Chants overcome injuries, deficit to down Monmouth

ccufoot-ryan-lee-vs-monmouthCoastal Carolina lost its starting right tackle (Chase Tidwell) and starting quarterback (Tyler Keane) on back-to-back plays midway into the first quarter but rallied from 17-3 down to score 35 unanswered points to claim a 38-17 victory over Monmouth Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium.

The Chanticleers, for the second consecutive week and just fifth time in school history – had two players rush for over 100 yards as they went over 300 yards rushing for the second straight week. On Saturday, Kenneth Daniels ran for 133 yards, while quarterback Ryan Lee had 121 and two scores.

Coastal quarterbacks, redshirt freshman Austin Bradley and Lee, split snaps at quarterback the rest of the game. Bradley ran for a score and threw a touchdown while finishing with 32 yards passing. Lee added his first two career rushing touchdowns.

Monmouth took the opening kickoff and only needed five plays to take an early 7-0 lead. Kenji Bahar hit Reggie White Jr. on the second play of the drive for a 28-yard gain. Later the two hooked up for an 11-yard gain and a 14-yard touchdown.

On the ensuing Chanticleer drive, Monmouth’s Mike Basile forced and recovered a fumble, which eventually led to a 45-yard Matt White field goal and 10-o Hawks lead.

Despite losing starters Chase Tidwell (RT) and Tyler Keane (QB) on back-to-back plays due to injury, Coastal drove the ball 55 yards In 13 plays to get three of those points back on a 25-yard Ryan Granger field goal.

The Hawks turned a second CCU fumble into points. After a fumble near midfield, Bahar capped an 11-play, 52-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to Jake Powell for a 17-3 lead with 12:46 left in the second quarter.

Coastal’s offense sputtered through most of the game until Ryan Lee made a nice 17-yadr completion to Devin Brown, followed by 58-yard run by Kenneth Daniels, the longest by a Chanticleer this season. On the following play, Austin Bradley had a five-yard rushing touchdown to cur the CCU deficit to seven, 17-10, with just over five minutes left in the second quarter.

As the first half drew to a close, Monmouth attempted a 31-yard field goal, but Myles White broke through to block his third kick of the season to keep the score at 17-10.

As the third quarter began, Coastal drove to the Monmouth one before fumbling for CCU’s third turnover of the game. However, Coastal capped the scoring with its ’s defense stood strong and forced a quick punt. On the ensuing possession, wide receiver Ky’Jon Tyler took a pitch on an end around and threw a 40-yard strike to Chris Jones to the Monmouth nine. Three plays later, Bradley hit Bruce Mapp in the end zone for a six-yard score to tie the game at 17-17. The catch extended Mapp’s streak to 18 consecutive games with a receptions and he has scored a TD in nine of his last 13 games.

Coastal forced a turnover on downs on its own 37. The Chants used 10 plays and five minutes to cover 63 yards and take their first lead of the game, 24-17. Lee capped the drive by running untouched for a 17-yard touchdown.

Coastal had interceptions on back-to-back drives late in the fourth quarter. The first was by Anthony Chesley, who returned it 42 yards for his first career touchdown and Coastal’s eighth non-offensive TD of the season. On the following drive, C.J. Thompson had an interception, his third in two games.

Coastal will return to action next Saturday and host Bryant at 2 pm for a CCU Hall of Fame weekend.

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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