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Running backs shine in UT-Martin's 31-21 win

AP - Sports

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) -- DJ McNeil and Trent Garland each rushed for more than 100 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee-Martin beat Chattanooga 31-21 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night.

The Skyhawks amassed 289 yards on the ground, led by McNeil's 134 and Garland's 116, both career-highs.

Tennessee-Martin kept the Mocs' offense in check for much of the night, keeping Chattanooga off the scoreboard for their first eight possessions. An interception by J'von Blackmon late in the second quarter set up a 2-yard touchdown run by McNeil, the only score in the first half.

Trailing 14-0 in the third, Chattanooga twice cut the lead to a touchdown. But both times Tennessee-Martin responded with points on the following drive. Garland's 33-yard touchdown run late in the fourth extended the lead to 31-14.

Jacob Huesman threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns for Chattanooga, but his lone interception proved costly.

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