Chants survive 3 OT thriller with wild win over Furman

Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia and his Chanticleers passed their first tough road test on Saturday, even if it may have given the first-year coach a heart attack.

Coastal scored a wild 47-45 triple-overtime victory over Furman when the Paladins failed to convert a 2-point conversion to force a fourth extra period.

The Chants erupted in celebration after blowing a big lead in regulation and battling back to force overtime in the final seconds. Alex Catron booted a 45-yard field goal as time expired to even the game at 25-all.

The kick rescued what could have been a demoralizing loss for Coastal, which led 17-6 in the fourth quarter before seeing the Paladins rally behind backup quarterback Reese Hannah. The freshman replaced former Conway High QB Dakota Derrick, who suffered a broken collarbone in the second half.

The Paladins rallied for three touchdown drives but special teams kept the Chants in it. Mike McClure intercepted a 2-point conversion pass and returned it 100 yards to keep Coastal ahead 19-12. Another later PAT was blocked, allowing Coastal to drive in the final 40 seconds to set up Catron’s tying kick.

Both defenses appeared out of gas in overtime as the offenses easily scored touchdowns on the first four possessions. Triple OT forces teams to go for 2, and Coastal QB Aramis Hillary hooked up with DeMario Bennett for the TD and 2-pointer to go ahead 47-39. Furman answered with a TD but its 2-point pass was caught out of bounds.

The victory was as important as it was stunning, giving the recently overhauled Chants a sense of confidence in the Moglia experiment after two games. Moglia replaced David Bennett in December and is off to a 2-0 start entering next week’s game against another FCS power, Eastern Kentucky.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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