Mocs fall in a thrilling finish to The Citadel, 20-14

UTC defensive lineman Derek Mahaffey walks off the field after the UTC vs The Citadel football game at Finley Stadium on October 21, 2017. (Photo by Troy Stolt)

By Chris King, Sports Editor —

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football team fell to The Citadel Bulldogs 20-14 on Saturday afternoon at Finley Stadium. The Bulldogs posted 405 rushing yards on 65 carries.

Freshman quarterback Cole Copeland, Cleveland, Tennessee, was intercepted in the end zone at the 1:10 mark in the fourth quarter to seal the win for The Citadel.

“You have four shots at the end zone and you want to make sure you get four big looks at it,” said UTC coach Tom Arth. “The interception, it was close. There was a window there but we just missed it by a little bit. We can’t be upset with that at the end. It’s nobody’s fault on that. We just didn’t make the play.”

The Mocs got on the board first with a 61-yard run from senior running back Darrell Bridges, Chattanooga, to put UTC up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Bulldogs evened up the score at 7-7 in the second quarter on 25-yard touchdown pass from Dominique Allen to Josh LeBlanc.

The Mocs answered later in the second half with a 4-play 35-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a short touchdown rush by Bridges. Bridges finished the afternoon with 149 yards rushing on 18 carries and two touchdowns.

“Today it was my number that got called and I tried to do everything I could,” said Bridges about his performance. “We didn’t get the win but we all came out here and played hard.”

Coming out of the locker room down 14-7, The Citadel opened the half with a 45-yard field goal from Jacob Godek.

Following a stop on defense, the Bulldogs went on a 10-play 95-yard drive that was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown rush by Rod Johnson. The short touchdown put the Bulldogs up 17-14 with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

The Citadel added another field goal with 11:39 left in the fourth quarter to extend the lead to 20-14.

The Mocs had four plays from the Bulldogs’ 11 yard line at the end of the fourth quarter but the drive ended with a Copeland interception by Aron Spann III.

Copeland finished the afternoon with 155 yards passing and three interceptions.

Defensively, the Mocs were led by senior defensive lineman Taylor Reynolds, McCalla, Alabama, who finished with 12 tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Senior Tae Davis, Oxford, Alabama, finished with eight tackles and 2.5 tackles-for-loss.

The loss drops UTC to 1-7 overall and 1-4 in SoCon play.

Next up, the Mocs head to Birmingham, Alabama, to face the Samford Bulldogs on Saturday, October 28th at 3 p.m.

Chris King

Chris King

Sports Editor

Chris is a Hendersonville native that was named the Sports Editor in April 2017 after being the Assistant Sports Editor since January 2016. Chris enjoys watching and learning more about various different sports, especially football and basketball. He plans to graduate in spring of 2018 with a degree in Communication and a minor in Promotion.

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