Oct. 22, 2011
CONWAY - After going down one point with 1:53 to play, Gardner-Webb benefited from three Coastal Carolina personal fouls to set up Trever Austin's game-winning, 31-yard field goal, which lifted the Runnin' Bulldogs to a 26-24 win on Saturday evening at Brooks Stadium to spoil CCU's Homecoming. The win was just for second for Gardner-Webb in the series as Coastal had won the last seven straight.
Austin capped an 11-play, 54-yard Gardner-Webb (2-5, 1-2 Big South) drive with a 32-yard field goal to put the visitors up by six with 2:06 remaining. However, on the ensuing kickoff Tre Henderson streaked 86-yards down the sideline to knot the score at 26 all. Grant Clayton knocked home the extra point to give the Chanticleers a one point lead, 24-23. The kickoff return was the longest in Coastal history surpassing Arthur Sitton's 85-yard return against VMI in 2007.
An excessive celebration penalty after the score moved the kickoff back to the 15-yard line. A short kicked coupled with two penalties (a face mask and a late hit) against the Chants put the Runnin' Bulldogs well within field goal range at the 14-yard line with 1:27 remaining. The visitors ran three running plays to take the clock down to 3.7 seconds before sending Austin in for his game-winning attempt.
Coastal Carolina (4-3, 1-2 Big South) got on the board first when Clayton, the league's leading scorer, split the uprights from 42 yards, marking a career-long for the sophomore.
Gardner-Webb answered with a field goal of its own, a 22 yarder by Austin. Key to the drive was a 20-yard Lucas Beaty to Trey Schley completion on third-and-14.
The Bulldogs then took the lead to start the second quarter as Austin converted another 22-yard field goal. The score could have been worse as Garnder-Webb started its drive on the Coastal one. After a 61-yard punt by GWU's Graham Purvis was downed on the one, Alonzo Winfield forced a fumble, which Devin Johnson recovered, on the first play of the drive. Coastal held the Bulldogs for no gain twice, then Andrae Jacobs dropped Ricky Rhodes for a four-yard loss, forcing the field goal.
The Chants regained the advantage with a nine-play, 62-yard drive. Facing third-and-13, Hillary found Akeem Wesly for a 20-yard gain. The drive was capped when Aramis Hillary lateralled to Matt Hazel, who then completed a 21-yard touchdown pass to Wesley. Clayton extra point gave the Chants a 10-6 lead.
Gardner-Webb took the opening kickoff of the second half and scored 48 seconds later, needing just three plays. Rhodes had a 48-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the half and, two plays later, Beaty found James Dugas for a 20-yard score. Austin tacked on the point after for a 13-10 Bulldog advantage.
Midway through the third quarter, Coastal Carolina blocked a Gardner-Webb punt. However, GWU's Jordan Woods recovered the ball and ran the ball 31 yards for a first down. Richard Jules then reeled off a 30-yard run. Later, one first and goal from the five, the Bulldogs lined up in the "wildcat" and Rhodes threw a five-yard touchdown to Dugas, giving GWU a 20-10 lead.
Backed up on its own seven after a Bulldog punt, Coastal marched 93 yards in 3:10 to trim its deficit to three, 20-17. The Chants took advantage of two pass interference calls, including one in the endzone, and Hillary had completions of 10 and 15 yards to Matt Hazel and Wesley, respectively. After the second pass interference, Travis Small found paydirt on a two-yard from two yards out.
Rhodes led Gardner-Webb with 143 yards rushing on 33 attempts. For Coastal Hillary was 20-of-33 for 183 yards with an interception. The pick was just his second of the year and snapped a streak of 88 consecutive passes without a turnover.
Coastal Carolina will hit the road next Saturday (Oct. 29) to face Stony Brook. Kickoff is set for 4 pm and the game will be available on ESPN3.
Niccolo Mastromatteo returned one punt in the game. With that, the sophomore has 42 for his career, tying David Parker (2003-05) for the school record and being one shy of the Big South career punt returns mark. (The Big South record of 43 is held by LIberty's Wynton Jackson, who played from 2003-07).
As part of Homecoming, a new tradition was unveiled at Brooks Stadium. For nearly 50 years, CCU's athletic programs have been known by the nickname "Chanticleers" and making his official debut Saturday night was Coastal's first "live" mascot, nicknamed Maddox. The new mascot received his name Friday night by student vote -- and honors the legacy of former Coastal basketball coach and English professor Cal F. Maddox who, along with the encouragement of his players, conceived the moniker "Chanticleers" in 1963. Professor Maddox was also instrumental in adopting the name "chanticleer" to represent the student newspaper. The new "live" mascot Maddox was donated by Loris native Robbie Todd, whose family farm supplied the bantam rooster to CCU.