CCU falls to Stony Brook for record fourth straight defeat

The 11th-ranked Stony Brook Seawolves rushed for 307 yards, but recovered a fumble with under two minutes to play as Coastal Carolina was driving to  hold on for a 27-21 win Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium. The loss is the fourth straight for the Chanticleers, the first time in their 10-year history that this has happened.

Coastal was led by senior Aramis Hillary who connected on 23-of-36 passing attempts for 271 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jeremy Height rushed for a team-high 89 yards on 15 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. Junior DeMario Bennett caught six balls good for 91 yards and a touchdown while junior Matt Hazel had six catches for 98 yards.

Miguel Maysonet led the Seawolves rushing for a career-high 233 yards, including runs of 64 and 58, surpassing his previous high of 220 which he had against Army earlier this season. Quarterback Kyle Essington connected on 10-of-13 passing attempts for 181 yards and two touchdowns while Kevin Norrell led the receiving corps with seven catches for 127 yards and a touchdown.

For the fifth time in six games this season, Coastal scored on its opening possession. Early in the drive, Coastal went for it on fourth and one and Jeremy Height responded with a nine-yard gain. Aramis Hillary was 4-for-4 on the drive, including an 18-yard completion to David Duran and a 24-yard touchdown to DeMario Bennett.

Stony Brook answered on its first drive with a touchdown of its own. The Seawolves also converted a fourth-and-short and Kyle Essington was 3-for-3 in the drive, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Gush.

On the second set of drives, Coastal was near scoring position but back-to-back fumbles, the second coming on fourth down, gave Stony Brook the ball. The Seawolves marched to the Coastal 11 and faced fourth-and-one. Wesley Skiffington came on for a 26-yard field goal but missed wide left.

Coastal then rode the momentum. Hillary found Tyrell Blanks for 19 yards on the first play. Later, Travis Small, CCU’s leading rusher last season, picked up 15 yards on his first attempt of 2012. Three plays later, Height burst through the middle and ran untouched for a 24-yard score. Stony Brook answered right back. Essington hit Gush for 40 yards on the first play of the drive and Marcus Coker had an 18-yard run. Facing third-and-four, Essington hit Kevin Norrell for an 18-yard score despite tight coverage by CCU’s Richie Sampson.

At the close of the first half, Hillary connected with Matt Hazel for a 55-yard completion to the Stony Brook 10. However, the Chants were unable to take advantage as Alex Catron’s field goal as time expired missed wide left to keep the score tied at 14 at the break.

Stony Brook opened the second half with a 13-play drive that took 6:13 off the clock, capped with a two-yard Maysonet touchdown run for a 21-14 lead. After forcing a Coastal punt, Maysonet reeled off a 58-yard rush down the left sideline to the CCU 22, pushing the senior and Big South career rushing leader over 1,000 yards for the season. However, the Chanticleer defense stiffened and forced a field goal, which was missed wide left.

Coastal took advantage of the miscue and turned to a power running game, rushing six straight times, to tie the score at 21-21. Height had a seven-yarder, Hillary was flushed from the pocket to gain 11 and Taliaferro had rushes for eight, 25 and six to the SBU three. Height found pay dirt from three yards out to tie the game.

However, Maysonet struck again. On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, the senior had a 64 yard rush to the CCU 27. Four plays later, Maysonet scored from four yards out. The extra point missed left to give the Seawolves a six-point lead, 27-21.

Coastal’s next drive stalled out at the Stony Brook 49 and the Chants were forced to punt the ball away. The Seawolves ate away 3:23 on their next drive before punting it away for just the second time in the game giving the Chants the ball at their own 35 with 4:21 remaining.

After a 10-yard penalty on the opening play of the drive, Hilary completed a 20-yard pass to Hazel to move the ball to the Coastal 45. Height then rushed twice for a total of 14 yards to move to ball over the 50 and into Stony Brook territory. Hillary then connected with Bennett for a 21-yard strike to move the ball to the Seawolves’ 20. With just over two minutes to play, Hillary completed a pass to Hazel to the 16-yard line but a hit by a Stony Brook defender dislodged the ball and it was recovered by Dominick Reyes at the SBU 21 with 2:11 on the clock.

The Chanticleer defense forced a three-and-out by the Seawolves that gave Coastal the ball on their own 33 with 1:01 left in the game. Four-straight incomplete passes ended the Chants’ hopes of a come from behind victory as the Seawolves held on for the 27-21 victory.

Photo Credit: Chuck Silvey

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