Photo by David Chamberlain / MTSU Sidelines
Coming into their rivalry game against Western Kentucky, the Middle Tennessee State rushing attack hadn’t exactly been setting the conference on fire. Before the Old Dominion game last week, the team’s leading rusher was quarterback Brent Stockstill. But on Friday night, the Blue Raider run game got a jolt of energy from a pair of former Fulton High School teammates.
Running back Chaton Mobley ran for a career-high 198 yards on 25 attempts and fellow Fulton High graduate Zack Dobson ran for 49 yards on only three carries, averaging 16.3 yards per carry. Dobson also scored his first career touchdown on a five yard shovel pass from Stockstill in the second quarter to put the Blue Raiders up by a score of 17-3.
Mobley and Dobson also provided explosive plays throughout the game to put the offense in position to put points on the board. Mobley’s 60-yard run in the first quarter was another career high that set the Blue Raiders up for a Crews Holt field goal (one of five he made on the night), and Dobson’s 25-yard run on a reverse helped kick-start the offense later on. The Fulton duo also combined for 247 of the team’s 273 yards on the ground.
“It’s been critical,” head coach Rick Stockstill said after the game. “If you’re one dimensional, it’s hard. Chaton had a nice game tonight, and it was critical. Zack (Dobson) got a taste last week … He’s really fast and explosive. Those two guys really played well.”
To put Mobley’s performance in perspective, he came into Friday night’s game with only 132 yards for the entire season. The team’s leading rusher going into the Western Kentucky game, Terelle West, had only 243 yards for the entire season.
For Mobley, he knew after his 60-yard scamper in the first quarter that it was going to be his night.
“I knew they were going to keep feeding me the ball, and I was going to keep doing what I was doing,” Mobley said.
But while he enjoyed his career night on the ground, he was excited that the other backfield threat was his former high school teammate.
“It’s amazing,” Mobley said. “We talk about it every day and we try to make the best out of it. And, that’s what we did tonight.”
On the other hand, Dobson might have been more excited about Mobley’s production than he was.
“Everybody jokes with me that I’m his biggest fan because I am,” Dobson said. “(When) he breaks, you see me running up the sideline, screaming, ‘Chaton!,’ because that’s my man.”
The two Fulton alums will look to continue their assertiveness on the ground into El Paso when the Blue Raiders take on the UTEP Miners for the next to last conference game of the season. Dobson and Mobley stepped up for MTSU’s offense against their biggest rival and need to continue to do so in the final stretch of the season.
To contact Sports Editor David Chamberlain, email firstname.lastname@example.org.