CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (gomocs.com) ---The No. 10 Chattanooga Mocs used a fantastic offensive performance to top the visiting Mars Hill Lions 44-34. It was replete with career highs and school records as the squad moved to 1-1 on the young season.
Derrick Craine ran for a career-best 169 yards with four touchdowns, three on the ground. Xavier Borishade bettered his previous career high with 10 receptions and 116 yards.
"Give our offense credit,” coach Russ Huesman stated. “I mean, they did a really nice job. Offensively, we played well. We converted some key third-down plays and kept drives alive.
"(Craine) played hard. I'll tell you, the kid plays hard. He's a great kid, I'm proud of him, and thank goodness we've got him."
It’s the first time since November 17, 2012 that the Mocs posted a 100-yard rusher (Jacob Huesman, 109) and receiver (Terrell Robinson, 124) in the same contest. That came in a 24-17 win at Finley Stadium over Elon.
It was a shootout from the start. The Lions went up 14-7 on a 73-yard run down the right sideline from Shaikel Davis. Craine responded with three straight scores before a 16-yard Huesman strike to C.J. Board made it a 14-point game, 35-21.
Mars Hill opened the fourth quarter with a 29-yard pass from Matt Layman to Keshaun Taylor. It was one of the duos four touchdown combinations on the day. Taylor Reynolds blocked the PAT and Trevor Wright grabbed the deflection mid-air and returned it for two points, giving the Mocs a 37-27 advantage.
Taylor and Layman struck again on fourth-and-three with a 35-yard scoring toss. That whittled the lead to three, but the offense had an answer.
Craine opened the ensuing possession with three runs for 43 yards. The third being a 25-yard dash with the resulting tackle out of bounds tacking on another 15 to put the Mocs deep in MHU territory. Six plays later, Huesman found Craine in the end zone for a 6-yard touchdown reception, capping the 10-point win.
UTC accumulated 518 yards with 253 on the ground and 267 in the air. It’s the first time since the 2000 season against Mississippi Valley State (316/301) that the squad has topped 250 in both categories.
Huesman notched two new school records. His first quarter touchdown connection set the school mark breaking a tie with B.J. Coleman (2009-11). His three total gives him 55. Huesman also sits atop the career completions list with 591 bypassing Coleman and former record holder Chris Sanders (1999-00). He’s now third in career yardage with 6,431 moving past Kenyon Earl (1991-94) and Brian Hampton (1995-98).
The Lions posted 428 yards, also with a balanced attack grabbing 167 on the ground and 261 in the air. Davis had 128 yards on 17 carries with Jamel Harbison adding 53. Layman was 19 of 27 in the air for 220 yards and the four scores. Taylor had nine catches gaining 157.
Nakevion Leslie led the defense with seven stops with one for loss and a forced fumble. Redshirt freshman Isaiah Mack added his first career sack. Carl Mattox made a game-high 10 tackles for the Lions.
“We're excited to win a football game,” Huesman added. “But we can't continue to play like that. We cannot play defense and continue to give up big plays. We just can't do it. We're gonna get it fixed, but we didn't compete defensively.
“Thank goodness the offense carried us today. (We) appreciate them."
The Mocs hit the road to open Southern Conference play next weekend at Samford. The matchup of two of the league’s favorites kicks off at 3:30 p.m., Eastern time on the American Sports Network. GoMocs.com has links to video, audio, stats and more. Fans can follow live updates on Twitter @GoMocsFB.
Play – Quarter/Time/Score
UTC – Alphonso Stewart 4 yard Pass from Jacob Huesman (Henrique Ribeiro Kick) - 1/10:59/7-0
Drive: 10 plays, 73 yards, 4:01
Key Play(s): 3/2/V16 – Xavier Borishade 7 yard run
MHU – Keshaun Taylor 13 yard Pass from Matt Layman (Tyler Stewart Kick) – 1/5:12/7-7
Drive: 15 plays, 75 yards, 5:39
Key Play(s): Lions convert 4 first downs
MHU – Shaikel Davis 73 yard Run (Stewart Kick) – 2/12:56/7-14
Drive: 3 plays, 74 yards, 1:15
Key Play(s): N/A
UTC – Derrick Craine 3 yard Run (Ribeiro Kick) – 2/7:26/14-14
Drive: 6 plays, 46 yards, 1:48
Key Play(s): 2/10/V28 – Huesman to C.J. Board for 19 yards
MHU – Taylor 75 yard Pass from Layman (Stewart Kick) – 2/7:12/14-21
Drive: 1 plays, 75 yards, 0:14
Key Play(s): N/A
UTC – Craine 1 yard Run (Ribeiro Kick) – 2/1:41/21-21
Drive: 13 plays, 75 yards, 5:31
Key Play(s): N/A
UTC – Craine 8 yard Run (Ribeiro Kick) – 3/11:20/28-21
Drive: 8 plays, 47 yards, 2:24
Key Play(s): 3/5/V29 – Huesman to Wil Young for 10 yards
UTC – C.J. Board 16 yard Pass from Huesman (Ribeiro Kick) – 3/1:23/35-21
Drive: 4 plays, 50 yards, 1:44
Key Play(s): 3/4/V44 – Huesman to Wil Young for 28 yards
MHU – Taylor 29 yard Pass from Layman (Kick Blocked-Returned for score by Trevor Wright) – 4/13:49/37-27
Drive: 7 plays, 75 yards, 2:34
Key Play(s): 4/2/H46 – Holding penalty on defense
MHU – Taylor 35 yard Pass from Layman (Stewart Kick) – 4/7:56/37-34
Drive: 5 plays, 83 yards, 2:00
Key Play(s): 1/10/V17 – Jamel Harbison passes 41 yards to Hezekiah McKinnon
UTC – Craine 6 yard Pass from Huesman (Ribeiro Kick) – 4/3:59/44-34
Drive: 9 plays, 84 yards, 3:45
Key Play(s): Craine runs for 43 yards on 1st three plays with the last resulting in an additional 15 yards on a late hit penalty