Chants use strong second half to upend Minutemen

Coastal Carolina football shook off four missed scoring opportunities in the first half to score 21 points in the second half and pick up a 24-13 come from behind win over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Mass.

The Chants overcame two missed field goals and two turnovers over the first 30 minutes of play to control the second half from the kickoff en route to the non-conference win.

CCU improves to 2-0 all-time versus UMass and 4-3 overall on the season with the road win. The Minutemen fall to 2-6 on the season with the loss.

The Chanticleers totaled 498 total offensive yards for the contest, their second-highest total as a team in game this season, including 279 yards on the ground and 219 yards in the air, while UMass totaled 453 yards overall with 390 yards coming in the passing game.

After committing eight penalties in the lost last week at home to ULM, CCU was flagged for just three miscues on Saturday. UMass was called for eight penalties for the game.

Freshman quarterback Fred Payton came off the bench for the Chants in the second quarter to help the offense find a rhythm in the second half, as the CCU offense shuffled three quarterbacks in-and-out for most of the contest in Payton, Kilton Anderson and Bryce Carpenter.

Payton was 5-for-7 for 107 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed five times for 44 yards, an average of 8.8 yards per carry. All were career highs for the true freshman.

Anderson, who started the game after missing the last two contests to an injury, was 4-for-10 for 112 yards through the air and rushed for 11 yards on three attempts. Carpenter was 0-for-1 in the passing game, but rushed seven times for 53 yards.

It was all Malcolm Williams on the receiving end for the Chants, as the senior hauled in four catches for a season-high 153 yards, an average of 38.3 yards per catch, and a touchdown.

Running back CJ Marable added a 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter, his lone catch of the game, but rushed for 80 yards on 13 attempts. Fellow running back Marcus Outlow ran for 91 yards on 17 carries and added to his team-high touchdown total with a one-yard score.

Coastal got the ball to start the second half and took its time on its first offensive possession in the third quarter. The Chants methodically drove 75 yards down the field on 15 plays before a one-yard plunge by Outlow up the middle put the visitors in front for the first time in the game at 10-6 with 6:50 to go in the quarter.

The drive, which took 8:10 off the game clock, is the longest drive of the season for the Chants and the third-longest scoring drive in terms of time in the program’s history. The 15 plays is tied for the longest scoring drive in terms of number of plays on the year and the ninth time that the Chants have recorded a 15-play or more scoring drive in CCU’s history.

The lead did not last long, as the Minutemen quickly answered back less than two minutes later with a five-play, 74-yard drive, capped off by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ford to Palmer to put the home team back in front by three at 13-10 with 4:57 to go in the quarter.

Refusing to go away, the Chants responded in a big way, as Payton found a wide open Williams behind the UMass defense on a second-and-10 for a 61-yard touchdown reception to put the Teal back on top at 17-13 in the offensive third period of play.

The visitors extended its lead on the next offensive series, as Payton placed a great pass in the end zone for a streaking Marable to highlight an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive and put the Chants in front at 24-13 with less than 15 minutes to go in the game.

Neither team would score for the remainder of the contest, as CCU held on for the 11-point win.

The Chants will return to Sun Belt Conference play next week versus Georgia State (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt). Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. ET in Atlanta, Ga.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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