Coastal crushes S.C. State in front of a record crowd

ccufoot-31blackBefore a record crowd of 10,124 at Brooks Stadium, De’Angelo Henderson rushed for a career-high 172 yards, including 122 in the first half, to lead No. 5/5 Coastal Carolina to a 30-3 victory over South Carolina State in the Chanticleers’ 2014 home opener Saturday night at Brooks Stadium.

Henderson averaged 8.6 yards on 20 rushes, totaling 172 total to rank seventh on the CCU single-game list. Quarterback Alex Ross added a rushing touchdown but had his streak of consecutive games with a passing touchdown snapped at 16. He completed 15-of-21 passes for 141 yards.

All-American linebacker Quinn Backus only played the first half due to an injury. However, he still managed nine tackles, a forced fumble – which was recovered and returned for a CCU touchdown. Also, he additionally played a key role in keeping the Bulldogs to just three first-half points. On second-and-goal from the one, Backus had a tackle for loss and, on third down, broke up a pass in the endzone to force the South Carolina State field goal.

Coastal Carolina took the opening kickoff and marched 66 yards in 10 plays to take an early 6-0 lead. Henderson had a pair of seven-yard rushes to start the drive and added a six-yard touchdown rush to cap the drive.

The Bulldogs answered with an impressive drive, but he Chanticleer defense stiffened to force a 43-yard field goal, which came up short. Coastal quickly moved back down the field, thanks to a 16-yard Ross pass to Thomas Pauciello, and Alex Catron gave CCU a 9-0 lead with a 41-yard field goal.

Three plays later, Backus forced a fumble – his third of the season – and junior Roderick Holder recovered and returned the ball 29 yards for a touchdown. Catron tacked on the extra point to give Coastal 16-0 lead with just under four minutes left in the first quarter. Backus, with six career forced fumbles, is now tied for the CCU all-time lead in forced fumbles as D.J. Rice and Jamar Leath each had six, while Backus is now fifth on the Big South all-time list and two shy of the conference all-time mark.

After a short Chanticleer punt, South Carolina State took over on the CCU 23. The Bulldogs took advantage of a CCU pass interference call to get first and goal from the two. Jalen Simmons gained one yard, before Backus dropped the running back for two yards on second down. Then, facing third and goal, Backus broke up a pass in the endzone to force a field goal. Tyler Scandrett came to split the uprights from 25 yards out to make the score 16-3 with five minutes left in the second quarter.

Coastal answered to push its advantage to 20, 23-3. Henderson gashed the defense for 23 yards to start the drive and Ross scored from four yards out.

As the third quarter came to a close, safety Pernell Williams picked off a pass, his second in as many games and fourth of his career. On the next play, Henderson scampered 32 yards for his second rushing TD of the contest to put the Chants on top 30-3.

South Carolina State mounted one final drive in the fourth quarter, marching to the Coastal 15, but fumble on a snap resulted in a 24-yard loss, led to the possession ending on downs, keeping the Bulldogs out of the endzone in the game.

Safety Richie Sampson and linebacker Brett Johnson each recorded a team-high 10 tackles for Coastal defensively. Johnson had two tackles for loss, including one sack.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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