UTC Loses Only Football Game Of Fall Season, Fall To Western Kentucky, 13-10

Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Chattanooga Mocs had one gridiron shot this fall. COVID-19 moved the league schedule to the spring and three non-conference games were cancelled. All that remained was an October date at Western Kentucky.

 

The two fought tooth-and-nail for 60 minutes. In the end, Western prevailed 13-10 in a controversial ending.

 

Tyrell Pigrome lobbed a 4-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal to Craig Burt, Jr., in the back corner of the end zone with just 1:21 to play.

Bryce Nunnelly took the ensuing kickoff 102 yards to retake the lead, but as ESPN personality Lee Corso so famously says, “not so fast”.

 

The referees decided upback Tyrin Summers called for a fair catch although he was not in the frame of the play. Replays showed Nunnelly clearly caught the kickoff with intentions to return it, but the call was made and the touchdown was called back. The Hilltoppers stopped the Mocs offense and the ball turned over on downs.

 

It was a contest Chattanooga led from the outset. Senior Drayton Arnold, making his first collegiate start, engineered a 75-yard, 14-play drive on the opening possession. He scrambled in from 10 yards out converting the Mocs third third-down of the drive for the 7-0 lead.

 

The Hilltoppers answered, moving deep into UTC territory before the defense stiffened limiting their hosts to a field goal. That became a theme. The play of the game, had the Mocs won, could have been traced to the end of the first half.

 

WKU threatened with a 19-play march all the way to the 10. On first and goal, Rashun Freeman snuffed out a trick play reverse for an eight-yard loss. That was followed by a strip sack by Jay Person and fumble recovery by Ty Boeck.

 

"It was a really good play,” Person recalled. “I told Kam [Jones] and Ty Boeck, if they do a pass play, we're going to get there. I knew the call and knew what it was. It was a great play.

 

“D-Max [Devonnsha Maxwell] was taking three blocks every time, it was pretty easy for me to get back there and make a play."

 

Another turnover led to the Mocs next score. Gabe Boring’s punt was mishandled inside the 10-yard line with Jerrell Lawson pouncing on the ball at the eight. The Mocs were stifled, but Victor Ulmo gave his squad a 10-3 advantage with a 22-yard field goal.

 

Missed chances in the fourth quarter led to a dicey ending. Pigrome’s 28-yard strike to Joshua Simon put WKU at the Mocs 13. A stuffed rush was followed by a pass out of the end zone. A late flag flew and roughing the passer was indicated.

 

First-and-goal at the six. Gaej Walker’s 4-yard run made it perilous on 2nd-and-2. Back-to-back 1-yard losses with plays from Lawson and Kam Jones. A late timeout before fourth-and-goal built the drama further before Pigrome-Burt’s fade connection provided the final tally.

 

Looking back even after the bitter disappointment in the ending, Coach Rusty Wright still had a positive to fall back on just by being on the field.

 

“It was awesome (to be back for a day),” Wright began. “There are no moral victories, but it was just so good to be in that pre-game meal. It was so good to be in that locker room before the game. Even though it hurt as bad as it hurt after this game was over, it was so good being in that locker room with them. We’ll keep building on it and we’ll be okay.”

 

RECORDS – Chattanooga (0-1) | Western Kentucky (2-4)

 

SERIES – Chattanooga leads 8-6

 

QUOTABLE

“Kids played hard, they were flying around, giving themselves opportunities, they were having fun. We just went out there and played. We didn’t do anything different from last year, we just lined up and played.” – Coach Rusty Wright

 

"I saw something that looked a little fishy. I didn't expect them to try something like that, that early in the game. We were playing good defense, so they had to do some trickery to try and catch us off guard." – Senior Rashun Freeman

 

“We did what we thought we should do. We ran the ball hard. We gave ourselves some options. They changed some things up in the second half. We’ll have to throw the ball better, teams won’t let us just line up and run the ball like that. Guys ran hard, didn’t turn it over, and gave us a chance. All we could ask for.” – Coach Rusty Wright

3 NOTES TO KNOW

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the only game for the Mocs in 2020.  The Southern Conference has posted an eight-game league schedule that beings on Feb. 20, 2021.  The FCS Playoffs are now a 16-team field that begins on April 24, 2021, with the championship game set for May 15 in Frisco, Texas.
  • The 13 points allowed are the fewest Chattanooga has given up to an FBS opponent since a 7-0 loss at Vanderbilt on Sept. 7, 1985.
  • Bryce Nunnelly’s 146 career receptions passes Terrell Owens (1992-95) and Jeremy Grier (2001-03). Tied with current New York Giant C.J. Board (2013-16) for sixth all-time at UTC.

 

3 STATS TO KNOW


Lee Baseball Falls In Gulf South Conference Tournament

Kizzar Leads Seawright And McCarter In Points Into Saturday's I-75 Raceway UCRA Race In Sweetwater

Red Wolves Garcia, Villalobos Named To USL League One Team Of The Week


Lee's hopes of a Gulf South Conference tournament championship to add to its regular season title came to an end on Monday afternoon at the Choccolocco Park when the Flames were eliminated by ... (click for more)

The United Championship Racing Alliance heads towards I-75 Raceway for the annual "Spring-Loaded" 604/Crate Late Model event Saturday night for round #3 of the Red Line Synthetic Oil 2021 Championship. ... (click for more)

USL League One announced on Monday the Team of the Week Presented by Cleer Audio for Week 5 of the 2021 regular season. Chattanooga Red Wolves SC José Carrera García and Jimmie Villalobos were ... (click for more)



Sports

Lee Baseball Falls In Gulf South Conference Tournament

Lee's hopes of a Gulf South Conference tournament championship to add to its regular season title came to an end on Monday afternoon at the Choccolocco Park when the Flames were eliminated by West Florida. The final 10-7 score might be a bit deceiving since the Flames were trailing the Argonauts 9-3 when play was suspended on Sunday evening after only three innings. It ... (click for more)

Kizzar Leads Seawright And McCarter In Points Into Saturday's I-75 Raceway UCRA Race In Sweetwater

The United Championship Racing Alliance heads towards I-75 Raceway for the annual "Spring-Loaded" 604/Crate Late Model event Saturday night for round #3 of the Red Line Synthetic Oil 2021 Championship. Nearly $10,000 in posted prize monies will be on the line for the 24 starters, that's being headed by Kenny Kizzar (#0) of Soddy Daisy, who has two top 5 finishes already in 2021. ... (click for more)

Breaking News

County Schools Say Masks Will Be Optional For Students, Staff Starting June 1

Hamilton County School officials said Monday that beginning June 1, mask wearing will be optional for students and staff. Officials said, "We wanted to provide a reminder and an update regarding masks. "On March 15, we retired the Phase Tracker and committed to maintaining Phase 3 mitigation strategies through the end of this school year. According to our Reentry and Continuous ... (click for more)

School Board Attorney Says New State Law Banning Teaching Of "Critical Race Theory" Has No Bearing On What Is Now Taught In The County Schools

County School Board attorney Scott Bennett said a new state law banning the teaching of "Critical Race Theory" "really doesn't affect anything that Hamilton County teaches." The attorney said there would be no issue "as long as we take an even-handed approach." He said it "does not mean that we cannot teach academic concepts" about race. Attorney Bennett added, "And it ... (click for more)

Opinion

Please Stop Calling Us “Latinx”

We’re asking nicely, because we think the use of the term has been mostly well-intentioned. But let’s start with some numbers: a mere 3 percent of Americans of Latin-American descent use “Latinx” to describe themselves. This is based on a 2020 Pew Research poll of about 3,000 American Latinos. Those who want for “Latinx” to become the default say it’s preferable because it’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: "Use It, Or Lose It”

Just one month ago, the America people were clamoring for the COVID vaccine. In mid-April, the United States was inoculating quite nearly 3 million doses a day, yet today our heroic health department heroes can’t give enough of the life-saving serum away. I am just like the health officials who have helpless watched as 582,081 Americans have died (as of 6 p.m. yesterday) and, closer ... (click for more)