Chants fight Mountaineers to finish but come up shy

For the fourth time this season, Coastal Carolina had a chance late and suffered another one-possession loss as Appalachian State scored 20 unanswered points in the second half for a 37-29 victory at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Coastal scored on a seven-yard Tyler Keane-to-Malcolm Williams pass with 2:38 left in the game to cut the Chanticleer deficit to eight. Coastal then tried an on-side kick but the Mountaineers recovered and were able to run out the clock for the win.

Keane finished with 332 passing yards, completing 17-of-29 passes, with two scores. Ky’Jon Tyler posted a career-high 141 receiving yards on five catches and scored once. Chris Jones added 96 yards on four receptions while Williams has 44 and a score.

However. App State quarterback Taylor Lamb threw for 427 yards, the third-most passing yards by an opponent, with two scores. Marcus Williams rushed for 72 yards and scored twice.

The Mountaineers took the opening kickoff and drive 86 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. The big play in the drive was a 39-yard Taylor Lamb to T.J. Watkins completion despite solid coverage by Chandler Kryst. Jalin Moore capped the drive with a nine-yard touchdown rush.

Coastal was forced to punt on its opening drive and Evan Rabon booted a school-record, 65-yard punt. However, two plays later, Lamb his Jalen Virgil down the right sideline for an 83-yard touchdown pass.

The Chants got on the scoreboard with 6:54 left in the first quarter on a 26-yard Evan Rabon field goal. The 3-pointer was set-up by a 44-yard Tyler Keane to Ky’Jon Tyler pass as well as a 21-yard rush by Marcus Outlow.

App took advantage of a CCU pass interference to keep a drive alive as the first quarter ended and second began. The Mountaineers started the second frame on the CCU 17, but the Chanticleer defense stood strong and forced a 38-yard field goal that Michael Rubino made to give App a 17-3 lead.

Three plays later, on thre-and-short, Keane found Tyler across the middle and the sophomore went the distance for a 73-yard score to cut the deficit to eight, 17-9. The completion was the 20th-longest scoring play in CCU history, the ninth-longest pass play and eighth-longest pass for a TD. For his career, Tyler had TDs of 80 yards (punt return), 77 yards (kick return) and now 73 yards (reception). Earlier this year, Tyler had an 88-yard kickoff return, but did not score.

The Chanticleer defense turned up the pressure in the second half of the second quarter. After the Mountaineers missed a 30-yard field goal, Coastal drive 80 yards in nine plays. The big play was a 47-yard Keane-to-Chris Jones completion. Two plays later Osharmar Abercrombie found pay dirt from five yards out to cut the deficit to one, 17-16.

Coastal’s defense forced a punt on the ensuing drive and started App 33 after a Mountaineer penalty. However, two penalties on Coastal would eventually force Rabon to try and make a 49-yard field goal to put the Chants up 19-17 with just 29 seconds left before halftime. While the Mountaineers quickly moved into scoring position, Rubino’s 38-yard field goal sailed wide left as time expired to keep it a 2-point game.

As the third quarter began, Coastal kept the momentum as Keane hit Jones for 26 yards and Outlow had an 11-yard run. While the drive stalled, Rabon split the uprights from 24 yards to give CCU a 5-point advantage, 22-17.

App regained the lead on its ensuing drive, which covered 91 yards and nine plays. Jalen Virgil caught a Lamb pass, made several defenders missed and scored a 53-yard TD. The 2-point play failed to make the score 23-22.

As the fourth quarter began, the Mountaineers pushed their lead to eight as Marcus Williams finished an 11-play drive – that started in the third quarter – with a one-yard plunge into the end zone to make the score 30-22.

After a Chanticleer fumble, App State only needed to go 19 yards to score – a 1-yard dive by Williams – put the Mountaineers up 37-22 with 6:16 left.

Coastal Carolina will return to Brooks Stadium next Saturday (Oct. 28) to host Texas State for 2017 Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 6: 00 pm.

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