Chants hit ground running, throwing in first scrimmage

The Coastal Carolina football team held its first scrimmage of the preseason Saturday morning, going for two hours at Brooks Stadium.

The team played two, 15-minute quarters, covering 10 possessions. The team then ran a few plays inside the defense’s five before flipping the field and backing the offense up on its own three for a few plays. The scrimmage concluded with newcomers running a pair of possessions.

The scrimmage could not have started better for the first offense. The unit, or more specifically Alex Ross and Lorenzo Taliaferro, combined to lead the group to an 80-yard, nine-play scoring drive. Ross was 4-for-4 passing for 29 yards on the drive while Taliaferro had five rushes for 51 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.

Ross finished the scrimmage by completing 10-of-13 passes for 108 yards and a score. He also added 33 rushing yards on three attempts. Taliaferro paced the rushing attack with nine carries for 69 yards and a TD.

The first defense took the field next, allowing one first down before Mike McClure and Ed Brown registered back-to-back sacks. Ben Hinson came on to punt and got off a 63 yarder. He and Austin Cain both had impressive averages on the day. Hinson had four punts for an average of 45.7 while Cain had two punts for 49.0.

The first offense looked as if it would have two scores on two drives thanks to a fourth down conversion by Travis Small and a 23-yard run by Ross. However, the drive stalled and the 33-yard field goal sailed wide left. The first defense followed by forcing a three-and-out as Jeffery Salley and Dominique Whiteside had a pair of stops in the backfield.

The first offense did put six on the board on its third drive, scoring in three plays. On second and long, Dalton Demos hit DeMario Bennett for a 39-yard gain. The senior ended the morning with a scrimmage-best five receptions for 83 yards. Small capped the drive on the next play with a two-yard rush.

Quinn Backus came up with a big play to halt the next drive by the second offense. On third and short, the All-American linebacker made a stop in the right flat on a completed pass for no gain. From there, Hinson had his second shining moment as his pooch punt landed on the five yard line and was downed.

The next two series resulted in a punt and Pernell Williams intercepting Demos. From the point where Williams was tackled, the offense needed just one play to score as Brian Kass sprinted untouched up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown. The first unit forced a three-and-out on the final play before heading into the situational periods.

In two drives and the offense needing just four yards to score, Ross led his unit to two scores, completing a TD pass to Craig Weick and, on third-and-three, hitting Matt Hazel for a score. Then, with the offense backed up on its own three, Ross hit Bennett for a 28-yard pass to get the Chants out of a hole.

The scrimmage ended with the newcomers going against each other. Brian Gaydosz and Osharmar Ambercrombie each carried the ball four times for 23 and 12 yards, respectively. Tim Burns completed 2-of-4 passes for 24 yards.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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