No. 3 Chants slam door on Charlotte to stay unbeaten

Walter Payton Award candidate Lorenzo Taliaferro, who reached another milestone Saturday, and redshirt freshman De’Angelo Henderson each ran for more than 100 yards to lead #3/6 Coastal Carolina to a 50-25 Homecoming win over Charlotte Saturday at Brooks Stadium.

Henderson actually broke the barrier first and finished with 117 yards and a score, while Taliaferro powered his way to 139 yards and three scores. With his three rushing touchdowns, Taliaferro ties the Big South single-season record, now with 21 – matching the mark set by Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet last season. Taliaferro, who now has a school-record seven 100-yard rushing games this season – additionally has 22 total scores this season, one shy of Maysonet’s Big South record.

Defensively, Coastal (9-0) held its opponent to a touchdown or less in the second half for the sixth time this season.

Coastal finished the game with 621 yards of total offense – the fifth highest offensive output in Chanticleer history.

Coastal Carolina got off to a quick start, forcing a three-and-out on Charlotte’s opening drive and the Chanticleer offense got down to the 49er 11 yard line before getting sacked and having to settle for a field goal. However, the attempt hit the upright. Coastal’s defense once again stood strong and forced a Charlotte punt. Ross completed passes of 21 and 16 yards to Niccolo Mastromatteo and Matt Hazel, respectively, to get in scoring range. A holding call negated a CCU score, but four plays later Taliaferro scored from nine yards out to give CCU a 7-0 lead.

Charlotte converted three third downs on the ensuing drive before Blake Brewer was called on to kick a 30-yard field goal to cut the 49er deficit to four, 7-3.

Devin Brown, who set a CCU record last week with a 95-yard kickoff return, made a highlight-reel, 50-yard return to the Charlotte 49 and a face-mask penalty on the drive allowed Coastal to start 34 yard from paydirt. Six plays later, Ross hit Hazel for a five-yard score and 14-3 lead.

Charlotte responded with seven-play drive that took just 1:43 off the clock to start the second quarter. Matt Johnson had two, 19-yard completions and added a nine-yard touchdown run. Mark Pettit added the two-point conversion to make the score 14-11.

Brown answered with another exciting kick return, this one for 39 yards, and another personal foul gave Coastal the ball on the 39. On the next play, Ross hit DeMario Bennett on stride for a 39-yard touchdown pass.

Charlotte threatened on the next drive before Johnnie Houston picked off a pass at the CCU one yard line. It was Houston’s third pick of the season and seventh of his career. Coastal worked its way to the Charlotte 11 before Alex Catron came on to split the uprights from 29 yards out to make the score 24-11.

The 49ers bounced back with a seven-play scoring drive to make the score 24-18. The drive was highlighted by a 15-yard Johnson completion and a 17-yard Kalif Phillips run. A CCU penalty moved Charlotte to the CCU 14 and Alan Barwell capped the drive with an eight-yard rushing score.

Undaunted, Coastal quickly marched down the field thanks to three-straight first down Ross completions – two to Thomas Pauciello and one to Mastromatteo. Taliaferro scored for the second time of half and would provide the halftime score of 30-18.

To open the second half, Coastal took the kickoff and used 12 plays to cover 76 yards to take a 36-18 lead. Henderson did most of the damage, going over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career thanks to runs of 10, 23 and two yards – the last going for a touchdown.

Coastal opened the fourth quarter with Taliaferro scoring his third TD of the game to tie the Big South record and give CCU a 43-18 lead. After a three-and-out, Coastal used 10 plays to take a 50-18 lead thanks to a two-yard Brian Kass TD run.

Charlotte’s Phillips capped the day’s scoring with a two-yard plunge off the right side with 4:53 remaining in the game. The 49ers` drive encompassed 10 plays and 67 yards, all of which came on the ground.

Coastal returns to the gridiron next Saturday at Big South foe Charleston Southern for 1 p.m.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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