Chants fry Colonels for first 3-0 start in program history

The No. 21-ranked Coastal Carolina football team scored 37 unanswered points Saturday night to post an inspired 51-32 road victory over No. 25-ranked Eastern Kentucky.

Trailing 24-14 at halftime and appearing to be on the ropes against a physical opponent, the Chanticleers put on perhaps their most impressive performance of the Joe Moglia era by beating down the Colonels (1-2) for their first 3-0 start in school history.

The victory was Coastal’s first road win over a ranked foe since a 2005 win over South Carolina State. The Chants piled up 631 yards of total offense and survived 11 penalties and two turnovers thanks to a bend-but-don’t-break defense.

Coastal quarterback Alex Ross had a record-setting night, completing 19 of 29 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Lorenzo Taliaferro ran for 174 yards on 17 carries and three touchdowns, including the first two TDs of the game.

But Eastern Kentucky quickly responded and rattled off 24 straight points to seemingly gain control of the game. But a Travis Small touchdown run and Alex Catron field goal to open the third quarter tied it at 24-all, then Ross connected on three straight TD passes to DeMario Bennett, John Israel and Bruce Mapp and the rout was on. The Colonels added a late TD to make the score sound closer than reality.

Coastal suffered a 35-17 setback to Eastern Kentucky last season at home.

The Chants return home next week to face Hampton.

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