to take a three-point lead.

The final Chattanooga drive began with 2:37 on the clock and The Citadel sealed its 24-21 victory with an interception.

The two teams combined for 560 yards on the ground with The Citadel outgaining UTC, 330-230. The Bulldogs were 10-of-21 on third down and 3-of-5 on fourth. The Mocs were 1-of-7 on third down conversions.

Price led all players with 148 rushing yards on 14 carries including a touchdown. Ford added 83 yards on 13 rushes and two scores.

Defensively, the two teams combined for just two sacks and eight tackles for loss. Ty Boeck led the Mocs’ defense with 10 tackles including eight solo. Devonnsha Maxwell posted the team’s only sack and registered 8.5 total takedowns.

Drayton Arnold finished the day with 94 yards on 4-of-16 passing. UTC’s starting quarterback also ran for 11 yards.

Gabe Boring averaged 45.2 yards per punt on five attempts, dropping three inside the 20, tying his career best.

RECORDS – CHATTANOOGA (6-5, 5-3) | THE CITADEL (4-7, 3-5)

SERIES – Chattanooga leads the all-time series 33-20-2.

– Price’s 75-yard TD run marked the eighth straight meeting with the Bulldogs that the Mocs opened their scoring with a 60+ yard play.
– 24 points for The Citadel gives opponents 188 for the campaign (17.1 ppg). It is the fewest points allowed in a season since 1985 (180).
– The Citadel’s second quarter touchdown off a Drayton Arnold fumble is just the 4th score by an opponent this season after a Mocs turnover (16th TO) & first since 51-yard 3rd quarter Tyler Keltner field goal in the win over ETSU…20 total points off 18 turnovers for the season.

Check out all the extra info at the notes link at the top of the story.

“I’m thankful these seniors left with a winning season. I’m not going to take away anything from these seniors. They’ve been through a lot in the last year and a half, and for those guys to hang around and continue to work and compete and do those things, they’re going to go on and have good lives and be good husbands, be good fathers and be successful.” – Coach Rusty Wright on the senior class who was honored pregame.

“We had been working been working on [the play] lately. Big shout out to the offensive line, they’ve been opening up things all year and surprised me. It was a good run.” – Tyrell Price on his 75-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter.

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