CONWAY, S.C. - The Coastal Carolina University football team used a solid rushing game to defeat a pesky North Carolina A&T squad 28-7 before a sold-out Brooks Stadium crowd on Sat., Sept. 26. The Chanticleers improve to 2-2 while the Aggies fell to 2-2.
Battling through a scoreless first quarter, Coastal Carolina got on the board with a field goal by Justin Durham with 10:47 left in the first half. Zach MacDowall started the second quarter for the Chants and took them through 12 plays for 76 yards, which ended in a 38-yard field goal to put Coastal Carolina up three.
Later in the second, linebacker E.J. Brown picked off an Aggie pass and returned it 29 yards to put the Chants in business at the A&T 9-yard line. The Chants were unable to put the ball in the end zone and settled for a 19-yard field goal by Durham with 3:52 left in the second quarter to put the Chants up 6-0.
The Coastal Carolina defense held the Aggies to three and out and Jake Owen returned the ball 15 yards to the A&T 38, giving the offense a short field again. This time, the Chants punched it in the end zone, as quarterback Jamie Childers scampered 10 yards for a Coastal Carolina touchdown. MacDowall came in for the two-point conversion and connected with tight end David Duran for the pair to give the Chanticleers a 14-0 halftime advantage.
North Carolina A&T finally got on the board in the third quarter, sparked by Andre Thornton's interception of a MacDowall pass to get the ball back at the Aggie 40. On the second play, Carlton Fears went over the middle to wide receiver Larry Raper for a 51-yard pass, getting the ball to the Coastal 9-yard line. Raper rushed for nine yards for a touchdown with 5:07 left in the third to cut the Chanticleer lead to 14-7.
The Chants got the ball back at the start of the fourth quarter and got their advantage back on a six-play, 73-yard drive in just under three minutes. From the Chant 45, MacDowall hit a streaking Brandon Whitley for a 55-yard strike and Durham's point after made it 21-7 early in the final stanza.
Coastal Carolina then put the game out of reach after getting the ball back with just over eight minutes to go. This time, it took just five plays to reach the end zone, this time with running back Tommy Fraser dashing through the middle of the line and going 39 yards for the score, making it 28-7 Chants with 4:52 remaining. On the drive, Fraser had 55 yards of rushing, including a key third-down conversion.
The Chants outgained North Carolina A&T 414-239, including rushing for a season-high 304 yards, the first time over 300 yards since the Towson contest in the fourth game of last season. Coastal Carolina picked off three passes but gave up two of their own. The Chants did limit the visiting Aggies to just 4-of-16 on third-down conversions.
Running back Eric O'Neal had career highs of 23 carries for 130 yards, the ninth-best single game in school history. Fraser nearly made it a pair of 100-yard rushers but just missed with 16 carries for 98 yards and one score. The passing game was good for just 6-of-20 for 110 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Aggies were led by Mike Mayhew with 11 rushes for 84 yards, while the A&T quarterbacks combined for 8-of-27 passing for 101 yards and three picks.
Coastal Carolina has the week off before opening Big South Conference action, Sat., Oct. 10 at 7 p.m., hosting VMI at Brooks Stadium.