By Abe Avila, Staff Writer—

On Saturday, November 2, the Chattanooga Mocs returned home in hopes of bouncing back after last week’s overtime loss to Wofford, but came up short in another southern conference loss.

The Mocs were welcomed home to a decent crowd on a sunny and cool fall Saturday. Senior quarterback Nick Tiano, Chattanooga, has had an up and down season up to this point, but is no stranger to making plays when he keeps the football. Tiano was able to score off a three-yard scrap to the end zone, but the extra point wasn’t converted. That score and a field goal from Chattanooga native Victor Ulmo put the Mocs up 9-0 early on.

With the defense holding their ground with a forced fumble and interception on back-to-back drives and the offense clicking, Chattanooga established their presence early. However, Furman reminded us why they are ranked 13. Freshmen running back Devin Abrams and Freshmen quarterback Hamp Sisson propelled the Paladins to a fast 14-9 lead over UTC. 

However, freshman Ailym Ford, Florence, S.C., had a response of his own. The running back picked up a gain of 57-yards to the Furman 18-yardline which put him over 1,000 on the season. 

“He’s done a great job all year, it’s no shock,” head coach Rusty Wright said. “You see how hard that kid runs. We tried to run the clock down in the first half and he popped one off. He’ll never take a play off. The offensive line does a good job for him most of the day, and with how hard he runs, if I had 10 more like him that played at that speed and that rate, we’d be a pretty good football team all the time.”

UTC was able to pull within two points at 14-12. Sadly, kicking was an issue for the Mocs. A short punt by UTC aided Furman’s next score. Tiano made a connection with receiver Chris James, Ellijay, Ga. to make it 28-20 with 6 minutes left, but it wasn’t enough. 

We didn’t kick the ball in the right place all day, we didn’t kick it well to start with, but things we practice we didn’t do.” Wright said. “I don’t understand that. That’s on me because we didn’t do it a lot today. We have to try to fix it.” 

UTC’s strong first half and sloppy second resulted in a 35-20 loss at home dropping their second straight game as well as another SoCon loss. The Paladins take over sole possession of first place at 5-1 in the league and 6-3 overall. 

Tiano, who had a good day with the exception of his early fumble, had some thoughts on the team’s back to back losses. 

 “I think we missed opportunities against a really good team like that, similar to last week,” Tiano said. “When we had opportunities to score especially when the defense gave us some turnovers, we have to go and put six points on that board. I think that’s what we’ll look back at the most from this game.”

UTC will look to change things next week on the road in Birmingham against Samford on November 9 at 3:00 in the afternoon.

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