Nov. 12, 2011
CHARLESTON - Marcus Whitener exploded for 86 second-half rushing yards and Coastal Carolina scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, but it would take a Philip George interception on the Chanticleer one yard line with under a minute to play to give CCU a 45-38 victory over Charleston Southern Saturday afternoon. The game was the conference finale for Coastal, which improves to 6-4, 3-3), while the Buccaneers fall to (0-10, 0-5).
Whitener would end up with 106 yards on 13 carries, while Travis Small had 74 rushing yards on 13 attempts. Coastal would finish with a season-high 253 rushing yards and improve to 38-4 all-time when rushing for at least 200 yards in a game.
Also keying the win was the play of tight end Jamie Childers. The senior caught four passes for 92 yards and two scores. Coastal quarterback Aramis Hillary completed 14-of-24 passes for 175 yards and three touchdowns. He entered the game with just two interceptions on the season, but threw two in today's contest.
The Buccaneers got on the board first. After a 46-yard punt return by Charles James, Richard Mounce hit Corvaughn Archie for a 50-yard gain to the Coastal five. On the next play, Mounce turned a busted play into a five-yard touchdown, completing a pass to Chris Thoedore to put CSU up 7-0.
Coastal answered back with a methodical 10-play, 68-yard drive. Travis Small had 25 rushing yards on the drive and Hillary completed three passes, including a 17-yard strike to Childers for a Chanticleer touchdown. Grant Clayton added the extra point to knot the game at 7-7.
Charleston Southern answered right back, covering 73 yards in seven plays. Teddy Allen capped the drive with a 29-yard rush up the middle to give the Bucs a 14-7 advantage.
On the ensuing CCU possession, Hillary threw just his third interception of the season. However, Coastal got the ball right back when Philip George blitzed, sacked Mounce and caused a fumble, which Quinton Davis recovered and returned to the CSU 15. The drive stalled and Coastal missed its second field goal of the game, keeping the score 14-7.
Coastal's defense responded by forcing a three-and-out and a CSU punt. Coastal got a 27-yard Hillary-to-Childers completion to the Buccaneer six. Three plays later, Cody Craig came on to play quarterback and executed the "Time Tebow jump-pass" to Will Middleton for a two-yard touchdown to tie the game at 14-14.
With 22 seconds before the break, Charleston Southern took advantage of a short punt, needing to drive just 65 yards. Six plays later, Mounce found Jones in the back of the end zone for an six-yard score, putting the Bucs up 21-14.
The Chants opened the second half returning the kickoff to the CCU 46. Whitener hit the left corner for a 26-yard gain. A pass interference call on CSU gave Coastal the eight yard line. Hillary capped the drive with a one-yard plunge to make the score 21-21.
On its next possession, Coastal took its first lead of the game, 24-21, thanks to a 29-yard Clayton field goal.
The lead was short lived. After two first downs, Mounce hit Archie for a 26-yard gain to the CCU 19. Coastal's defense stiffened to force a field goal. Charleston Southern's Andy Brown split the uprights from 41 yards to tie the game at 24-24.
Charleston Southern regained the lead with 1:51 left in the third quarter. After an interception, Mounce connected with Jones for a 39-yard gain. On the next play, Mounce hit Nathan Perera for a 34-yard score, giving the Bucs a 31-24 lead.
The back and fourth game continued. Starting on the 41 after a 36-yard kick return by Tre Henderson, Whitener had runs of 21 and 20 yards to get to the CSU nine. Facing third and goal, Hillary found Matt Hazel for a five-yard score, tying the contest at 31.
Coastal's defense forced a punt and Niccolo Mastromatteo returned the ball a season-long 40 yards to near midfield. Facing third and 11, Hillary hit Childers for a 19-yard gain then found Hazel for a 24-yarder to set up first and goal from the seven. Coastal hustled to the line for a quick snap nand Small scored a seven-yard TD to put the Chants up 38-31.
On the first play after the kickoff, Jamel Davis stripped Mounce and Mike McClure recovered the ball to give Coastal the ball on the CSU 23. After a holding call backed Coastal up to the 29, Hillary found Childers for a 29-yard score to put the Chants up two scores, 45-31.
Charleston Southern converted a fourth and 10 on its own 32 and, after a 32 yard completion to Archie to the CCU six, the Bucs had first and goal after a pass interference call. On third and goal, Mounce hit Zachary Frazier for a one-yard score, cutting the CSU deficit to seven, 45-38.
Coastal would be forced to punt, giving Charleston Southern a final chance. Starting from the CUS 15 and 2:55 left, Mounce hit Archie for 13 yards and gained 26 yards on a rush. On 3rd-and-8, Mounce found Perera on back-to-back completions for 16 and four yards to get to the Coastal 24. Under pressure, Mounce threw the ball up for grabs and George came down with it, returning it 16 yards to seal the win.
Coastal Carolina will conclude the 2011 regular season with a non-conference title, traveling to Cullowhee, N.C, for the first time in program history to face Western Carolina Nov. 19 at 2 pm.
NOTES: With two kickoff returns, Niccolo Mastromatteo set the CCU single-season record with 26 kick returns ... Also, with two punt returns, he sits alone in first place on the CCU and Big South all-time punt returns list with 45 ... With a pass breakup, Josh Norman tied Quinton Teal for the CCU and Big South all-time record for passes defended with 48 ... Norman also moves to fifth on the NCAA all-time passes defended list.