CCU holds final scrimmage; turns focus to class, kickoff

The Coastal Carolina football squad held its final scrimmage of the preseason Saturday afternoon at Brook Stadium. Dalton Demos, Bucky Kennedy and Zach Silverberg all had long runs, while Alex Ross threw for 134 yards and two scores.

The team, along with the rest of the CCU student body, will begin classes Monday (August 19) and the 21st-ranked Chanticleers will open the 2013 season August 31 at South Carolina State. Coastal will play its first home contest Sept. 7 at 6 pm versus Furman.

The final scrimmage featured some runs and clutch completions to offset some “flat play” according to wide receiver Matt Hazel.

The first period of scrimmage was a series of red zone play. The first offense got an 18-yard, Ross to Niccolo Mastromatteo completion to the two yard line. Two plays later, Lorenzo Taliaferro plowed in from one yard out. The final three possessions of the period resulted in Alex Catron field goals as the junior connected from 17, 21 and 42 yards. On the second drive, the second offense got an 18-yard Michael Church to John Israel completion but the first offense kept the offense out of the end zone, forcing the 17-yard field goal.

The second period featured the offense having the ball on its own 35 with 1:30 left to play and needing a touchdown to win. The first units squared off and the offense was facing 4th and 2 from 36 yards out. The offense went for it and DeMario Bennett made a nice play on a long pass from Ross and scored from 36 yards out. The next series saw one of Demos’ long runs, a 52 yarder, then the redshirt freshman connected with Bruce Mapp for a 23-yard touchdown.

The line of scrimmage was then moved up 10 yards and there was just 1:00 to play with the defense keeping the offense off the scoreboard each time.

The last period was a full quarter of simulated play with punts, kickoffs, etc. After an “opening” kickoff, the first offense steadily moved the ball downfield and Ross found Mapp for a 27-yard touchdown. The next drive featured a 19-yard Demos scramble and run followed by a 37-yard Silverberg touchdown run.

After the defense forced a three and out, a bad snap on a punt led to Johnnie Houston partially blocking the kick for a net 17-yard punt. The next play, Michael Church completed a 37-yard touchdown to Tyrell Blanks. The final drive was looking bleak for the offense. An offensive pass interference call backed the offense up to a 1st and 25 from 30. However, Kennedy found a crease and out-ran the defense down the right sideline for a 70-yard touchdown.

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