TIGERS DROP OVC OPENER AT UTM
MARTIN, Tenn. --- Tennessee State saw host Tennessee-Martin roll up more than 500 yards of total offense as the Tigers suffered a disappointing 42-20 victory loss Saturday afternoon. UTM running back Donald Chapman rushed for 221 yards on 31 carries while quarterback Brad Wahlberg completed 19-25-1 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns. "Give UT Martin credit as they got the job done," said TSU first-year coach James Webster. "Our players must understand that we are the biggest game for our opponents and we must come through with maximum performance." The Tigers were without starting quarterback Bryson Rosser who was out with a foot injury. The loss drops TSU to 1-2 overall and 0-1 with the Ohio Valley Conference defeat. After scoring on its first possession, things went downhill quickly for the Tigers. UT Martin took the lead late in the first quarter on a 7-yard pass from Wahlberg to Jamal Akbar. Taylor Brown's PAT gave the Skyhawks a 7-6 edge at the 2:13 mark of the first period. TSU had led 6-0 less than two minutes into the game. TSU redshirt freshman Javarris Williams broke loose down the right sideline for a 39-yard scoring run. Eric Benson missed the PAT, making the score 6-0 in favor of TSU at the 13:33 mark of the opening period. Tennessee-Martin built a 28-6 halftime advantage, scoring 21 points in the second period. Wahlberg ran for one score to conclude a 62-yard scoring march and later threw a 15-yard scoring pass to Taurean Stephens to end a 61-yard drive. The final score of the first half came on a Donald Chapman 1-yard run with 1:03 left in the opening half. The Tigers got a boost when senior defensive back Justin Williams returned a pass 67 yards for a touchdown at the 11:12 mark to make the score 28-13 at the 11:12 mark of the third quarter. Wahlberg scored on a 7-yard run at the 2:27 mark of the third period. TSU answered quickly with a 21-yard pass from Richard Hartman to Richard Gayle with 43 seconds left in the third period. The game's final score came on a 5-yard pass from Wahlberg to Stephens at the 13:20 mark of the final period. The Tigers had another chance to score, but fumbled at the UTM 1-yard line. TSU managed 247 yards of total offense. UTM finished with 505 yards.