Chants face tough test vs. Paladins in home opener

Two of the more obscure mascots in college football square off Saturday when Furman visist Coastal Carolina. And like their historic and literary nicknames, last year’s showdown was a classic.

The Chanticleers, a reference to the mightiest rooster in the barnyard from Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” took a 47-45 three-overtime thriller over the Paladins, another name for Charlamagne’s most lethal warriors.

If history repeats itself, Saturday’s 6 p.m. contest should be another hard-fought battle. The Chants are coming off a 27-20 victory at South Carolina State while Furman dropped a 28-21 decision to Gardner-Webb without starting quarterback Reese Hannon, who is expected to play Saturday.

“Furman is a team with good character. They proved that against us a year ago,” CCU coach Joe Moglia said. “They lost last week, especially without their main quarterback, but this week they get the quarterback back. I have no doubt that they’re ready to go with a chip on their shoulder. This is a critical game for them.”

And for Coastal, which is 6-8 all-time in meetings with the Southern Conference. The Chanats are 7-3 all-time in home opener and 3-1 lifetime against Furman. The average margin of victory is only five points in the series.

“Anytime you get to open up in front of your own fans, where everyone’s excited, it is great,” said CCU senior defensive tackle Jeffery Salley. “You have a chance to start 1-0 at home and to start the season 2-0 overall. It’ll be a great opportunity for us and hopefully we capitalize on it.”

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