Saturday, November 15, 2003Click here for a complete boxscore. JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 15, 2003) - The East Tennessee State Buccaneer football team snapped a 11-game losing streak in Southern Conference games Saturday afternoon as they pounded in-state rival Chattanooga, 68-7, from Memorial Center in Johnson City. The Bucs broke the school record for most points in a game, previously set in a 62-0 win over Charleston Southern in 1992. The Bucs (4-7, 1-6 Southern Conference) scored 68 unanswered points after the Mocs (3-8, 3-4 SoCon) took a 7-0 lead on a Kyle Oden one-yard touchdown plunge. The East Tennessee State offense caught fire when redshirt freshman quarterback Carl Meadows (Cumming, Ga.) came into the game in relief of starter Michael George (Alcoa, Tenn.). ETSU tied the game on a one-yard run by sophomore fullback Andre Brooks (Greenville, S.C.) then senior tailback Gaven Varner (Summerville, S.C.) put the Bucs on top with a seven-yard jaunt just four seconds into the second quarter. It was the beginning of an amazing second quarter for the Bucs as they scored 41 points to blow open the game. Varner rushed for two touchdowns in the quarter, Meadows threw for touchdowns to senior Andrew Nuckolls (Dalton, Ga.) and sophomore tight end Justin Cruze (Knoxville, Tenn.), junior tailback Austin Smiley (Memphis, Tenn.) got in the end zone on a seven-yard scamper and sophomore wideout James Rainer (Alcoa, Tenn.) scooped up a punt blocked by senior safety Montreal Harkley (Hanahan, S.C.) in the end zone for a score. The Buccaneer defense stepped it up in the second quarter, allowing just 21 yards of total offense to the Mocs. In addition to Harkley's blocked punt, junior safety Gerald Sensabaugh (Kingsport, Tenn.) blocked his fifth punt of the season. Harkley also picked off a Vinnie Miroth pass just four seconds after his blocked punt to go along with an interception by sophomore safety Primus Glover (Springfield, Ga.) and a fumble recovery by junior linebacker Scott Brumett (Pioneer, Tenn.), all in the second stanza. ETSU scored twice in the third quarter on a 10-yard quarterback draw by Meadows and a 90-yard interception return by junior cornerback Allen Davis (Mullins, S.C.). Davis' return was the third-longest in ETSU history, outdistanced only by a 100-yarder by Rick Harris in 1986 and a 96-yarder by Charlie Wells in 1976. The Bucs capped the afternoon's scoring with a nine-yard run by sophomore running back Joseph Gosman (Norfolk, Va.). Gosman's score came on the first carry of his Buccaneer career. With 116 yards rushing on just 16 carries, Varner passed the 1,000-yard mark in rushing this season. He becomes the first ETSU back since Brandon Walker in 1999 to pass the milestone. Varner ran for 94 yards in the first half, and was in on only a handful of plays in the second half. All told, the Bucs ran for 271 total yards on this afternoon's game, 45 more than in any other game this season. ETSU had 226 yards on the ground against Georgia Southern on Nov. 1. Tyrone Baisden led the Mocs with 69 yards on the ground on 12 carries. The Bucs held Miroth, the Southern Conference's leading passer, in check, as he finished the day 12-of-26 for 84 yards and three interceptions. Kurtis Koester finished out the game and led the Mocs with 110 yards on 8-of-11 passing. Meadows was almost flawless for the Bucs, going 7-of-10 for 97 yards and two touchdowns while running for another score. Nuckolls was the favorite target of the Buccaneer quarterbacks, hauling in three passes for 63 yards and a score. Jeremy Grier paced the UTC wideouts, catching seven passes for 56 yards. Alonzo Nix and Kwento Ikwuezunma caught four passes on the afternoon for the Mocs. The Buccaneer defense again turned in an outstanding effort with three sacks, three interceptions, nine tackles for losses and seven pass breakups. The unit was led by senior outside linebacker Matt Palmer (Summerton, S.C.) who had eight tackles and two sacks. He also tallied three tackles for losses in the game, giving him 22.5 this season, breaking the ETSU single-season record held by James Russell in 1994 and Derek Fudge in 1996. Sophomore cornerback Jeff Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.) has seven tackles, while Sensabaugh and senior nose tackle Brandon Calton (Pennington Gap, Va.) each had six stops. Calton also had two tackles for losses, a sack and a fumble recovery. Harkley and Davis each broke up three passes on the day. Defensive end Bernard Snowden led the Mocs with a game-high 10 tackles. Defensive tackle Leonard Mays had two tackles for losses and also blocked an extra point. East Tennessee State will play their final game in program history Saturday at 1 p.m. as the Bucs host SoCon rival The Citadel from Memorial Center in Johnson City.
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