CONWAY, SC - The Coastal Carolina University football team (4-1) racked up a program-record 590 yards and scored 31 first-half points as the Chanticleers defeated Charleston (2-5) 48-13, Oct. 9, at Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C. The win was Coastal's second in a row and third straight victory on its home field.
Coastal opened the scoring with a five-play, 32-yard drive, which was capped off with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Thigpen to Jerome Simpson at the 12:20 mark of the first quarter. The big play on the drive was a 22-yard quarterback sneak by Thigpen. Charleston made the score 7-3 less than three minutes later on a 67-yard drive capped by a 31-yard field goal from Mike Zimmerman. Thigpen showed his running ability again, for CCUs second touchdown of the game, as he ended an eight-play, 46-yard drive with an 18-yard scramble. Josh Hoke hit the point-after-touchdown to make it 14-3 with 6:27 left in the first.
Charleston received a golden opportunity to score after Coastals David Parker muffed a punt, which was recovered by the Golden Eagles at the CCU nine. It took just two plays for Kyle Fields to rush for a four-yard touchdown at 2:38 of the first quarter to cut Coastal's lead to 14-10.
Simpson had his second touchdown of the game just six seconds into the second quarter as he connected with Thigpen on a 20-yard strike. Hoke made it 21-10 on his third PAT. The Chants the increased their lead to 24-10 with 8:50 left in the second on a 28-yard field goal from Hoke, ending Coastals nine-play, 65-yard drive. Simpson had his third touchdown reception, a single-game high in Coastal history, from 34 yards out to make the score 31-10 Coastal with 6:25 left in the first half.
Charleston opened the scoring in the second half on a 38-yard field goal by Zimmerman, that was set up by a fumble from Coastals Chris McDonald. Coastal would answer that score with an 80-yard drive on just four plays. Patrick Hall ended the drive with a 23-yard touchdown gallop that gave the Chants a 38-13 lead. Hoke hit his second field goal of the game at 3:07 in the third quarter, this time from 41 yards out, giving the Chants a 41-13 advantage.
Coastal made the score 48-13 with 10:08 remaining in the game when McDonald ran 70 yards on a reverse for a touchdown. It was the longest rush from scrimmage in Coastal history.
Coastal had 386 rushing yards, including a career-high 83 yards and a touchdown from Thigpen. Thigpen also threw for 200 yards and three touchdowns on 9-of-20 passes. Simpson had a career high 108 yards on four receptions and three touchdowns, which set a Coastal record for receiving scores.
Charleston was led by Chris Moore, who rushed for 113 yards on 22 carries. Coastal's defense frustrated the passing attack of the Golden Eagles, holding them to just 8-for35 passing for 85 yards and one interception.
Coastal will open up Big South Conference play next Saturday, Oct. 16, as the Chanticleers travel to Lexington, Va., to face VMI. Kickoff is at Alumni Memorial Field is scheduled for 1 p.m.