Chants shake off slow start vs. Hose to improve to 7-0

ccufoot-31diveDe’Angelo Henderson rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth time in seven games this season, while Bruce Mapp added 111 receiving yards to lead No. 3 Coastal Carolina to a 40-28 victory at Presbyterian College Saturday afternoon at Bailey Memorial Stadium.

With the win, the Chanticleers become the only team in NCAA Division I to improve to 7-0 on the season, while improving to 5-0 in road games this season.

Henderson finished with 27 rushes for 147 yards and two scores while Mapp had six receptions for his career-high 11 yards and a 34-yard score. Alex Ross completed 18-of-33 passes for 258 yards and two TDs.

The Chanticleer defense was without their starting linebackers as All-American candidate Quinn Backus and Brett Johnson were both nursing injuries as CCU has an open date next week. In their stead, junior Rayshaud Shields, who entered with 12 total tackles in seven career games, made his first start and responded with 15 tackles – the most by a Chanticleer this season – including two for losses and a pass break-up. Colton Blackburn, making his second career start, added eight tackles and forced a key first-half fumble.

Coastal Carolina opened the game by going three-and-out on offense. Presbyterian was on track to do the same, but took advantage of a pass interference call on third down and long to keep the drive alive. Seven plays later, Demarcus Rouse hit the right edge for a 52-yard rushing touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Roderick Holder recorded his fifth sack of the season to force a Presbyterian punt. Coastal need just five plays and 1:19 to cover 62 yards to tie the game at 7-7. Ross was 5-of-5 passing on the five-plat drive, capped by a 29-yard touchdown to John Israel.

On Coastal’s next drive, Alex Catron split the uprights from 33 yards out to give the Chanticleers a 10-7 lead with 7:43 in the second quarter.

Late in the second quarter, Coastal threw an interception. However, on the next play, the Chanticleer defense got the ball right back as Blackburn forced a fumble that Leroy Cummings recovered. Ross found Mapp for a 43-yard completion to the PC 11. However, the drive stalled and Catron made a 27-yard field goal to give Coastal a 13-7 lead, which was the score at halftime.

The Blue Hose duplicated their first half feat by scoring on their opening drive. Tobi Antigha made a key 17-yard run on an end-around and later hauled in a 30-yard reception. Three plays later, Heys McMath found Kris Hurley in the right corner to put the Blue Hose up 14-13.

Coastal bounced right back and quickly marched down the field to reclaim a 19-14 lead. Ross had back-to-back completions for 13 and 11 yards to Israel and Tyrell Blanks, respectively, and later hit Mapp for a 34-yard touchdown.

On the next play from scrimmage, Pernell Williams picked off a McMath pass to give Coastal the ball on the PC 39. Henderson capped the six-play drive by taking a direct snap and scoring from two yards out. The Chants attempted a two-point play but the pass was incomplete and the score remained 26-14.

Presbyterian responded with an impressive 15-play, 97-yard drive to cut its deficit to five, 26-21. Rouse made the first big play in the drive with a 21-yard run, while Antigha had receptions of 10 and 15 yards. Then, facing 4th-and-8 on the CCU 18, McMath hit Jordan Hallums for an 18-yard score.

Undaunted, the Chants answered right back. Osharmar Abercrombie began the drive with back-to-back runs of 14 and eight yards. Ross then hit Thomas Pauciello for gains of 30 and 10 yards. Facing 3rd-and-goal, redshirt freshman wide receiver Chris Jones took the ball on an end-around and waltzed into the end zone for his first career touchdown and 33-21 CCU lead.

The Blue Hose threatened on their ensuing drive, getting to the CCU 35 before Calvin Hollenhorst and Aaron McFarland sacked McMath for a loss of seven yards. Then, on 4th-and-17, C.J. Thompson broke up a pass to force a turnover on downs. Seven plays layer, Henderson took a handoff, broke two tackles and raced down the right sideline for a 23-yard score and 40-21 CCU advantage.

With 1:30 left in the game, Presbyterian ended an 11-play, 88-yard drive with McMath connecting with Jeremiah McKie for a 15-yard touchdown and providing the 40-28 final.

Coastal Carolina will have bye week next Saturday. The Chanticleers will play in Brooks Stadium for just the third time this season when they host Charleston Southern Oct. 25 at 3:30 pm.

Photo by Bill Grammer

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