No. 1 Chanticleers bulldoze over South Carolina State

ccufoot-31scstateJunior De’Angelo Henderson rushed for 116 yards in the first half and finished with 136 on 25 carries to become the school’s all-time leading rusher as #1/3 Coastal Carolina cruised to a 41-14 victory at South Carolina State Saturday night at Dawson Stadium.

Henderson, who played behind 2013 Big South Offensive Player of the Year and current Baltimore Raven Lorenzo Taliaferro, was first team All-Big South last season, gaining 1,534 yards. In his two games this season, Henderson has tallied 231 yards and now has 2,364 yards for his career on just 355 attempts (6.66 yards per attempt). Aundres Perkins (2003-06) played on CCU’s first four teams in program history and finished his career with 2,343 yards and a CCU-record 432 attempts.

Henderson now has 11 career games with at least 100 rushing yards and he has scored at least one rushing touchdown in 16 consecutive games.

Henderson was not the only one to set CCU career marks. National Player of the Year candidate Alex Ross completed 19-of-28 passes for 195 yards and two scores, while adding a 15-yard rushing score. He now has 55 career passing touchdowns – a CCU career record and second on the Big South all-time list – while his 892 career pass attempts is now a CCU record. Ross now holds all of CCU’s career passing records.

John Israel was on the receiving end of most of Ross’ passes, including both TDs. The senior hauled in six passes for 87 yards, including touchdowns covering 32 and 33 yards.

While Chanticleers were setting record on offense, Coastal’s defense was equally impressive. The Chants did not allow a first down in the first quarter, as CCU raced out to a 22-0 lead, and South Carolina State only managed 69 yards of total offense in the first half (33 rushing and 36 passing).For the game, CCU only allowed 234 yards (51 rushing and 183 passing) while holding the Bulldogs to just 4-of-13 on third down attempts. Alex Scearce led the team with six stops, including two for losses, and two pass break-ups.

Coastal Carolina got off to a slow start, going three-and-out on its first possession. And, on the Bulldogs’ first play, running back Jalen Simmons looked to pick up a big gain on their first play. However, Kerron Johnson forced a fumble that Kelvin Deveaux recovered. Two plays later, Ross hit John Israel for a 32-yard touchdown. The completion was the 54th TD pass of Ross’ career, making him the CCU all-time leader, moving ahead of Tyler Thigpen. Tyler Keane then hit A.J. Sattinger, who dove into the end zone for the two-point conversion and an 8-0 Chanticleer lead.

Coastal Carolina’s third drive ended with an interception, but the CCU defense forced SC State to punt. Henderson did most of the damage on the drive, rushing six times for 30 yards on the eight-play, 46-yard drive including a three-yard touchdown to give the junior a rushing TD in 16 straight games. Ryan Granger converted the point after for a 15-0 lead.

The Chanticleer defense, led by a big hit from Rayshaud Shields, forced a three-and-out, giving Coastal the ball on the SCSU 49 after a punt. After a penalty backed the Chants up, Ross responded with a 33-yard strike to Israel for the second score of the game by the duo. Granger once again tacked on the extra point for a 22-0 cushion late in the first quarter.

Coastal’s defense did not allow a first down until SC State’s first drive of the second quarter. On the next play, the Bulldogs fumbled a handoff that CCU’s Calvin Hollenhorst recovered on the SCSU 27. A penalty resulted in Coastal having to attempt a 27-yard field goal and Granger split the uprights to give CCU a 25-0 lead.

As the first half came to a close, Osharmar Abercrombie burst up the middle and ran untouched for a career-long, 58-yard touchdown and 32-0 Chanticleer lead at the break. The sophomore finished wirh five rushes for 70 yards.

Coastal got the ball back one last time in the first half (54 seconds), but was content to run out the clock. However, CCU turned to Henderson twice and he gained seven yards on both occasion. The second gave the junior 116 for the game and 2,344 for his career at that point to become the school’s all-time leader.

To start the second half, Coastal pinned the Bulldogs deep on the opening kickoff and forced a quick punt. A high snap on the punt attempt led to a CCU safety, the first by the Chanticleers since the opening game of the Joe Moglia era. (Andrew Allen had a sack in the end zone versus North Carolina A&T in 2012.)

After the SC State free kick, Ross capped a six-play, 42-yard drive by avoiding some pressure in the pocket and scrambling 15 yards for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs scratched the scoreboard with 2:46 left in the third quarter. Backup quarterback Caleb York led a seven-play, 73-yard drive. He hit Taquan West for a big gain and set-up a seven-yard touchdown pass to Tamarrick Hemmingway to make the score 41-7.

Coastal’s ensuing drive resulted in a punt. Freshman Evan Rabon pinned SC State on its own six-inch line as his punt hit, took a high hop and Sedrick Palmer downed it. However, the Bulldogs responded with an eight-play, 99-yard drive with York finding paydirt from one yard out to provide the eventual 41-14 final score.

Coastal Carolina will play its 2015 home opener next Saturday (Sept. 16) when Western Illinois comes to Brooks Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 pm.

Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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