After a missed field goal stalled the first drive, the Chanticleers took the next drive 80 yards. CCU finally punched it in on a two-yard touchdown run by junior Patrick Hall (Richmond, Va./Monacan (Geneva College)) with one minute to play in the first quarter, giving Coastal a 7-0 lead.
The Keydets fought back with a drive of their own, going 57 yards on six plays, as Sean Mizzer scored from two yards out to and the extra point knotted the game at seven with just under 11 minutes to go in the first half.
A VMI interception and a dropped pass stopped CCU's next two drives and gave VMI good field position at Coastal's 46-yard line. On the next play from scrimmage, Maurice Simpkins' (Leesville, S.C./Batesburg-Leesville) pressure forced David Poldiak into a bad pass. The attempted scree pass was picked off by linebacker Shaun Gaines (Norwood, N.C./South Stanly) and he returned it 51 yards for Coastal's second defensive touchdown of the year and a 14-7 Chanticleer lead with 1:30 to play in the half.
Coastal had another interception less than 20 seconds later returned for a touchdown but a roughing-the-passer penalty negated that score and the Chants went into the lockerroom with a 14-7 halftime lead.
Another controversial call on a fumble during the first possession of the second half kept the ball with VMI. It appeared on the same drive that the Chants got it back as Adrain Grady (Leland, N.C./North Brunswick) sacked the VMI quarterback, forcing a VMI fumble recoverd by CCU, but a questionable holding call resulted in VMI ball at CCU's 11-yard line. The Keydets then scored on the next play, as Mizzer rushed it in to tie the game again, this time at 14 with 12:04 left in the third quarter.
Coastal's Tyler Thigpen (Winnsboro, S.C./Fairfield Central) threw an interception on the next possession, putting the Keydets back in business at Coastal's 30-yard line. But the Chanticleer defense shut the door and forced VMI to punt.
After a scoreless third quarter, CCU's defense forced a 16-yard VMI punt, giving the Chants the ball on the VMI 30. On the next play, Thigpen hooked up with wide receiver Perry Parks (Rock Hill, S.C./Sumter) on a crossing route for a 30-yard touchdown and a 21-14 CCU lead with 12:50 to play in the game. The touchdown was the first touchdown of the year for Parks and the first CCU TD reception by someone other than Jerome Simpson (Reidsville, N.C./Reidsville).
The Chanticleers outgained VMI 327-245, including 151 yards of passing by Thigpen on 11-for-20 passing. Parks led the recievers with 52 yards on three catches, while Simpson had four catches for 50 yards. Hall led Coastal with 78 yards and one touchdown. For VMI, Mizzer was the leading carrier with 17 rushes for 78 yards and two scores, while third-string quarterback Kirk Monteleone had 20 carries for 63 yards, while going 8-for-14 for 78 yards through the air.
Coastal will return home to host its second consecutive Big South Conference game, hosting the Liberty Flames, Sat., Oct. 23. Kickoff at Brooks Stadium is slated for 7 p.m.
Head Coach David Bennett
"I am very proud of our guys, as they kept their composure and found a way to win the game. We have a lot of respect for VMI, as this school has a great tradition. Our defense rose to the occasion today, as they were put in several tough situations and came through. I don't know that we, as a staff, have ever had so many game-changing calls in a single game, but our guys did a great job fighting through it and winning the game. Now we have to focus and get ready for a tough Liberty team."