No. 4 Chants survive upset scare on Brown’s TD return

ccufoot-hendersonnca&tAfter going down 30-24 with 7:16 left in the game, Coastal Carolina sophomore Devin Brown returned the ensuing kickoff 99 yards to lead the #4/5 Chanticleers to a 31-30 victory at North Carolina A&T Saturday night at Aggie Stadium.

With the game tied at 24-24, North Carolina A&T took a 30-24 lead after quarterback Kwashaun Quick had a 24-yard touchdown. Quick, the normal holder for Aggie extra points, came off the field and backup Dominic Frascura bobbled the snap. Chanticleer Taylor Bagley tackled Frascura to keep it a six-point game.

The lead was short lived as Brown caught the following kickoff at the one yard line and returned it 99 yards for a touchdown. Alex Catron tacked on the extra point for what proved to be the game winner.

For Brown, it was his second career return for a TD and the 99-yard score is the longest in school history – tying for the third-longest scoring play in Big South history. (The previous long scoring play in CCU history was a 95-yard kick return by Brown last season.)

With just under seven minutes to play in the game, North Carolina A&T managed one first down before being forced to punt from the CCU 40 thanks to a Leroy Cumming sack on third down. Coastal then ran out the final 4:08 off the clock to preserve the win. De’Angelo Henderson had runs of 10 and 11 yards to start the final drive. Then, on 2nd-and-6, Henderson picked up six yards to gain a first down with 41 seconds left and seal the win.

Henderson finished with 131 yards on 19 carries (6.9 average) with a touchdown. Alex Ross, who added 61 rushing yards, completed 21-of-37 passes for 261 yards with three interceptions and one touchdown, extending his school record to 16 consecutive games with a TD pass. John Israel had four receptions for 92 yards and Bruce Mapp added five for 71.

Overall, Coastal Carolina overcame five turnovers – three interceptions and two fumbles – to escape with the win. The Chants had turnovers on three of its first four possessions, including one inside the A&T 15, and opened the second half with a pair of interceptions.

Coastal Carolina started slow with turnovers on its first two possessions. Coastal’s defense forced a field goal on the first one, which was missed by the Aggies, and forced a punt on the second.

Its third drive ended in a punt, which Kris Gardin returned 41 yards to the Coastal 18. Four plays later, quarter Quick ran the ball in from two yards out to give the Aggies a 7-0 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.

After a third turnover – a fumble inside the North Carolina A&T five, the Chanticleer defense once again stiffened to force a quick punt. Starting from the 49 yard line, Henderson gashed the defense for a 27-yard rush and, two plays later, Ross hit Thomas Pauciello for a six-yard score, tying the game at 7-7 early in the second quarter.

After Coastal’s defense forced a three-and-out, Zach Silverberg had a career-long, 28-yard punt return set up a second Chanticleer score in as many possessions. Coastal managed two first downs, but ultimately had to settle for a 36-yard field goal by Alex Catron to put CCU up 10-7.

Coastal’s defense continued to be stingy, forcing a second straight three-and-out. Coastal then scored on its third straight possession to take a 17-7 lead midway through the second quarter. The score was setup by a 27-yard Ross to Pauciello completion, a 12-yard run by Ross and back-to-back runs by Henderson, one for 10 yards and a TD rush for four yards.

After the kickoff, North Carolina A&T executed a double pass as receiver Denzel Keyes hit Dequan Swann for a 30-yard gain. Two plays later Tariq Cohen found paydirt from 22 yards out to cut the Aggie deficit to three, 17-14.

Coastal started the second half much like the first, turning the ball over on its first two drives. First, Coastal marched to the A&T three before throwing an interception. The Aggies would drive 73 yards in 10 plays before settling for a 24-yard field goal to tie the game at 17-17.

The teams traded interceptions on the next two possessions with Pernell Williams getting the pick for the Chants near mid-field. On the next play, Ross hit Israel for a 45-yard pass to the Aggie’s one. Two plays later quarterback Aaron Aiken scored to put the Chants on top 24-17.

North Carolina A&T tied the game at 24-24 with 12:43 left in the fourth quarter. Quick used his legs for gains of 11 and 17 yards early in the drive. A 21-yard Quick to Cohen completion got the Aggies to the Coastal five. Two plays later, Quick punched it in from one-yard out.

Coastal offense sputtered, going three-and-out. Quick then capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown run for the six-point lead, 30-24.

Coastal Carolina will play its 2014 home opener next Saturday (Sept. 13), hosting South Carolina State. Kickoff is set for 6 pm at Brooks Stadium.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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