CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The Chattanooga Mocs (1-3/0-1) lost their Southern Conference opener 34-17 to Appalachian State (2-2/1-0) on Homecoming at Finley Stadium. App State broke open a tie game with 24 fourth quarter points to claim the win.
The Mountaineers scored 34 unanswered points to secure the win with 24 coming in the final frame. A 38-yard Drew Stewart field goal was followed by two Jamal Jackson touchdown passes of 36 and 14 yards to Sean Price. Brandon Grier added a 70-yard interception return for the final score.
Three turnovers on successive possessions were the Mocs undoing in the fourth. Two interceptions surrounded a fumble. The two touchdown passes came just 31 seconds apart.
Chattanooga scored the game's first 10 points with the defense making two big plays. Sophomore Davis Tull (Knoxville, Tenn.) forced a fumble by Jackson that Kadeem Wise (Lawrenceville, Ga.) corralled at the Mountaineers' eight yard line.
Two plays later, Jacob Huesman (Chattanooga, Tenn.) rolled right to escape pressure rifling a seven-yard touchdown strike to Marlon Anthony (Acworth, Ga.) in the front corner of the end zone for the 7-0 lead.
The defense forced another turnover later in the first quarter as Tull struck again. His pressure forced an errant Jackson throw that Chaz Moore (Memphis, Tenn.) picked off and returned to the App 33. Six plays later Nick Pollard (Nashville, Tenn.) booted a 32-yarder for the 10-0 cushion.
While the first quarter was all Mocs, the second belonged to Appalachian State. It got on the board with a field goal of its own, a 38-yarder by Stewart, with 4:43 left before half. Both teams traded punts before App State started a drive at its own 43 with 70 ticks until intermission.
The Mountaineers struck quickly. Three plays later, Jackson found Steven Miller streaking down the middle for a 35-yard score and a 10-10 halftime margin.
That's how it would stay until the fatal fourth quarter. Jackson passed for 268 yards hitting 19 of 30 passes with three touchdowns and Moore's interception. Price caught 10 of those 19 completions for 130 yards and the two scores. Miller ran for 94 yards on 22 carries.
UTC struggled to move the ball on offense with 270 total yards. Huesman threw for 140 on 16 of 28 passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. Terrell Robinson (South Pittsburg, Tenn.) added 43 yards completing four of seven attempts. Faysal Shafaat (Orlando, Fla.) and Anthony each caught five passes and a score for 58 and 48 yards, respectively.
Defensively, Tull was a star with seven tackles, one sack and three quarterback hurries. Wes Dothard (Carrollton, Ga.) had a game-high 13 tackles, while Moore chipped in seven stops to go with his pick.
Grier led a strong ASU defensive effort with seven tackles of his own along with the pick six, a fumble recovery and a sack. Jamill Lott and Joel Ross also added seven tackles.
The Mocs travel to Charleston, S.C., next Saturday for its first SoCon road game of the season at The Citadel. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. Listen to Jim Reynolds' call on the Mocs Sports Network, locally on ESPN 105.1 FM the Zone.
Play - Quarter/Time/Score
UTC - Marlon Anthony 7 yard pass from Jacob Huesman (Nick Pollard Kick) - 1/8:57/7-0
Drive: 2 plays, 8 yards, 0:52
Key Play(s): Kadeem Wise fumble recovery at ASU 8 after Davis Tull sack
UTC - Pollard 32 yd Field Goal - 1/2:01/10-0
Drive: 6 plays, 18 yards, 1:57
Key Play(s): Chaz Moore intercepts Jamal Jackson pass at own 25 and returns 42 yds to ASU 33
ASU - Drew Stewart 24 yd Field Goal - 1/4:43/10-3
Drive: 7 plays, 43 yards, 3:19
Key Play(s): 2/2/H43 - Jamal Jackson 22 yd pass to Sean Price
ASU - Steven Miller 35 yd pass from Jamal Jackson (Stewart Kick) - 2/0:32/10-10
Drive: 3 plays, 57 yards, 0:38
Key Play(s): 2/3/50 - Roughing passer called on Mocs. TD next play
ASU - Stewart 38 yd Field Goal - 4/14:01/10-13
Drive: 5 plays,33 yards, 1:26
Key Play(s): 1/10/V43 - Jackson 30 yd pass to Malachi Jones
ASU - Sean Price 36 yd pass from Jackson (Stewart Kick) - 4/7:34/10-20
Drive: 4 plays, 74 yards, 1:37
Key Play(s): Jamill Lott interception at ASU 26
ASU - Sean Price 14 yd pass from Jackson (Stewart Kick) - 4/7:03/10-27
Drive: 1 plays, 14 yards, 0:20
Key Play(s): Brandon Grier fumble recovery
ASU - Brandon Grier 70 yd Interception Return (Stewart Kick) - 4/3:30/10-34
Key Play(s): N/A
UTC - Faysal Shafaat 2 yd pass from Terrell Robinson (Pollard Kick) - 4/0:18/17-34
Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 3:17
Key Play(s): ASU pass interference in end zone sets up TD play
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