Oct. 8, 2011
CONWAY - Aramis Hillary completed 14-of-23 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 114 yards and a score, to lead 24th-ranked Coastal Carolina to a 34-10 win Saturday night over VMI at Brooks Stadium. The game was the league opener for both teams, with the Chanticleers improving to 4-1, 1-0 and the Keydets falling to 0-5, 0-1.
The 114 rushing yards by Hillary, who was pulled midway through the third quarter, marks the second-best, single-game rushing total by a Chanticleer quarterback in a game. In 2006, Tyler Thigpen rushed for 119 yards (on 10 carries) in a win over Gardner-Webb. Overall, Coastal rushed for 214 yards, improving to 37-4 all-time when eclipsing the 200-yard barrier. Chris Presley was Hillary's top target, registering six catches for 100 yards. Entering the game, Presley, a junior, had played in 14 games, catching seven passes for 112 yards.
Also having a big game was senior Josh Norman. The corner had seven tackles, three pass breakups and an interception in the win. Also, Norman was matched up with one of the Big South's leading receivers, Tracy Hairston, who was held to three receptions for 16 yards. With three PBU's, Norman has 30 for his career, one shy of the CCU record of 31, held by Quinton Teal. Norman also registered his 12th career interception, taking sole possession over second on the CCU all-time list, trailing Teal's CCU and Big South record of 17.
VMI got to the Coastal 32 on its first drive, but was unable to convert on fourth and two, giving Coastal the ball. Facing 3rd and 6, Hillary hit Jamie Childers for a 19-yard first down. The completion proved costly as Childers injured his knee on the play and missed the remainder of the game. Four plays later, Hillary kept the ball on an option and raced 35 yards to the endzone. Grant Clayton added the point after for a 7-0 lead. The run was both Hillary's career long and the longest by a Chanticleer this season.
On their second drive, the Keydets reached the CCU 34. However, Norman had pass breakups twice on the final four plays of the drive, including one on first down from the CCU 37 and again on fourth down to end the drive. The Chants responded with a 12-play drive but would be forced to kick a field goal after an illegal procedure call. Clayton came on and split the uprights from 28 yards for a 10-0 Chanticleer advantage.
The Chanticleers pushed their advantage to 17-0 midway through the second quarter with a six-play, 63-yard drive highlighted by a 39-yard Hillary to Jamaul Boswell touchdown.
VMI took advantage of a roughing the passer on the ensuing drive and answered with a 29-yard field goal by Jeff Sexton.
Coastal came right back and got a 22-yard run by Travis Small and, later, a 32-yard Hillary to Presley pass to the VMI one. The Keydet defense stiffened and forced a 24-yard Clayton field goal, giving CCU a 20-3 lead.
The Keydets tried to get on the board prior to the break but Eric Kordenbrock's long pass was picked off by Norman. The Chants moved 67 yards in six plays and 52 seconds. First, Hillary hit Akeem Wesley for a 27-yard pass on the first play. Later, Hillary ran for 11 yards. Last, Hillary hit Presley for a 23-yard touchdown. The extra point by Clayton put Coastal up 27-3 at the break.
To open the third quarter, Coastal took the kickoff and marched 67 yards in 10 plays to take a 34-3 lead. Key in the drive was a 14-yard Marcus Whitener rush, a 29-yard Hillary to Adrian Sullivan completion and a 16-yard Hillary rush. After converting a fourth-and-one from the VMI five, Aaron Jones capped the drive with a four-yard rushing touchdown.
Early in the fourth, VMI reached the CCU 10, but turned the ball over on downs, as they did on its next drive inside the CCU 35. Overall, VMI was 0-for-4 on fourth-down conversions. However, with four seconds left, VMI did get into the endzone to provide the final 34-10 margin. Back-up quarterback Adam Morgan scrambled and scored from nine yards out.
A.J. Gross and Emilio Calvin led the Keydet defense, each with seven tackles. Kordenbrock finished 6-of-20 for 46 yards and an interception, while Morgan completed 9-of-14 passes for 107 yards.
Coastal Carolina will hit the road next Saturday (Oct. 15) for a key Big South showdown with Liberty. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm in Lynchburg, Va.