Ribeiro, Mocs kick VMI 33-27
LEXINGTON, VA (GOMOCS.COM) -- Junior Henrique Ribeiro tied a school record with four field goals and the No. 6-ranked Chattanooga Mocs converted a late fourth-and-six to seal a 33-27 win at VMI today. UTC needed a pick-6 for the third weekend in a row to improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in Southern Conference action.
Ribeiro made kicks from 37, 20, 31 and 24 yards, the fifth time in school history a Moc has made four field goals in a game. Senior defensive back Sema'je Kendall's 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter gave the Mocs a 33-21 lead and some breathing room in their 10th consecutive SoCon win.
"I told our guys that it was a great win and we're 3-0 in the league," stated head coach Russ Huesman. "When you go play a game, the only thing you should worry about is if you won or lost the football game right now. Tomorrow, we'll look and see where the issues are and where we have to get better. Give VMI a lot of credit. They played really well and have unbelievable players."
Trailing 26-21 after Ribeiro's fourth field goal of the game, VMI (1-6, 0-3 SoCon) took over on its own 23 with under 14 minutes to play. Kendall read the play perfectly and hauled in his second interception in as many games.
"I was actually supposed to drive my guy first, and if he goes under, jump back out," explained Kendall. "He threw it right to me and it was a big play."
At that point, UTC had only allowed one yard of offense in the second half. VMI made it interesting by scoring with under seven minutes left in the game. The Keydets drove 77 yards on 11 plays and Cobb connected with Chad Jacob from nine yards out. VMI missed the extra point, but cut the lead to 33-27.
The Mocs had their drive stall on the VMI 33 with under two minutes left. After a timeout and a discussion, Huesman found sophomore Alphonso Stewart for 17 yards over the middle. That fourth down conversion allowed Chattanooga to run out the clock.
Huesman was 21-33 for 219 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while rushing 16 times for 97 yards and a score. Junior Derrick Craine had 112 rushing yards on 19 carries, and sophomore Wil Young posted a career-high 82 yards on six catches.
UTC's was led on defense by A.J. Hampton's eight tackles. It was the third game in the row Chattanooga did not allow 300 yards of total offense. Junior LB Nakevion Leslie added seven tackles, 2.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks.
The offense put up 490 yards, including 261 rushing. It was the fourth game in a row with over 245 rushing yards for Chattanooga.
The Mocs stay on the road next week when they travel to Wofford on Saturday, Oct. 24. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. in Spartanburg, S.C. A link to the SoCon Digital Network is available on the football schedule page on GoMocs.com
UTC's next home game is Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 31, against Western Carolina.