Hillary runs, passes Chants to easy victory over VMI

Coastal Carolina quarterback Aramis Hillary threw two touchdown passes and ran for another in the first half as the Chanticleers opened their Big South Conference title defense on Saturday with a 34-10 victory over visiting VMI.

Hillary broke loose for a 35-yard touchdown run to open the game’s scoring in the first quarter, then hit Jamaul Boswell for a 39-yard TD pass to star the second period.

Following a pair of field goals by Grant Clayton, Hillary hooked up with Chris Presley for a 23-yard touchdown connection during the final seconds of the second period to take a commanding 27-3 lead at halftime.

The Chants (4-1 overall, 1-0 Big South) were content to control the ball and the clock in the second half and give reserves plenty of playing time.

Aaron Jones scored on a 4-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to cap Coastal’s scoring and VMI (0-5, 0-1) got its only touchdown of the game with 4 seconds remaining on a 9-yard touchdown run by Adam Morgan.

Coastal pilled up a total of 483 yards in the game with Hillary accounting for the majority of the damage. He ran 14 times for 114 yards and completed 14 of 23 passes for 245 yards.

Coastal travels to Liberty for a key conference showdown next Saturday.

NOTEBOOK:

Ratings game

The Chants entered the contest against VMI ranked 24th in the nation in the FCS coaches poll. It’s been nearly 5 years since the Chants were ranked during the regular season, when they were listed at 13thjust before the 2006 playoffs began.

Look for the Chants to rise when the new rankings come out as at least four teams above them lost on Saturday, including #6 James Madison, #16 Richmond, #19 Indiana State, and  #23 Chattanooga.

Good old days

With the win against VMI, the Chants open the season 4-1 for the third time in nine seasons of play. They also started with 4-1 records in 2004 and 2005 and finished both seasons as Big South Conference champions.

Please Coach, schedule VMI first

When the Chants open conference play against VMI, CCU wins. The Chants are now 5-0 in conference openers versus the Keydets.

Home sweet home

The Chants have now won five straight home games, dating back to November 13, 2010, when they defeated then #11 Ranked Liberty at home 45-31.

The 200 club

For the Chants, the Magic Number is 200. The Chants are nearly perfect (37-4) when rushing for more than 200 yards as they did in the VMI game tonight, hitting the 200-yard mark with 12 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Honors galore

National recognition is coming from all over for the Chanticleers this season as nine players have received either preseason honors or player of the week accolades.

Leading the way is tight end David Duran who was tabbed as a preseason 1st Team All American. Most recently, linebacker Quinn Backus was named the Crons Brand Big South Freshman of the Week.

This leads us to the question: What exactly is a Crons Brand? According to Big South Commissioner Kyle Kallander  “they are an apparel company that offers motivational messages inside their uniforms and clothing.”

In addition to apparel, they also sell nutritional bars, and offer leadership programs to student athletes.

Close but no cigar

CCU’s Tyler Thigpen holds the record for most yards rushing by a quarterback in a single game at 119 vs Gardner-Webb during the 2006 season.

Aramis Hillary was short of that by five yards when he was pulled from the game in the 3rd quarter to give redshirt freshman Cody Craig an opportunity to see some action.

You always wonder if coaches keep track of these stats and pull players to prevent any ego inflation.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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