GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The Coastal Carolina University football squad worked the ground game and the defense was strong to overcome several miscues and a rainy evening for a 20-7 victory at North Carolina A&T, Sept. 27. With their third straight win, the Chanticleers advanced to 3-2 on the year, while the Aggies dropped to 2-3.
Coastal Carolina got on the board first on its second possession of the night following a Keon Cunningham interception that put the Chanticleers in business at the A&T 8-yard line. Three plays later, quarterback William Richardson stretched the ball into the end zone on a quarterback sneak for a 1-yard touchdown run. Kicker Justin Durham hit the point after attempt and the Chants led 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Starting at its own 38, Coastal Carolina got moving down the field late in the second quarter, getting down to the Aggies' 14-yard line before the drive stalled. After having missed a 40-yard attempt on the previous drive, Durham made good on a 31-yarder to put the Chanticleers up 10-0 with 2:19 remaining in the first half. The drive encompassed seven plays and 48 yards over 3:02 and led to the 10-point halftime lead.
North Carolina A&T got the ball on the Coastal Carolina end of the field after a Chanticleer punt and pushed towards the end zone. However, the Chanticleer defense stiffened and, on back-to-back plays, stopped the Aggies short of the goal line and got the ball back on the Coastal Carolina 1-yard line. However on second down, quarterback William Richardson was about to be sacked and threw the ball wildly, which was deflected and intercepted by Jamison Hedgepeth for a North Carolina A&T touchdown. The point after attempt was good, narrowing the gap to just 10-7 Coastal Carolina with 10:02 to play in the third quarter.
After a 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the touchdown was assessed against A&T to back the kick-off to the Aggie 15, Arthur Sitton had a solid return to give the Chanticleers the ball on the A&T 48-yard line. However after seven plays, Coastal Carolina could not convert on 3rd-and-7 from the 8-yard line and settled for a 23-yard field goal from Durham for a 13-7 lead midway through the third.
The game was sealed on a drive in the fourth quarter that was a march down the field, as the Chanticleers went 80 yards in seven plays and 3:06. Getting it done mostly on the ground, Coastal Carolina put six more on the board when Richardson got his second touchdown of the game, this time on a quarterback draw where evaded two tacklers to score from 23 yards out. The extra point made it 20-7 with 5:22 to go in the contest, which was the final margin.
Coastal Carolina amassed 351 yards of total offense, with 243 of them coming on the ground. North Carolina A&T was held to just 146 yards on 64 plays, with the Chants recording a school-record seven sacks for 54 yards of loss as part of the total.
Richardson had both touchdowns on the ground, rushing for 44 yards on six carries, while going 8-of-14 for 108 yards and two interceptions through the air. Sitton led all carriers with 13 rushes for 77 yards while senior running back Jamie Fordham had eight carries for 69 yards. Wide receiver Brandon Whitley had four carries for 40 yards. Junior Phillip Oboh led the Chants' defense with eight tackles, including 3.0 tackles for loss.
The Aggies were led by Dione McNair with 71 yards on 23 carries, while quarterback Herb Miller was just 9-of-19 for 69 yards and two interceptions while being sacked seven times.
The Chanticleers return home to open Big South Conference action, hosting defending champion Liberty, Sat. Oct. 4. The game, which will be televised on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network as part of the league's television package, will kickoff at Brooks Stadium at 7 p.m.