CCU’s comeback bid falls short in road loss to UAB

Coastal Carolina scored 18 second-half points and only allowed 116 yards of total offense over the final two quarters, but UAB was able to hold on for a 30-23 victory Saturday afternoon at Legion Field.

Coastal was able to stay within striking distance despite missing two field goals, having three turnovers and being whistled for nine penalties for 75 yards. The Chanticleers did out-gain the Blazers, 327 yards to 274, and held a seven minute advantage in time of possession. Also, of the 116 yards UAB gained in the second half, 64 came on its last scoring drive.

The Chanticleers rushed for 227 yards, including 75 from Osharmar Abercrombie and 51 from Dalton Demos. The game marked just the third time in the Joe Moglia era that CCu lost when rushing for over 200 yards in a game.

UAB wasted little time in grabbing a 7-0 lead as the Blazers took the opening kickoff and scored on a nine-play, 79=yard drive. UAB quarterback A.J. Erdely was 4-of-4 passing on the drive and closed it out with a seven-yard touchdown run.

The Blazers took advantage of CCU’s first turnover of the season when Fitzgerald Mofor made a diving play to intercept a tipped pass. After converting a fourth down, Spencer Brown found paydirt from 11 yards out to give UAB a 13-0 lead with 18 ticks left in the first quarter. However, on the PAT attempt, Marcus Williamson blocked his fifth career kick (three field goals and two extra points) and Preston Carey returned the ball 87 yards for a defensive 2-pioint conversion to make the score 13-2.

After s short punt, Coastal took over on the UAB 35. However, Coastal could not take full advantage and had to settle for a 39-yard field goal by Evan Rabon to make the score 13-5 in the Blzers’ favor midway through the second quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Chandler Kryst forced and recovered a fumble to give Coastal the ball on the UAB 16. However, the Chants were not as fortunate this time as a 29-yard field goal missed wide left.

As the first half came to a close, UAB kicked a 21-yard field goal to cap a drive that covered 76 yard and 15 plays while taking 6:25 off the clock. The field goal made it 16-5 at the break.

While Coastal got the ball to start the second half, the Blazers picked off their third pass of the game on CCU’s first drive of the third quarter. Two plays later, Carlos Stephens scored from 26 yards out to put UAB up 23-5.

Coastal responded with an impressive drive to cut its deficit to 10, 23-13. Abercrombie has runs of 10 and 13 yards during the 12-play drive that covered 83 yards before scoring a one-yard rushing TD.

The Chants had a chance to trim the lead further, but a missed field goal from 40 yards kept the Chants down 10.

Two drives later, Coastal was able to cut into the deficit as Evan Rabon connected from 33 yards out to make the score 23-16. The score was set up by long third-downs runs, including one for 20 yards by Dalton Demon and 25 yards by Jacqez Hairston.

While UAB was held in check the third and most of the fourth quarter, the Blazers were able to break through late in game and put together a six-play, 64-yard drive that was aided by a pair of CCU penalties. Spencer Brown scored from three yards out to put his squad up 30-16.

Coastal would not go away and quickly drove 75 yards and Abercrombie scored his second TD of the game to make it a seven=point game, 30-23, with just over a minute to play.

Coastal attempted an on-side kick, but UAB recovered and held on for the win.

The Chanticleers return home next Saturday (Sept. 23) to host Western Illinois. Kickoff is set for 6:30 pm.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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