CCU

Football Defeats Monmouth 24-17 in Home Opener

The Chanticleers gain 410 yards in the seven-point win over the Hawks

       

Tommy Fraser ran for 74 yards in the 24-17 win over Monmouth.

Tommy Fraser ran for 74 yards in the 24-17 win over Monmouth.

Sept. 12, 2009

 

 

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CONWAY, S.C. -- The Coastal Carolina University football team returned to Brooks Stadium and opened their home slate with a 24-17 victory over the visiting Monmouth Hawks, Sept. 12. With the victory, the Chanticleers evened their record to 1-1 with the Hawks falling to 0-2.

Monmouth got in the end zone first late in the first quarter, set up by linebacker Brian Brikowski’s 53-yard interception return to the Coastal 5-yard line. The Chanticleer defense was tough, but couldn’t withstand a 4th-and-1 plunge from David Sinisi to put the Hawks on the board. Eric McCutchen’s point after was good to give the visitors a 7-0 lead with 3:02 to go in the opening period.

The Chanticleers then brought it back even on their next drive, going 77 yards in 13 plays over 6:18. Quarterback Zach MacDowell capped off the drive with a 50-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Presley, making this his first-career catch. Justin Durham’s point after was good to tie the game at seven with 11:40 to go in the second period. Coastal Carolina got the ball back on its own 13 with 2:15 to go in the first half. The Chants quickly moved the ball 81 yards in 10 plays over 2:00 before the drive stalled at the Monmouth nine. Justin Durham hit a field goal from 24 yards out, which gave the Chanticleers a 10-7 lead at the half.

Starting off the second half, the Chanticleers got the ball to start the second half and quickly moved it down the field. A 47-yard pass completion from MacDowall to tight end David Duran, moved the ball to the Monmouth 5. Two plays later, Eric O’Neal finished the play with a 3-yard run with Durham’s PAT giving the Chanticleers a 17-7 lead with 11:56 left in the third period.

The Hawks, on their next drive, went 13 plays over 73 yards and 7:38 on the clock, with 51 yards coming on the ground. However, the Coastal defense held at its own seven forcing a field goal attempt, which McCutchen hit from 24 yards out to cut the lead to 17-10 with 4:18 remaining in the third.

The Chanticleers continued to move the ball effectively on their ensuing drive, putting together another long drive of 13 plays and 80 yards. Coastal Carolina went mostly on the ground and punched it in the end zone, with O’Neal posting his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard dash to make it 24-10 early in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks had an interception by cornerback Mike Avent at their 48-yard line, returned 11 yards to the Coastal 41 with 5:31 left in the half. Monmouth quickly struck on the second play of the drive, as quarterback Kyle Frazier connected with Ron Lauch from 19 yards out to trim the lead down to 24-17 with 5:04 to play. However, the Chanticleers chewed up the remainder of the clock, mostly on the legs of fullback Tommy Fraser, who had a pair of key third-down conversions to help run out the clock.

The Chants dominated the statistics, putting together 410 yards of offense on 73 plays while limiting the Hawks to just 40 offensive plays and 174 total yards. Coastal Carolina was balanced with 207 yards of rushing and 203 of passing and converted 11 of 16 third-down opportunities while holding Monmouth to just 2-of-9 on third downs. Coastal Carolina’s ground game was paced by Fraser, with career-high’s of 14 rushes and 74 yards, while O’Neal had 17 carries for 64 yards and a pair of scores. MacDowall was 14-for-19 for 203 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. Monmouth’s Sinisi was held to 84 yards on 21 carries and the one score. Frazier and Andrew Mandeville were 8-for-9 for 77 yards and one score through the air.

The Chanticleers go back on the road next weekend, heading to Towson, Md. to take on the Towson Tigers, Sat., Sept. 19. Kickoff at Johnny Unitas Stadium is set for 7 p.m.