CHATTANOOGA – The ETSU Bucs dropped a rivalry game in heart breaking fashion on Thursday night in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Mocs’s Victor Ulmo buried his only made field goal of the game with 14 seconds remaining in the contest to down the visiting Bucs, 16-13.
The Mocs struck first with a 6-yard touchdown run from Ailym Ford in Chattanooga’s first drive of the game to cap off an 11-play, 63-yard drive for the early 7-0 lead. Those would be the only points for the Mocs until the third quarter.
ETSU squared the game at 7-7 following a Chattanooga blunder on a muffed punt from the Bucs. ETSU’s Dustin Nickle recovered the fumble to set up the Bucs in prime position. Just three plays later, Trey Mitchell found Will Huzzie for a jaw-dropping touchdown reception that you will likely see on a major network in the morning. Huzzie’s touchdown catch was the first of his career and came in the second quarter with 13:08 remaining.
The Bucs added six more points in the first half with a pair of field goals from Tyler Keltner as the freshman kicker connected on a 29-yarder and a 43-yarder. Keltner’s 43-yard connection was the second-longest field goal in his young career.
After the Bucs took the 13-7 lead into the locker room, the Mocs tied the rivalry game on their first possession of the second half with yet another touchdown run, this time a 14-yard scamper. Ulmo missed the extra point to keep the contest knotted at 13-13.
The game remained deadlocked at 13 apiece until Ulmo connected on the decisive blow with 14 seconds left. After missing his previous three field goals, Ulmo buried a 30-yard attempt to sink the Buccaneers’ chances late in the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Chattanooga 7, ETSU 0: The Mocs jumped on the board first on their first drive of the game as Ailym Ford punched in a 6-yard touchdown run, carrying the ball seven times for 45 yards during the drive.
ETSU 7, Chattanooga 7: The Bucs were on the board following a muffed punt by the Mocs and a fumble recovery by Dustin Nickle to set up an ETSU touchdown just three plays later. The touchdown was a 32-yard pass from Trey Mitchell to Will Huzzie as Huzzie hauled in a highlight-reel catch for his first touchdown in his collegiate career.
ETSU 10, Chattanooga 7: ETSU scored on its very next drive after Tyler Keltner’s 29-yard field goal put the Bucs on top, 10-7. The field goal was set up in large part to Quay Holmes’ career-long rush of 63 yards.
ETSU 13, Chattanooga 7: The Bucs closed the half with yet another field goal from Keltner, this time a 43-yard field goal attempt. Keltner’s 43 yarder was the second-longest field goal of the season for Keltner, capping off a 10-play, 50-yard drive.
ETSU 13, Chattanooga 13: The Mocs tied things up on their first drive of the second half with Ailym Ford’s 14-yard touchdown run, his second of the game. Chattanooga missed the extra point to take the lead.
Chattanooga 16, ETSU 13: Chattanooga took the lead with just 14 seconds remaining as Victor Ulmo connected on a 30-yard attempt, ending a string of three consecutive field goals missed in tonight’s game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
The Bucs finished the contest without a turnover, ending a string of 11 consecutive games that the Blue & Gold coughed up the football … The streak began with three turnovers against Wofford on Oct. 20, 2018.
This is the third straight game ETSU has punted on their first drive of the game.
Chattanooga’s touchdown on their opening drive is just the second time this season the Bucs have allowed a touchdown on their opponent’s opening drive (Austin Peay).
The Bucs allowed 112 yards in the opening quarter … They have now allowed 100 yards or more in the first quarter in four consecutive games.
The muffed punt at the beginning of the second quarter by the Mocs marked the fourth straight game ETSU has forced a tournament.
Huzzie’s touchdown grab in the second quarter was the first of his career for the freshman. The 32-yard reception was the longest of his career.
Keltner’s 43-yard field goal at the end of the first half was his third 40+ yarder of the season and first in SoCon action.
ETSU went into the locker room leading for the second time this season (Shorter).
The Bucs have entered the final quarter of play tied with their opponent in two of their last three games… they had not been tied after three quarters through the first four games of the season.
Chattanooga’s kicker, Victor Ulmo missed three field goals for the first time in his collegiate career.
ETSU is now 0-4 when scoring less than 20 points and 2-2 when their opponent scores within that margin.
The Blue and Gold won the turnover battle for the first time this season.
This was the fourth game of the season for the Bucs decided by seven points or less. ETSU is 1-3 in those contests.
Ailym Ford’s 31 carries is the first time that the Buccaneers have yielded 30-or-more rushing attempts by a single player since the return of football … Ford carried the ball for 200 yards, the first time that ETSU has surrendered 200 yards to a single runner in a game since the return of football.
NEXT GAME UP
The Bucs will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 26 when ETSU travels to Birmingham, Ala. for a Southern Conference matchup against Samford. Kickoff at Seibert Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.