photo by UTC
The Chattanooga Mocs scored five touchdowns in the opening half over 17th-ranked Samford on Saturday in Birmingham, Ala., and went on to win 47-24.
The Mocs used two pick sixes and a fumble recovery to defeat the reigning Southern Conference champions on their home turf.
Chase Artopoeus connected on 21 of 26 passes for 323 yards, most often going to receiving sensation Sam Phillips.
UTC scored on an opening drive, then sophomore Alex Mitchell went all the way with a ball that bounced off a Samford receiver. The extra point missed, so Chattanooga led 13-0.
The Mocs defense held the Bulldogs to a 33-yard field goal and still led, 13-3.
A Artopoeus pass to Jamoi Mayes for 62 yards put the Mocs back in business at the Samford 10. Gino Appleby finally struck pay dirt on his fourth run close to the goal, and UTC led 20-3.
Samford went 53 yards in eight plays to narrow the lead to 20-10.
The Mocs responded with an eight-play drive of their own that went 75 yards. Allym Ford took it the final three yards to put Chattanooga up 27-10.
Ford scored from five yards out after still another UTC march down the field. The Mocs were ahead 34-10.
Samford came back with a 10-play drive in the final minutes of the half. It ended with a Jay Stanton run for the TD and a 34-17 halftime score.
The Bulldogs scored quickly after getting the kickoff to start the second half. Chandler Smith ran for 21 yards for the TD to make it 34-24.
After the Mocs offense stalled, Georgia Tech transfer Jude Kelley nailed a 49-yard field goal for a 37-24 lead.
After Samford had to punt, UTC was left with a 52-yard field goal try that went wide.
But Bo Spearman then fell on a Samford fumble to put the Mocs back in business. Artopoeus hit lanky tight end Jay Gibson on 23-yard sideline pass to the 15-yard line. Kelley put another field goal through to move the lead to 40-24.
Kameron Brown helped put the game away as he streaked down the field with UTC's second interception of the afternoon.
Chattanooga went into the game tied for first with Western Carolina, which earlier defeated the Bulldogs.
The only UTC loss is an opener upset at the hands of North Alabama.