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Mocs edge Bucs on Ulmo's late field goal

Joe Avento • Oct 18, 2019 at 2:35 AM

CHATTANOOGA — Victor Ulmo made up for a miserable night late and kept the East Tennessee State football team winless in the Southern Conference.

Ulmo’s 30-yard field goal with 14 seconds remaining gave Chattanooga a 16-13 victory over the Bucs on Thursday night. The make was redemption for the junior kicker, who missed four times before connecting on the most important attempt.

Ailym Ford was just too much for ETSU (2-5, 0-4). The freshman running back rushed for 200 yards and two touchdowns on 31 carries. He continually set up Ulmo, who kept missing before his game-winner.

Ulmo’s last miss, a 36-yard field goal try with 2:31 remaining, gave the Bucs the ball on their own 25-yard line. When they went nowhere, the Mocs (4-3, 3-0) got one last chance. They went 47 yards in 1:55 to set up the winning kick.

The game was tied at 13 thanks to Ulmo’s misses and one kick curiously not attempted by ETSU.

Facing a fourth-and-2 on the 12 on the first play of the fourth quarter, ETSU coach Randy Sanders opted not to have his team kick a 29-yard, go-ahead field goal. Instead, Trey Mitchell passed to running back Jacob Saylors, who was stopped short, turning the ball over on downs.


Special teams hurt the Mocs for most of the night. They missed three field goals and an extra point, muffed a punt and put two kickoffs out of bounds.

Brandon Dowdell muffed a punt to set up ETSU’s first score, a 32- yard touchdown pass from Mitchell to Will Huzzie. Mitchell lofted a ball toward the right side of the end zone and Huzzie made an acrobatic, leaping catch despite tight coverage for his first collegiate touchdown.

Later in the same quarter, Ulmo was wide left on a 42-yard field goal attempt.

Meanwhile, ETSU kicker Tyler Keltner made field goals of 29 and 42 yards to give the Bucs a 13-7 halftime lead.

Even when the Mocs scored what appeared to be the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter on a 14- yard run by Ford, Ulmo missed the extra point, keeping the score tied at 13.

The touchdown was Ford’s seventh, tying the Chattanooga record for freshmen.


The Mocs rolled down the field on their first possession, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown run by Ford.

The 11-play drive came after the Chattanooga defense stuffed ETSU on its first drive.


Quay Holmes finished as ETSU’s leading rusher after running for 81 yards on 11 carries.

Mitchell completed 16 of 28 passes for 148 yards. Huzzie finished with six receptions for 75 yards, all in the first half.

Chattanooga quarterback Nick Tiano connected on 18 of 29 passes for 184 yards.


Cam Lewis, ETSU’s backup quarterback who had been playing wide receiver, is no longer on the roster.

Lewis reportedly left the team because he wanted to play quarterback. He threw for one touchdown and ran for two more this season.

Chance Thrasher, the Bucs’ starter when the season began, is now listed at No. 2. Thrasher hasn’t played since being injured during the season opener against Appalachian State.


The Bucs continue their travels next week when they play at Samford on Oct. 26.

Chattanooga is at Wofford that day.