Bryce Nunnelly ran for 100 yards and caught a touchdown pass and Chattanooga coach Rusty Wright earned a win in his debut as the Mocs beat Eastern Illinois 24-10 in a season opener on Thursday night.
Nick Tiano accounted for two touchdowns and 17-of-27 passing for 256 yards but threw a pair of interceptions for the Mocs. Ailym Ford added 50 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Johnathan Brantley threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Nick Stricker late in the second quarter for the Panthers’ only touchdown.
Tiano bulled into the end zone from the 1 in the first quarter and tossed a 59-yard touchdown pass to Nunnelly as the Mocs built a 17-10 halftime lead. Ford added a 1-yard scoring run early in the third quarter.
The Panthers punted twice, failed to convert on fourth down and committed two turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Wright, a former player and Chattanooga assistant coach, was hired to lead the Mocs on Dec. 19.