The two team exchanged possessions in the first quarter but could not put any points on the board. CCU did have the better of it, gaining 41 yards while holding Morehead State to just 14 on 12 plays and no first downs.
A blocked punt by sophomore Chris Allen (Greenwood, S.C./Greenwood) gave Coastal had a golden opportunity at the Morehead State 29. A pass interference call in the end zone against MSU's Kwesi Williams, defending sophomore wide receiver Chris Noble (Winston-Salem, N.C./North Davidson), put the ball on the two-yard line. After a two-yard loss on first down, Coastal's sophomore running back Aundres Perkins (Effingham, S.C./West Florence) punched it in from four yards out and sophomore kicker Josh Hoke's (Statesville, N.C./West Iredell) extra point gave the Chanticleers a 7-0 lead with 13:14 to go in the half.
Coastal struck again 34 seconds later after junior linebacker Maurice Simpkins (Leesville, S.C./Batesburg-Leesville) put the Chants back in business, picking off a Marty Dorcich pass at the Eagles' 29 and returning it to the 11-yard line. After a false start, sophomore quarterback Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central) connected with freshman wideout Jerome Simpson (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville) on a fade route to the corner for a 16-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
Sophomore returner Darnell Williams (Florence, S.C./South Florence) put Coastal in excellent field position at the MSU 40-yard line after a 24-yard punt return. Another pass interference penalty against Morehead State put the Chants at the three-yard line and two plays later, Perkins posted another four-yard touchdown run and CCU was in control with a 21-0 lead with 8:04 to play.
After a solid kickoff return to the MSU 44, the Eagles put together a quick drive, resulting in a six-yard touchdown pass from Dorcich to Eli Parkes with 4:59 to go in the half and the point after cut the lead to 21-7, the eventual halftime margin.
Coastal opened the second half with an onside kick recovered by freshman Zori Simmons (Waycross, Ga./Ware County) at CCU's 48. The Chants then marched the ball down the field, but the drive was squelched after Thigpen's pass at MSU's 12 was ruled a lateral and MSU recovered at their own 25. However, CCU got it back on the next play, as junior defensive back Quinton Teal (Bennettsville, S.C.-Marlboro County) picked off Dorcich at CCU's 45 to halt the drive.
Thigpen connected again with Simpson on another route, this time to the front pylon, for another touchdown and Coastal again had a 21-point lead at 28-7 with 5:01 to play in the third. Morehead State put together a drive early in the fourth under backup quarterback Brian Yost, but it ended on a fourth-down sack by defensive lineman Sam Harper (York, S.C./York) to give CCU back the ball at its own 37 with 8:11 to play.
The Chants outgained MSU, 342-193, including 208 rushing yards, and dominated the time of possession by over 10 minutes. Coastal's defense was effective throughout the night, creating five turnovers, four of them interceptions with two by Teal, and limiting Dorcich to just 4-for-19 passing for 26 yards. Simpkins, sophomore defensive back Travis Cain (Kennesaw, Ga./Harrison) and Harper tied for the team lead with six tackles each.
Thigpen posted a career-best 134 passing yards on 12-for-23 passing and a pair of touchdowns. Simpson caught four passes for 59 yards and two scores in his first collegiate game. Perkins led all rushers with 73 yards on 13 carries and a pair of scores. For MSU, Jabari McGee had nine carries for 44 yards, while Mike Poppa had one catch for 13.
Coastal opens the home slate with the first of seven games this year at Brooks Stadium, hosting Davidson, Sat., Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
CCU Head Coach David Bennett
"They (MSU) came in and got our attention last year in that game. We knew we wanted to be a hard-nosed, disciplined squad like they were and have worked to continue to grow that way. Tonight was a learning experience again, but it was still a good win for us. We have to get ready now for Davidson, as they will come in and play hard, since we beat them at their place last year."