CONWAY, SC - Coastal Carolina opened the home portion of the 2004 schedule with a 31-24 win over Davidson, Sept. 11. With its first-ever three-game win streak, CCU moves to 2-0 on the young season, while the Wildcats fell to 0-1 in their season opener.
The Chanticleers jumped on top first, taking advantage of a Davidson miscue, as David Parker (Clinton, Md.-Oxon Hill) got in on a Brad Smith punt and got a piece of it, deflecting the punt and giving CCU the ball at the Wildcats' 37. Seven plays later, fullback Ben Hampton (Salisbury, N.C./West Rowan) ran into a wall of defenders and bounced outside for a three-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
CCU did it again on the next drive, as Parker got a full block on the next one, putting Coastal in business at Davidson's 16-yard line. Just three plays later, Aundres Perkins (Effingham, S.C.-West Florence) scooted in from a yard out to make it 14-0 with 8:03 to go in the first. Coastal put together another drive late in the quarter, converting it for three on a Josh Hoke 28-yard field goal, ending the first quarter with a 17-0 margin.
Davidson got back in the game with a 12-play, 72-yard drive of their own to start the second quarter, capped off by a 31-yard touchdown pass from Damion White to Jake Rice to cut the margin to 17-7. After several back-to-back possessions, Coastal connected again, as Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central) hit Jerome Simpson (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville) for the first-ever touchdown pass at Brooks Stadium, a record 45-yard connection and a 24-7 CCU lead. However, Davidson scored late, as Brad Smith connected from 35 yards out and the halftime margin was 24-10 CCU.
Both teams exchanged possessions in the third quarter, with Coastal having two field goal opportunities but missing both wide left. Early in the fourth, linebacker Jamar Leath (Elon, N.C./Western Alamance) has his first career interception and returned it to the Davidson 21-yard line. It took the Chants five plays before Hampton scored his second touchdown of the game and CCU was back up 31-10 with 8:18 to go in the game. Davidson came back on the next drive, aided by a pair of CCU penalties. Davidson went 57 yards in six plays, finished by John Leverett's two-yard plunge to cut into the lead again 31-17 at the 7:16 mark.
Davidson scored again at the 1:38 mark in the fourth, closing the gap to 31-24 on White's 15 yard pass to Leverett, capping off a four-play, 36-yard drive. The Wildcats then recovered the ensuing onside kick at their own 45 and drove down to the CCU five-yard line. There, Davidson had two passes fall to the ground on third and fourth down and Coastal preserved the victory.
Thigpen posted school records in completions and passing yards, going 20-30 and accumulating 217 yards. Perkins posted his fifth career 100-yard rushing game, going for 117 on 23 carries and one touchdown, the seventh consecutive game in which he has scored. Davidson's White posted a school-record 431 passing yards, going 25-for-57 with two touchdowns and three interceptions, breaking a 34-year old Davidson record, while Rice's 192 receiving yards were also a career-best.
Coastal goes back on the road to take on Newberry, Sat., Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. The Indians come into the game after a 51-7 victory over North Greenville earlier Saturday.
CCU Head Coach David Bennett
"It was like a boxing match you got them on the ropes and you were trying to deliver that knockout punch and we couldnt do it. We staggered them really bad. But all the sudden they caught their wind and we were a little tired. Youve got to give so much credit to Davidson and the job the staff and the player did. It was a class act they never gave up and they never quit.
Until we get to the point where our young men play every ball game with all their heart, all their intensity, and all the fiber in your being, we are not going to be the team that we want to be. They found that out tonight.
Davidson Head Coach Mike Toop
"No one really gave our kids much of a shot coming down here this year and getting ourselves in the position that we did. It just speaks volumes for the kids in that locker room right now. Coastal came out of the gate fast and put 14 points on the board. We've got great senior leadership and came together and started to make some plays. We had the chance to win the game late, but just could not execute. Maybe coaching wise, I could have made some better calls."
"We felt we had a chance tonight. After the first couple of series we were able to mix up our roll-out and straight drop-back game slowed them down a little bit from the stand point of playing their defensive line game. Every game we come into we expect to win."