Chants’ second-half rally crushes Lamar in opener

ccufoot-31lamarDe’Angelo Henderson had his 19th career 100-yard game and tied an NCAA Division I record by scoring in his 27th consecutive game to lead #16 Coastal Carolina to a 38-14 season-opening win versus Lamar Saturday night at Provost Umphrey Stadium.

The Chanticleers took an early 3-0 lead, but trailed 14-3 at the break thanks to touchdown runs of 59 and 64 runs by Lamar All-American Kade Harrington. Coastal then scored 35 unanswered to pull away for the win. Also, while Harrington rushed for 207 yards on 28 attempts, he was held to just 55 yards on 14 carries in the second half while the Cardinals managed just 151 yards of total offense, compared to 240 in the first half.

The play of the game was a 71-yard interception return for a touchdown by Richie Sampson, who was playing his first game since Oct. 11, 2014 (at Presbyterian). The redshirt senior additionally tied a career high with 10 tackles. Alex Scearce had a team-high 11 tackles and recorded his second career interception.

Henderson finished with 28 rushes for 158 yards – his third-best, single-game total – and two scores. The All-American ties Virginia Tech’s Lee Suggs (2000-02) for the NCAA Division I record by scoring in 27 games. Henderson scored in all 14 games of the 2014 season, all 12 games of the 2105 season and the 2016 season opener. (NOTE: The NCAA all-division record for consecutive games with a TD is 38 by Danny Woodhead of DII’s Chadron State.)

In addition to Sampson and Henderson, Chris Jones played a key role in the win thanks to a 15-yard punt return and a 31-yard return. He also threw a completion on a two-point conversion.

Coastal’s defense held strong on the Lamar’s first drive of the game and forced a punt. Jones, who ranked 14th in the FCS last season in punt returners, had a 15-yard return to near midfield. Coastal’s drive stalled at the Lamar 22 before Ryan Granger came on to make a 40-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead with 9:20 left in the first quarter.

After both teams missed field goals and Coastal was forced to punt, Lamar took over with 10 seconds left in the first half from their own 41. After an incomplete pass, Harrington burst up the middle for a 59-yard touchdown to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead.

Late in the second quarter (2:38 left), Harrington once again had a long run up the middle for a 64-yard score to give Lamar a 14-3 lead.

Coastal quickly snatched the momentum to start the second half. On Lamar’s first possession, Sampson picked off his third career pass and returned it 71 yards for a touchdown. It was the third-longest interception return in CCU history and the second-longest interception return for a touchdown. Overall, it ties for 20th for the longest scoring play in school history. After the score and on an end-around, Jones hit A.J. Sattinger for a two-point conversion to trim the CCU deficit to three (14-11). It was the second career two-point conversion pass while it marked the third time in Sattinger’s career he has caught a two-point conversion.

On Lamar’s ensuing drive, Coastal forced a punt, which Jones returned 31 yards – the 11th longest punt return in CCU history – to the Cardinals’ 26. Two plays later, Osharmar Abercrombie, who had 16 carries for 82 yards, hit the left edge for a 26-yard score. Granger added the extra point to give the Chants an 18-14 lead.

The third Lamar possession resulted in a punt that only traveled 15 yards to give Coastal the ball on the LU 40. Henderson took over from there with runs of 18, 13 and nine yards, the last being a touchdown. Granger’s point after gave Coastal a 14-point cushion, 28-14.

The Chanticleers provided the 38-14 final with nine seconds left as Henderson broke the goal line plane with a two-yard touchdown.

Coastal Carolina will return home next Friday (Sept. 10) to host Florida A&M in the Chanticleers’ home opener. Kickoff is set for 7 pm.

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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