Terriers Rally Against UTC
By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Wofford comes back late to top Chattanooga by a score of 28-27.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Down to the final minute of the regular season, the Wofford football team scored a touchdown with 37 seconds remaining to win 28-27 over Chattanooga on Saturday afternoon at Finley Stadium. With the win, the Terriers should receive an at-large bid to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. The selection show airs on ESPNU at 10:00 a.m. Sunday.
The Terriers are 8-3 on the season and 6-2 in the SoCon to finish second. Chattanooga is 5-6 overall and 3-5 in conference play. For Wofford, Eric Breitenstein and Donovan Johnson each had over 100 rushing yards. Johnson had 141 yards and two touchdowns, while Breitenstein had 140 yards and one touchdown. Mitch Allen added a touchdown run. The Mocs were led by B.J. Coleman with 26-of-39 passing for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Three different receivers had touchdowns for the Mocs.
“We went in at the half and we had a lot of things that did not go right for us,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “We told them that we had 30 minutes to do what we needed to do. We played better defense, we played better offense, and we made some plays. The key to the game was once we closed the gap, there was pressure on them. Their quarterback put together a highlight tape in the first half and they guess right with us on our coverage. The second half we changed things up a bit and did a better job and got turnovers.”
The Mocs had the ball to open the game and picked up two first downs. B.J. Coleman then found Marlon Anthony for a 44-yard touchdown pass to take a 7-0 lead with 11:57 on the clock in the first quarter. Wofford answered with a ten play drive that covered 66 yards and was capped by an eight yard touchdown run by Donovan Johnson with 7:10 in the quarter to tie the game.
On the second drive of the day for Chattanooga, B.J. Coleman hit Joel Bradford in the end zone with a 13-yard touchdown pass to take a 14-7 lead at 2:25 in the first. With the ball back, the Terriers gained three first downs before failing to convert a fourth-and-two. The Mocs then drove 72 yards in nine plays and added a touchdown on a pass from Coleman to Faysal Shafaat to take a 21-7 lead with 8:30 left in the first half.
Wofford gained a first down, but then Mitch Allen was intercepted by D.J. Key at the 45-yard line. The Mocs returned the favor when Blake Wylie intercepted B.J. Coleman at the eight-yard line with 5:17 on the clock in the second quarter. The Terriers gained a first down, but had to punt back to the Mocs. A tackle for loss by Mike McCrimon backed the Mocs up and they went three-and-out. Wofford picked up a first down before the half ended. Chattanooga had a 229 to 152 lead in total offense at the half.
The Terriers opened the second half with the ball and picked up a fourth-and-one by Mitch Allen, but were forced to punt. The Mocs moved the ball with a couple passing first downs, but failed to convert on a fourth-and-three and turned it back over to the Terriers. Bryan Youman ran for 27 yards and Jeff Ashley caught a 30-yard pass to set up first and goal. Eric Breitenstein then ran it in from four yards out for the touchdown. The score was 21-14 at 5:10 in the second quarter.
After a short kickoff and penalty, Chattanooga took advantage of the short field and Nick Pollard kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:05 left in the third quarter for a 24-14 lead. Wofford had the ball back, but failed to convert a fourth-and-five at the 36-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
The Mocs picked up two fourth-and-one attempts on a drive that was capped by a 23-yard field goal by Nick Pollard for a 27-14 lead with 9:16 left in the game. Donovan Johnson broke several tackles on a 51-yard touchdown run on the next drive for the Terriers. The score was 21-27 with 8:08 on the clock.
The Wofford defense then forced a three-and-out and punt by the Mocs. The Terriers got the ball back at the 47-yard line with seven minutes left in the game. Wofford was faced with a fourth-and-two, but were short on the run and turned it over on downs. On second down for the Mocs, Alvin Scioneaux intercepted B.J. Coleman with 4:22 on the clock at the 48-yard line.
Donovan Johnson then ran for 34-yard on third-and-eleven to get the ball inside the 20. On fourth-and-three, Brenton Bersin picked up the first down with 1:01 remaining. Two plays later, Mitch Allen goes in from one-yard for the touchdown. After the point after, Wofford had a 28-27 lead with 37 seconds left. On the second play for the Mocs, James Zotto picked off B.J. Coleman to secure the victory.
Wofford had 388 total yards, with 358 on the ground. Chattanooga had 350 total yards, 232 of which were rushing. Wofford was 7-of-14 on third downs and 2-of-5 on fourth down. Chattanooga was 4-of-11 on third down and 2-of-3 on fourth down. Wofford had three penalties, while Chattanooga was flagged once. Wofford had the time of possession by a 30:56 to 29:04 margin.
On Sunday, the Wofford team will gather in Leonard Auditorium in Main Building. The selection show begins at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday and will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Wofford vs. Chattanooga Post-Game Notes
Eric Breitenstein had his ninth 100+ rushing game this season with 140 rushing yards. It is his 19th career 100+ rushing game. He also recorded his 43rd career rushing touchdown.
With the 140 rushing yards, Eric Breitenstein moves to 1,343 on the season. This ranks as the third most in a single season. Breitenstein also holds the top single season mark at 1,639 yards set in 2010.
Donovan Johnson had two rushing touchdowns for the third time this season. He had 102 rushing yards, his third 100+ performance this season and fourth of his career.
With Donovan Johnson and Eric Breitenstein over 100 yards rushing, it marked the fourth time this season with at least two 100 yard rushers.
Wofford is now 8-3 on the season. It is the ninth time in the last ten seasons that the Terriers have had a winning record.
Game captains were Ameet Pall and Nate Page.
Attendance was 8,165 at Finley Stadium.