Chants handle Vandals, score first Sun Belt win

Idaho scored on the opening possession of the game but was shutout the rest of the game and Coastal Carolina’s Evan Rabon hit field goals of 52 and 34 yards to lift the Chanticleers to a 13-7 victory over the Vandals Saturday afternoon at the Kibbie Dome.

The win was Coastal’s first versus a Sun Belt program and improved the Chanticleers to 2-9 on the season, 1-6 in the league. Idaho drops to 3-7, 2-4.

Coastal’s defense allowed 75 yards on the opening drive but only surrendered 202 yards the rest of the way, including just 103 in the second half.

Not only did Idaho score on its opening drive, but it nearly duplicated the feat on its first drive on the second half. However, Coastal would force a 29-yard field goal that Anthony Chesley tipped and forced the kick wide right.

After that, neither team got much going on offense through the third. On Coastal’s first drive of the fourth quarter, Rabon’s 34-yard field goal put CCU up six, 13-7.

The teams traded punts over the next two drives. Then, on fourth-and-five near midfield, Idaho went for it with 3:14 left in the game. Coming out of a timeout, Marcus Williamson sacked Mason Petrino for a 15-yard loss to give CCU the ball with 3:08 left on the Vandal 32 yard line.

Coastal ran four plays, giving the ball back to Idaho with just 41 seconds left in the game. Coastal’s defense closed the game out from there to secure the win.

Alex James, who scored CCU’s lone TD, finished with 85 rushing yards on 10 attempts. Kilton Anderson was 11-for-23 for 100 yards. Shane Johnson led the way on defense while Williamson and Myles White each had two tackles for losses.

Idaho took the opening kickoff and scored on a nine-play, 75-yard drive. On the first play, Petrino hit Jacob Sannon for a 20-yard pass to midfield. Then, on third and six, Petrino found David Ungeerer for 12 yards. Two plays later, Petrino threw a screen pass to Alfonso Onuwor for an 18-yard score and early 7-0 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, Coastal’s offense got on track and tied the game at 7-7 with 6:57 left in the period. The drive was kept alive early as Anderson, on third-and-seven, threaded the needle for a nine-yard completion to Chris Jones. James then finished the drive with a career-long, 42-yard rushing touchdown.

With 31 seconds left before the break, Rabon was called on and responded with a 52-yard field goal to give Coastal a 10-7 lead. The boot tied a career long — matching his effort versus Western Illinois earlier this year — and is one yard shy of the CCU record (53 yards by Alex Catron at Gardner-Webb in 2014).

Coastal nearly scored as the first half ended. Fitz Wattley picked off his third pass of the season and returned it 45 yards inside the Idaho 25. He would fumble on the play and CCU’s Chandler Kryst recovered it to end the second quarter.

As the third quarter began, Coastal punted and Idaho drove inside CCU’s 15. The Chant defense would force Idaho to attempt a 29-yard field goal. However, Chesley got his fingertips on the ball, which hit the right upright and missed to the right.

Coastal nearly turned the ball over early in the fourth quarter, but it was confirmed on replay the Anderson-to-Marcus Outlow pitch was a forward pass and incompletion. The Chanticleers took advantage two plays later when Rabon split the uprights from 34 yards out to give CCU a 13-7 lead with 11:46 left.

The Chanticleers will be off next Saturday and return to action Dec. to host Georgia Southern. The game will be CCU’s regular season finale and the 2017 senior class will be honored prior to the game.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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