Hillary throws three TDs to lift Chants past N.C. A&T

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

Aramis Hillary threw two touchdown passes to Matt Hazel and one to Marcus Whitener to lead Coastal Carolina to a 31-14 win over North Carolina A&T Saturday afternoon at Aggie Stadium.

With the win, the Chanticleers improve to 3-1 on the season, the team’s best start since opening the 2005 season with the same mark. It is the third time in this the program’s ninth year the tam has started 3-1, also accomplishing the feat in 2004.

Hillary finished with 255 passing yards, completing 18-of-24 passes with the three scores and no interceptions. Hazel was his top target, catching six passes for 92 yards.

With 5:12 left in the first quarter, Coastal got on the scoreboard with a 40-yard Grant Clayton field goal. The score was set-up thanks to a 24-yard Hillary-to-Hazel completion.

Coastal’s offense got on track midway through the second quarter and, facing third and goal, Hillary capped a seven-play, 56-yard drive by hitting Hazel on a 10-yard fade in the left corner. Grant Clayton tacked on the extra point for a 10-0 Chanticleer lead.

On the ensuing possession, Coastal’s defense forced a three-and-out. On the Aggie punt, Dushawn Davis blocked the kick, giving the Chants the ball on the N.C. A&T 44. Back-to-back 18-yard and seven-yard completions from Hillary-to-Chris Presley and a nine Hillary run put the Chants in scoring position. Travis Small finished the drive with a three-yard run over left tackle for his first career TD. Clayton’s point after led to a 17-0 CCU advantage.

Coastal opened the second half in fast-break mode, marching the opening kickoff 66 yards on 10 plays and 5:18. The drive was threatened early, facing a 3rd-and-14 after a CCU penalty. However, Hillary threw a strike to Jamie Childers for a 29-yard gain. From that point, a combination of runs and short passes got Coastal to the Aggie 10. Hillary found Marcus Whitener for a 10 touchdown pass and Coastal led 24-0.

The Aggies answered back with a 17-play drive, that consumed 7:53, highlighted by a six-yard Louis Kendle to Wallace Miles touchdown to make the score 24-7. The key play in the drive, on 3rd-and-20, was a 22-yard completion from Kindle to Miles to the CCU 25.

The Aggies then took advantage of a turnover on a punt. A poor A&T punt hit a Chanticleer blocker downfield. The Aggies recovered the ball on the CCU 20and four plays later Kindle sneaked in from one-yard out and the extra point made it a 10-point game, 24-14, with 9:05 left, marking the first points CCU has allowed in the fourth quarter this season.

Coastal came right back and pushed the lead back to 17, 31-14, with a 51-second drive. After a holding call, Hillary threw a screen pass to Adrian Sullivan, who had a career-long 54-yard gain. On the next play, Hillary found Hazel on a short pass and the sophomore wide out made three nice moves to score a 33-yard TD.

Defensively, Josh Norman led the Chants with six tackles, while Jeffery Salley and Quinton Davis each had five stops. Coastal held the Aggies to just 194 yards, 100 through the air and 94 on the ground.

The Chants get a bye week before opening Big South Conference play at home against VMI on Oct. 8.

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