The Citadel denied outright SoCon title with 31-23 loss at Chattanooga

Published: Nov. 15, 2015 at 3:52 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2015 at 4:53 AM EST
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CHATTANOOGA, TN - Despite falling to Chattanooga 31-23, The Citadel football team earned a share of the Southern Conference championship for the first time since 1992 on Saturday afternoon in Finley Stadium.

The Mocs (8-2, 6-1 SoCon)  put the first points on the board for either team 12 seconds into the game after completing a 75-yard pass to give them an early 7-0 lead. On its ensuing possession Chattanooga added another seven to its lead, punching it in from 1-yard out to make the score 14-0. The Mocs would add another score with 1:06 left in the first half, giving them a 21-0 lead heading into halftime.

On their first two possessions out of the locker room, the Bulldogs (7-2, 6-1 SoCon), found the end zone to close the Mocs' lead to 24-14. On the first touchdown of the day, Dominique Allen found Alex Glover from four yards out to cap a 12-play, 80-yard drive.

The second Bulldog scoring drive of the day took 12 seconds as Tyler Renew busted through the line for a 56-yard touchdown run with 2:02 left in the third quarter. That would make the score 24-14 with the Mocs converting a 21 yard field goal before the Renew score.

The score would remain 24-14 heading into the final frame of play until Chattanooga's' Derrick Craine broke free for a 46-yard touchdown run to extend the Mocs' lead to 31-14 with 7:31 left in the fourth quarter.

After a failed fourth-down conversion, the Bulldogs would get the ball right back on the next play as Malik Diggs forced a fumble and James Riley pounced on it to give the offense the ball on its own 40-yard line. The drive ended with Eric Goins connecting on a field goal from 27 yards out to make the score 31-17 with 3:07 left in the game.

Chattanooga attempted another field goal with 1:50 left in the game, this time from 30 yards out, but it was no good giving The Citadel the ball at its own 20. The drive would end with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Allen to Brandon Eakins as time expired. With no time left on the clock no extra point was attempted, giving the Mocs the 31-23 win. Allen set single-game career highs with two touchdown passes and eight completions.

The Citadel finished the season 6-1 in the Southern Conference, matching the 1992 team for the best SoCon mark in program history.