No. 1 Chants find more bad luck in loss to No. 19 Bucs

ccufoot-4runCharleston Southern scored 24 unanswered points spanning the first to the third quarters and held on to upset top-ranked Coastal Carolina, 33-25, Saturday evening at Buccaneer Field.

The 19th-ranked Buccaneers improve to 7-1, 4-0 in the Big South and hand the Chanticleers (7-1, 2-1) their first loss of the season for the second time in as many trips to CSU. (Then #16 Charleston Southern beat then #3 Coastal Carolina, 31-26, on Nov. 9, 2013.)

Charleston Southern quarterback Austin Brown completed 13-of-21 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Coastal signal caller Alex Ross completed 28-of-46 passes for 274 yards with a rushing TD while De’Angelo Henderson added 90 yards on 15 carries with a score.

The Bucs rolled up 456 yards of offense and held a 33-to-26 minute advantage in time of possession. However, the Chants, who had 131 yards in the final period, were able to make a late run by holding CSU to just 28 yards on 11 fourth-quarter plays.

On the opening kickoff, Ray Lewis III returned the ball 18 yards to the CCU 43. On the first play, Charleston Southern was called for pass interference. Henderson and Osharmar Abercrombie took over. However, between runs, Ross hit Craig Weick for seven yards on a key 4th-and-2 from the CSU 19. Abercrombie capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run. He then took a direct snap and converted the two-point conversion for an early 8-0 lead.

The Buccaneers answered with an 11-play, 73-yard drive. Brown had three big completions in the drive, including a 17-yard completion to Colton Korn, a 23-yard gain to Mike Holloway and a 21-yarder to Nathan Perera. Ben Robinson cut the CSU deficit to two, 8-6, with a two-yard TD run. Coastal’s Shane Johnson blocked the point after attempt.

Coastal answered right back as Ross kept the ball on a zone read and ripped off a career-long, 45-yard run for a touchdown. Ryan Granger tacked on the extra point for a 15-6 lead.

Undaunted, the Bucs began their scoring binge by marching down the field thanks to a 27-yard Brown to Kenny Dinkins completion to the CCU eight. Three plays later, Holloway scored from one-yard out and, after the extra point from Tyler Tekac, Charleston Southern trailed 15-13.

The Chants came up empty to start the second quarter and Charleston Southern put together a 12-play drive that took 6:25 off the clock. Brown completed a 24-yard pass to Holloway and capped the drive with a 15-yard TD pass to Darius Hammond for a 20-15 lead with 5:41 left in the second quarter.

Charleston Southern, who was 8-of-8 on third downs in the first half, scored touchdowns on each of its four possessions of the half, including a 13-yard Brown to Perera pass on third down with 41 seconds left in the first half to lead 27-15.

Coastal’s defense forced punt on CSU’s first drive of the third quarter and forced a field goal on CSU’s second drive. Tekac’s 40-yard attempt hit the crossbar and just bounced over to give the Bucs a 30-15 lead with 5:58 left in the period.

The Chants answered with a field goal of their own, a 30-yarder by Granger, to trim the deficit to 12, 30-18. However, during the drive, Ross left the game with an injury.

On the ensuing drive, Charleston Southern took six minutes off the clock and took 33-18 lead thanks to a 25-yard field goal by Cekak.

Coastal quickly responded. Ross, who had a key nine=yard run on third down to extend the drive, completed a 21-yard pass to Chris Jones and later a seven-yard completion to the sophomore. Henderson added a 17-yard rush and capped the drive with a nine-yard scored around left end to give him at least one TD in his 22nd consecutive game. Granger added the point after for a 33-25 CSU lead with 9:03 left.

Coastal executed an on-side kick, which was recovered by Dontay Hears. However, a 15-yard penalty eventually forced a CCU punt. Coastal’s defense forced a quick three-and-out and took over with 5:28 left in the game. The CSU defense forced Coastal to run a CCU-record 19 plays, which ended on a failed fourth-down attempt on the CSU eight yard line with 27 seconds left.

The Chanticleers return home for the first time since Oct. 10 to host Gardner-Webb. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm and the game will be broadcast by the American Sports Network. – Photo by Johnny Gasque/CCU Athletics

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