Keane for a Day: Local QB gets lots of help in first win

ccufoot-13furmanCoastal Carolina scored twice on special teams — returning a blocked field goal for a touchdown and returning a punt for a touchdown — scored once on defense and De’Angelo Henderson set a career high with 185 rushing yards to lead the 17th-ranked Chanticleers to a 41-21 victory over Furman Saturday before a crowd of 10,311, tying a Brooks Stadium record.

Henderson had two long runs in the second half to push him to his career high as he finished with 20 rushes for 185 yards. He added three receptions for 19 yards, including an eight-yard score to start the game, as the senior extended his NCAA Division I record to 30 consecutive games with at least one touchdown. He helped Coastal rush for 254 yards, and CCU improved to 72-5 overall when rushing for over 200 yards, including 32-1 in the Joe Moglia era.

The game was bounced back performance for the Chants and Henderson. Last week at #4 Jacksonville State, Coastal was held to just 46 yards rushing while Henderson had 48 yards rushing.

CCU senior linebacker Alex Scearce helped put the game away with consecutive interceptions. Midway through the fourth quarter he picked off a Furman pass in the end zone. On the Paladins’ next possession, he pulled in his second pick and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.

CCU quarterback Tyler Keane, a Myrtle Beach High product making his first career start, completed 9-of-14 passes for 130 yards and two scores. His top target was Chris Jones, who caught four passes for 88 yards with a score.

Coastal wasted no time on getting on the scoreboard and taking a 7-0 lead. Devin Brown, who had a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown at Furman last season, took the opening kickoff and returned it 63 yards to the Furman 35. Four plays later, Keane hit Henderson for an eight-yard touchdown. It was Henderson’s first receiving TD of the season and fifth of his career. It also was the 30th consecutive game Henderson has scored at least one touchdown.

As the first quarter came to a close, a 33-yard Keane-to-Chris Jones pass put the Chants on the Furman 37. As the second quarter began, Coastal reached the Paladin 10, but a fumble on third down forced Coastal to settle for a field goal. Ryan Granger came on to split the uprights from 30 yards out to give CCU a 10-0 lead with 11 minutes left in the second quarter.

On the ensuing Furman drive, the Paladins got into scoring range. However, on a 41-yard field goal attempt, Myles White blocked the attempt, marking it the second consecutive week the freshman has blocked a field goal. Osharmar Abercrombie picked up the loose ball on the Furman 35. As he was being tackled, Abercrombie handed the ball to Kenneth Daniels, who scored from 60 yards out to give CCU a 17-0 lead with eight minutes left before the break.

On Furman’s next drive, Coastal linebacker Kerron Johnson recovered a fumble on the Furman 27. Furman’s defense stood strong and forced a Chanticleer field goal. For the second time in the period, Granger was true, this time from 43 yards to put the Chants up 20-0 with 6:30 left before the break.

A third straight Furman drive resulted in points for the Chanticleers. Furman could not manage a first down and was forced to punt after just three plays. Ky’Jon Tyler, back for his first career punt return, caught the ball on the CCU 20, split a pair of Furman defenders and turned on the jets for an 80-yard touchdown. It was the fourth-longest punt return for a TD for Coastal and the first by a Chanticleer since Niccolo Mastromatteo’s 87-yard return versus Charleston Southern on Nov. 17, 2012.

Undaunted, the Paladins march 72 yards in 10 plays to get on the scoreboard with 1:07 left before halftime. Kealand Dirks capped the drive with a three-yard dive into the end zone to make the score 27-7.

Furman opened the second half with a seven-play, 65-yard scoring drive to cut its deficit to 13, 27-14. Reese Hannon, who had a 15-yard run early in the drive and a 13-yard pass to Andrej Suttles mid-way through the drive, connected with Thomas Gordon for a 23-yard touchdown.

Coastal Carolina answered with a seven-play scoring drive of its own on it first drive of the third quarter. Thanks to a 38-yard run by Henderson, Coastal was at the Furman 28. Four plays later, Keane lofted the ball to the right corner of the end zone and Jones out-jumped the defense for an 18-yard touchdown and 34-14 lead.

Scearce’s second pick of the game and return for 31 yards put the Chants up 41-14.

Furman scored with 17 seconds left in the game to provide the 41-21 final. Hannon threw a strike to Triston Luke for a five-yard score.

Coastal Carolina will host Charleston Southern next Saturday at 6 p.m.

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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