Freshman Jacob Huesman (Chattanooga, Tenn.) connected with classmate Riley Davis (Atlanta, Ga.) over the middle for a 34-yard touchdown strike as time expired to give Gold a 36-33 win in the Chattanooga Mocs Blue & Gold Game at Finley Stadium this afternoon. The Huesman to Davis connection capped a furious fourth quarter that included a combined 36 points on five touchdowns between the two teams.
The game was supposed to be a ‘vanilla’ affair, with the Mocs not wanting to show too much of the offense they installed under new coordinator Jeff Durden. That was the case through three quarters, with both teams finding the end zone a combined three times on offense. With Blue leading 19-14 heading into the final frame, both offenses started clicking and converted some big plays.
“That was one of the better spring games I have been involved with, as far as the excitement level,” stated head coach Russ Huesman. “Offensively, we hit some pretty big plays. Tolerance Shepherd looked really, really good and both quarterbacks looked really good. I thought it was a great ending.”
Shepherd scored the second of his three touchdowns on a one-yard run early in the fourth. A two-point conversion pass from Huesman to freshman Eric Foster (Memphis, Tenn.) gave the Gold its first lead at 22-19.
On the ensuing possession on third-and-five, sophomore Terrell Robinson (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) went untouched for a 70-yard TD run to put the Blue back on top 26-22. Three plays later, Huesman found Shepherd for a 75-yard TD strike to give Gold a 29-26 lead with 3:10 left in the game.
Huesman and Robinson were in red jerseys for the game and switched from team to team. Huesman marched the Blue team back down the field, capping a 65-yard drive with a 13-yard TD pass to sophomore Faysal Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) with 47 seconds left.
Huesman stayed on the field again and needed just three plays to give Gold the winning score. Starting on his own 35, Huesman connected with Foster for 16 yards on the first play. A pass interference flag moved the ball to Gold’s 34, setting up the winning strike to Davis.
Shepherd finished with 110 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries. He added the one 75-yard TD catch to earn Offensive MVP honors. Huesman was equally impressive, going 20-26 passing for 310 yards and four TDs.
Robinson was 9-17 passing for 96 yards, including a TD and one interception. He ran four times for 62 yards and one score and had two catches for 64 yards. Freshman Kendrix Huitt (Atlanta, Ga.) had 59 yards on 10 carries while Shafaat had four catches for 46 yards and two TDs. Sophomore Tommy Hudson (Moultie, Ga.) led the Gold team with six catches for 5 yards while Foster had three receptions for 59 yards and one TD.
“I thought Tolerance looked really well,” added Coach Huesman. “Marquis Green did some really good things in limited touches. The wideouts did a good job. It was good to see Ron Moore make a catch on the sideline and keep his feet in. For the most part, offensively I thought they did a really nice job.”
The first three quarters were not nearly as exciting as the fourth, but there were some big plays.
Blue jumped out to an early lead thanks to the foot of Nick Pollard. He hit a 36-yard field goal and set up a safety with a 53-yard punt that was downed on the 1-yard line. Huesman connected with Shafaat on a three-yard TD pass while freshman Will Johnson (Alpharetta, Ga.) intercepted Robinson for a 68-yard pick-six in the second quarter. Gold got on the board in the second frame with a 26-yard TD run by Shepherd.
Johnson’s interception return for a TD earned him Defensive MVP honors, giving both awards to freshmen who redshirted the 2012 season. Junior Kadeem Wise (Lawreceville, Ga.) was also honored after the game, earning the Bob Davis Winter Warrior Award for his hard work in the offseason.
The Mocs open the 2013 season on Thursday, Aug. 29, against UT-Martin at Finley Stadium. Season tickets are on sale now on GoMocs.com or by calling the UTC Ticket Office at (423) 266-MOCS (6627). Also, be sure to vote for the Tried & True Blue season T-shirt design through the link at the top of the page.
Spring Game Stats
1 2 3 4 Total
Blue 5 14 0 14 33
Gold 0 7 7 22 36
1st – Blue: Pollard 36-yard FG – Blue 3-0
1st – Blue: Safety – Blue 5-0
2nd – Blue: Jacob Huesman three-yard TD pass to Faysal Shafaat – Blue 12-0
2nd – Blue: Will Johnson 68-yard INT return – Blue 19-0
2nd – White: Tolerance Shepherd 26-yard TD run – Blue 19-7
3rd – White: Terrell Robinson 23-yard TD pass to Eric Foster – Blue 19-14
4th – White: Tolerance Shepherd 1-yard TD run (2pt. conversion Huesman to Foster) – Gold 22-19
4th – Blue: Terrell Robinson 70-yard TD run – Blue 26-22
4th – White: Jacob Huesman 75-yard TD pass to Tolerance Shepherd – Gold 29-26
4th – Blue: Jacob Huesman 13-yard TD pass to Faysal Shafaat – Blue 33-29
4th – White: Jacob Huesman 34-yard TD pass to Riley Davis – Gold 36-33
Terrell Robinson – 2-64