Sept. 3, 2011
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina's Aramis Hillary plunged into the endzone with 1:32 remaining in the game to provide the Chanticleers with the decisive score in its 30-23 victory over Furman on Saturday, September 3 at Brooks Stadium.
The win was Coastal's first victory in a season opener at home since the program's inaugural win over Newberry in 2003. Additionally, the victory was also Coastal's first win in a season opener since defeating Elon 17-10 on September 3, 2005.
Coastal struggled out of the gate, going three-and-out on its first possession and had a short punt, giving Furman the ball on the Chanticleer 44. The Paladins would work their way to the red zone, but back-to-back incomplete passes forced a 36-yard field goal by Ray Early. Senior safety Marcus Lott jumped from the middle of the pile and blocked the kick for his first career block and the 18th blocked kick in Coastal's ninth year of football.
The Chants used that momentum to put together a 15-play, 79-yard methodical drive as just two plays - a 10-yard rush and a 13-yard rush - being over 10-yards. Aramis Hillary had that 13-yard rush on play 14 of the drive to the Furman four and he capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Grant Clayton added the extra point for a 7-0 Chanticleer lead.
Furman's Sederrik Cunningham returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Coastal 39. Paladin quarterback Chris Forcier had runs of five, six and 11 yards, while Jerodis Williams had runs of six, eight and five yards - the last going for a touchdown. The extra point sailed wide left to leave the score at 7-6.
Coastal took advantage of an acrobatic, 28-yard catch by Dushawn Davis from Jamie Childers to work its way into field goal range. Clayton connected from 24 yards as the second quarter began for a 10-6 CCU lead.
After a Furman punt, Childers used his legs to gain two first downs and Coastal got help from a late hit to get to the Furman 20. Two plays later, Childers hit Chris Presley for a 19-yard TD. The PAT was missed and Coastal led 16-6.
The teams traded punts and Furman had the ball with 39 seconds left from near midfield. Forcier had a 10-yard run and completed passes to Colin Anderson (eight yards), Cunningham (eight yards) and Anderson (six yards) setting up a 37-yard Chas Short field goal with two seconds left, making the score 16-9 at the break.
To start the second half, Furman took the opening kickoff and reached the red zone. However, back-to-back penalties pushed the Paladins out of field goal range, forcing a punt. The Chants were unable to move ball and punted the ball back to Furman. The Paladins looked to have scored on a 43-yard run by Forcier, but a penalty backed Furman up near midfield facing first-and-20. Undaunted, Forcier had completions of 10 and 12 yards then ran the ball for a 17-yard gain. Forcier found Tyler Maples for a 24-yard gain and Ryan Culbreath for 14 yards to the one-inch line. Williams plunged into the endzone for a one-yard score. The extra point knotted the game at 16 each.
The Chants answered with a 34-yard kick return by Niccolo Mastromatteo. A pass interference call moved the Chants to the Furman 46 then Hillary hit Matt Hazel for a 39-yard completion down the left sideline. Two plays later, Aaron Jones scored from four yards out. Clayton's extra point put the Chants back on top 23-16.
On the ensuing drive, Forcier left the game after one play due to a cramp. On the next play, Furman ran a toss sweep to Williams, who exited out of a pile of players for a 68-yard touchdown - the longest rush of his career - to tie the game at 23.
After a CCU punt, the Chants created the first turnover of the game. After a completion, Coastal forced and recovered a fumble. Coastal got inside the five and attempted a field goal on fourth-and-two. The kick missed left and gave the Paladins the ball on their own 20.
Coastal forced a punt and had Jeremy Height and Travis Small make hard runs to move the ball to the Furman three. Hillary then capped the drive with a three-yard rushing TD with 1:32 left in the game. Clayton split the uprights on the PAT to put the Chants up seven, 30-23.
Furman would receive one final possession with 1:32 to play in the game. On the first play of the series junior Jamel Davis dropped the Paladin quarterback for an eight yard loss. Coastal would force Furman into a turnover on downs after three straight incompletions to secure the victory.
The Chanticleers return to the gridiron on Saturday, September 10 as hosts to the Catawba Indians at Brooks Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.