ORANGEBURG, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina came back from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter for a dramatic 24-23 win at No. 17 South Carolina State, Oct. 1. With the win, the Chanticleers moved to 4-1 on the year, while the Bulldogs dropped to 3-1 on the year, snapping the nations second longest winning streak. CCU also picked up its second win over a ranked team this season, also having defeated then No. 1 James Madison in Week 2.
Coastal forced a South Carolina State turnover on the Bulldogs first drive of the game and capitalized on it. CCU drove 29 yards and punched it in on fourth down from the one, as fullback Mike Tolbert (Douglasville, Ga./Douglas County) dove in for a 7-0 Chanticleer lead.
CCU then created another turnover, blocking SCSUs punt attempt on the next drive. Coastal was able to convert it on a Josh Hoke (Statesville, N.C./West Iredell) 39-yard field goal for a 10-0 lead with 4:33 to go in the first quarter.
After blocking a CCU field goal attempt, S.C. State drove the ball 72 yards down the field over the next 9:02 and made it count, hitting a 25-yard field goal by Stephen Grantham to cut Coastals lead to 10-3 with 5:50 to go in the half.
The Bulldogs knotted the game with another long drive late in the first half. SCSU went 67 yards in eight plays over 2:55, capped off by Jonathan Woods one-yard run, and the game was tied at 10 going into the intermission.
S.C. State came out and made the most of a Coastals miscue on the opening drive of the second half. After picking off a Coastal pass and starting at the CCU 34, the Bulldogs marched down the field, with Woods eventually punching it in from one yard out for a 16-10 SCSU lead. However, Coastals Adrain Grady (Leland, N.C./North Brunswick) blocked the extra point and the margin was remained six.
The Bulldogs again made a move down the field, scoring on a two-yard touchdown run by Woods, his third of the afternoon. The extra point made it 23-10 SCSU with 4:32 to go in the third quarter. The big play on the drive was a 52-yard pass completion from quarterback Cleveland McCoy to wide receiver Rondreikas Darby to put SCSU in business at the Coastal 22.
Coastal fought back and cut into the Bulldog lead with a six-play, 51-yard drive, capped off by running back Aundres Perkins (Effingham, S.C./West Florence) three-yard run. Hokes extra point cut the SCSU lead to 23-17 with 9:51 to play in the game.
The Chanticleers made it a flair for the dramatic again this season, taking the ball on their own 14 with 7:11 to go in the game. Coastal marched 83 yards in 14 plays and faced fourth-and-goal at the SCSU 3. Quarterback Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central) dropped back and lofted a pass in the end zone that wide receiver Jerome Simpson (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville) pulled down for the score with 17 seconds to play. Hokes 100th career extra point, the first in Big South history to achieve the feat, gave Coastal the lead at 24-23. Coastal defensive back Quinton Teal (Bennettsville, S.C./Marlboro County) then picked off McCoys pass on SCSUs first play of the final drive and sealed the victory.
Coastal was outgained by South Carolina State, 357-281, though CCU held the time of possession advantage, 31:55 to 28:05, and was 3-for-4 on fourth down conversions.. The Chanticleers did put together 184 yards of rushing, led by running back Jamie Fordham (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) with 62 yards, while Thigpen and Tolbert had 46 and 44 yards respectively. Thigpen was also 14-for-28 for 97 yards, one touchdown and one interception, including 3-for-4 for 31 yards on the final drive.
The Bulldogs had 223 yards of rushing, led by DeShawn Bakers 92 yards on 18 carries, while Woods had 73 and three touchdowns on 15 tries. McCoy was 11-for-16 through the air for 134 yards and one interception.
Coastal will take next weekend off and return to the field, Sat., Oct. 15, hosting its Big South Conference opener against Gardner-Webb. Kickoff at Brooks Stadium is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on Big South TV.