Hillary leads No. 20 Chants against Brown, Liberty

The outcome of Saturday’s battle between the top two teams in the Big South Conference will likely come down to the top two quarterbacks in the league.

Coastal junior QB Aramis Hillary will lead the 20th-ranked Chanticleers against the Liberty Flames, who are led by senior star Mike Brown.

Not only do the Flames (3-3 overall, 1-0 Big South) and Chanticleers (4-1, 1-0) ranked 1-2 in the conference in virtually every offensive statistical category in the game, but so do Brown and Hillary in individual stats – mostly in that order.

“When you look at Mike Brown, he’s like a modern-day Michael Vick,” said all-conference safety Josh Norman. “He scrambles, he launches the ball, and he’s got an amazing arm – probably the best arm in the league. He’s a great athlete, a great competitor.”

Brown leads the league in total offense (333.6 yards per game), total touchdowns (14), passing yards per game (289.2) and passing effeciency (161.1). Hillary is second in all four categories with 219.6 total yards per game, 10 total touchdowns, 175.4 passing yards per game and a QB efficiency rating of 156.0.

But those aren’t the numbers that matter to Hillary and his Chanticleers teammates. A notch in win column against the Flames is all they want and need to continue their conference title defense.

“I don’t really care about any accolades or who’s first. I just care about the wins and losses.” Hillary said. “He’s a good quarterback, from what I’ve seen last year. He can throw it. He can run it. He’s an amazing athlete.”

Count CCU coach David Bennett among the members of the Mike Brown Fan Club. He just hopes his QB will rise to the occasion after showing signs of improvement as a passer, runner and leader in recent games.

“He’s a warriors,” Bennett said of Brown. “He’s a guy I tell all the pro scouts, I’d want him on my team if I was in the pros.’

“Aramis did a good job last week of taking care of the ball. … He’s a great young man. He can run the ball, he can throw the ball, but he ain’t going to out-throw an NFL quarterback and he ain’t going to out-run Mike Brown.”

Despite the statistical disparity between Brown and Hillary, Bennett wouldn’t trade his rising junior for the more polished Brown.

“I’ll tell you what, he’s done a very good job for us,” Bennett said of Hillary. “He’s smart, he studies film. So, I’m glad he’s here, I’m glad he’s a part of Coastal Carolina.

“I think he’s getting comfortable making his reads and delivering the ball on time. I think he’s progressed very well. He’s come a long way. He’s a winner and he’s getting better everyday.”

Hopefully good enough to lead the Chants over Brown and the Flames by Saturday.

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