No. 1 Chanticleers survive late upset bid by Blue Hose

ccufoot-grangercelebFacing fourth and goal from the 10, Presbyterian’s pass and upset hopes fell incomplete as #1/2 Coastal Carolina was able to preserve a 24-17 win versus the Blue Hose in the teams’ Big South Conference opener Saturday evening at Brooks Stadium.

Both teams’ running back went over 100 yards as CCU’s De’Angelo Henderson finished with 124, while the Blue Hose’s Darrell Bridges posted a career-high 186 on the ground.

Henderson, who recorded his 15th 100-yard rushing game, also added a touchdown in the fourth quarter to tie an NCAA FCS record by scoring at least one touchdown in 20 consecutive games. (David Sinisi of Monmouth also had at least one touchdown in 20 straight games from 2006-07. Ironically, Henderson could break the record in two weeks when CCU travels to play at Monmouth.)

Henderson was not the only Chant to reach the 100-yard plateau as junior wide receiver Bruce Mapp caught seven passes for 129 yards. Alex Ross finished the game by competing 16 passes for 201 yards.

After a one hour and 45-minute delay before starting the game due to heavy rain and thunderstorms, Presbyterian got on the scoreboard first thanks to a 34-yard field goal by Brett Norton for a 3-0 lead with 1:22 left in the first quarter.

Coastal quickly answered as Devin Brown returned the ensuing kick 36 yards and Alex Ross followed with a 59-yard completion to Bruce Mapp to the PC seven. The drive stalled and, as the first quarter ended and the teams traded ends of the field, Coastal lined up for a field goal. However, Tyler Keane took the snap and ran an option play, pitching to kicker Ryan Granger, who carried the ball into the end zone for a four-yard score. Coastal then attempted a two-point play, but the pass was incomplete to leave Coastal with a 6-3 lead.

The Chanticleers grabbed a six-point lead, 9-3, with 11:10 left in the second quarter as Granger hit a 38-yard field goal. On its next possession, Granger once again provided points as the junior made a season-long, 47-yard field goal to put CCU up 12-6 with 7:55 remaining in the second quarter.

Coastal’s defense forced a quick punt on Presbyterian’s first drive of the third quarter. A bad snap led to a safety and 14-3 CCU lead as the snap went over the punter’s head through the back of the end zone.

However, the Blue Hose stopped Coastal on its first drive of the third quarter as Ed Britt came down with an interception. Later, Bridges broke through the middle for a 30-yard score to cut the PC deficit to four, 14-10.

Brown nearly tied an NCAA FCS record as he looked to have returned the following kickoff for a touchdown, but a penalty on the play brought the Chants back to their own 10 yard line. Thanks to a 39-yard Ross to Mapp completion for 39 yards, Mapp broke the 100-yard barrier for the fifth time his career. The drive stalled and Granger made a 22-yard field goal for a 17-10 Chanticleer lead.

The Blue Hose answered with an eight-play, 82-yard drive to make it a seven-point game, 24-17, with 6:04 left in the contest. Bridges had a 14-yard run to start the drive and, later, Griffin hit Jordan Hallums for 24 yards to the CCU one yards line. Two plays later, Griffin scored from one yard out and Norton added the extra point.

Coastal’s Brown returned the kickoff from the Coastal endzone for 26 yards to start the drive. Henderson had back to back rush attempts gaining 16 yards to earn Coastal a first then a second down at the Coastal 42 yard line. Ross rushed for nine yards giving Coastal its second first down on the drive. Five play attempts later, Coastal could not convert for a first down giving PC a drive start at their 40-yard line.

Presbyterian was not letting up on their final drive attempt, earning four first downs. Kaleb threw a 26-yarder to give PC a first and goal. Three incomplete pass attempts and a loss of yards, PC could not convert for a touchdown on their fourth down from the 10-yard line. Coastal took over on downs and a quick Ross knee ended the lengthy contest.

The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers have a bye weekend on Oct. 17 and will return to action the following week on the road at Monmouth Oct. 24. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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