Battered Chants tough out comeback win over Bryant

ccufoot-25Coastal Carolina had three players return from injury and all three contributed to lead the Chanticleers to a 31-21 victory over Bryant Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium.

All-American running back De’Angelo Henderson, who missed the last three games, rushed for 98 yards and scored twice to extend his NCAA Division I record. His backup, Osharmar Abercrombie, who missed the last four-plus games, had two touchdowns and finished with a career-high 114 yards on 11 carries. Quarterback Tyler Keane, who was injured early last week, came on late in the third quarter and threw a 2-point conversion.

Bryant had an impressive opening drive to take a 7-0 lead after the opening kickoff. The 16-play, 77-yard drive took nearly nine minutes off the clock. Dalton Easton was 6-of-9 passing on the drive, including a nine-yard touchdown to Keenan Thompson.

Coastal was forced to punt on its first two drives. However, on the second, Bryant muffed the ball and Coastal’s Dontay Hears recovered the ball on the Bulldogs’ five. On the next play, Henderson burst through the middle to score to extend his NCAA Division I record to 33 consecutive games with at least one TD. The extra point failed to allow Bryant to hold a 7-6 advantage.

On Coastal’s next drive, Henderson broke of a 34-yard drive to the Bryant 10, but the drive stalled and CCU had to settle for a 25-yard Ryan Granger field goal to take a 9-7 lead with 8:37 left in the 2nd quarter.

The Bulldogs answered with another 16-play scoring drive – this time covering 83 yards and taking 6:46 off the clock. The Bulldogs converted four third downs, all through the air, and Easton capped the drive with an 11-yard pass to Joe Fine for a 14-9 lead.

Coastal regained the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter Henderson and Ryan Lee did most of the damage, including Henderson’s one-yard touchdown run to give the Chants a 16-14 advantage.

The teams combine to have three turnovers over the next four drives as Coastal intercepted a pass and Bryant recovered a fumble as well as picked off a pass. After the Bulldogs; pick, they capitalized with a Easton Taylor Barthelette 25-yard touchdown pass. The extra point put Bryant up 21-16 with 1:46 left in the third quarter.

Coastal answered to take a 24-21 lead with 13:45 left in the game. Abercrombie broke off a 46-yard run and reached paydirt for his first TD since the opening game. Tyler Keane then found Bruce Mapp for the 2-point conversion to put the Chants up three.

Ambercrombie had eight of his 11 rushes on Coastal’s last drive to go over the 100-yard mark, including a 10-yard touchdown run for a 31-21 lead.
C.J. Thompson sealed the win with an interception with under two minutes to play. The senior has a pick in three straight games and four total over the span.

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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