Mocs Roll in First Win of the Arth Era

LEXINGTON, Va.—The Chattanooga Mocs were dominant on an unseasonably warm afternoon at VMI. UTC opened Southern Conference play with a 63-7 triumph over the Keydets in Foster Stadium.

The 63 points is a school record for a league game. Nine touchdowns were spread over six players with Alphonso Stewart, Darrell Bridges (2), Richardre Bagley (2), Lucas Webb, James Stovall and Bingo Morton (2) all sharing in the wealth.

Nick Tiano connected on four scoring strikes with 249 yards in the air. Tae Davis and Tavon Lawson had six tackles apiece leading a defensive effort that allowed a mere 164 yards of total offense.

The scoring started right from the get-go.

Markell Boston’s interception gave the Mocs strong field position on their own 48 after VMI started the game on offense. Six plays later, Stewart broke tackles earning a 15-yard touchdown reception from Tiano.

Next series, the defense forced a three-and-out. Stewart broke through the line, blocked the Keydets’ punt attempt with Marshall Cooper falling on it at the one. Bridges scored on the next play for the 14-0 lead.

Bagley (1 yard), then Bridges (1), then Webb (24 yard fumble return), then Tiano to Stovall (25) and it was 42-0 with 4:51 to go in the first half.

A 73-yard pass from Duncan Hodges to Javeon Lara for the lone VMI score ended the barrage of the first half. The Keydets had just 35 yards and two first downs the rest of the way.

The performance was special on both sides of the ball. Tiano hit 10 different receivers with Stewart and Stovall leading the way with five apiece. Bagley led all rushers with 76 yards on 15 carries.

Defensively, the Mocs forced four turnovers with 21 points coming from those efforts. Three came via interceptions with the other being Webb’s fumble return after Kareem Orr’s hit jarred the ball loose.

NOTABLE
Three notes from tonight’s contest. Check out the full complement of facts and figures from today’s game in the link above.

  • 63 points are the Mocs most points in a SoCon contest topping the 59-56 win over Appalachian State on Oct. 30, 2004.
  • +3 in turnover margin. Entered the contest -5 for the season.
  • 42 first half points are the most since 45 in last year’s season opener against Shorter. Last time in a SoCon contest? 42 in the second half of the 2004 victory over App State.

QUOTABLE
Check out all we heard at the quotes link at the top of this story.

“One of our biggest emphases this week was starting the game fast. It was a blessing for me to get the opportunity to be that spark, to get us going and to see everything follow suit.” – Senior wide receiver Alphonso Stewart.

STATS
Check out the final stats at the link above. Here are three stats of note…

  • 1.0 yards per rush on three first half TD runs for Bridges (2) and Bagley.
  • 12 of 15 on third-down conversions powered 38:43 in time of possession.
  • Bagley has 265 yards rushing the last two games against the Keydets.

NEXT UP
The Mocs return home for the next two weeks. It starts next Saturday with a visit from Western Carolina. ESPN3 broadcasts the 6 p.m., kick from Finley Stadium. Tickets are on sale here on GoMocs.com or by calling the ticket office during normal business hours at (423) 266-MOCS (6627). There are single-game tickets as well as three-game mini plans available.

Categories: Local News, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News

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