CHATTANOOGA, TN (gomocs.com) ---It was a happy Homecoming Saturday at Finley Stadium. The fourth-ranked Chattanooga Mocs rolled to a 41-13 win over Western Carolina. The Mocs, 5-0 in the league and 7-1 overall, are tied for first in the Southern Conference with The Citadel, while the Catamounts fall two games back at 3-2, 5-3 for the season.
"Great job by our football team," coach Russ Huesman said. "I think all three phases, especially offense, we challenged them. We challenged the offensive line this week and they responded. Great job by our offense.
"Defensively, to hold that offense to 283 yards was really good. We let the quarterback out some, but he's a great athlete. He's tough to defend. We tried to practice it, but when he get out in space he's really good. He's an excellent player. Great game, excited for our guys, and I'm looking forward to playing next week."
The offense was on display early and often. Junior Derrick Craine ran for 103 yards with four touchdowns, a first for a Moc since Artis Edwards on November 6, 1982, nearly 33 years ago.
"That's amazing just to think about doing something that hasn't been done in 30-something years," Craine stated. "You can't do something like that, like I say every week, without that front five. They're just incredible"
Senior quarterback Jacob Huesman didn't let Craine have all the headlines. He had a game-high 168 yards on the ground with another 191 in the air on 14 of 15 passing. Huesman also became the school's all-time passing yardage leader with 7,342 yards, passing Chris Sanders (1999-00).
Craine tallied scores on runs of 5, 21, 1 and 6 yards in the first half to give his squad a 35-6 halftime advantage. Two Henrique Ribeiro field goals sandwiched a Troy Mitchell to Steffon Hill 43-yard touchdown strike for Western to supply the 41-13 final score.
Chattanooga's defense limited the Catamounts to 283 total yards with 178 in the air and 105 on the ground. Mitchell recorded 235 yards total offense leading the rushing attack with 57 yards with 178 in the air. He completed 22 of 32 attempts with one touchdown and a late interception by Trevor Wright.
A.J. Hampton and Lucas Webb led the defense with eight tackles apiece. Hampton had 1.5 tackles for loss with Webb adding a half. Cedric Nettles added six stops and a fumble recovery.
Western was paced by Marvin Tillman's game-high 12 tackles. Daniel Riddle chipped in 10.
The Mocs hit the road next Saturday, traveling to Macon, Ga. They meet the Mercer Bears at 4 p.m. GoMocs.com has links to video (ESPN3.com), audio, stats and more. Fans can follow live updates on Twitter @GoMocsFB.