CONWAY, S.C. – Quarterback Zach MacDowall passed for three touchdowns to lead the Coastal Carolina University football team past North Carolina Central 35-10 Saturday, Oct. 18 at Brooks Stadium. The win pushes the Chanticleers to 4-4 overall.
Coastal Carolina collected the opening kick and used 1:52 to get on the scoreboard. Quarterback Zach MacDowall’s second completion resulted in a 61-yard pass to a wide open Jamar Anderson, who trotted in to the end zone. Kicker Justin Durham’s extra point put the Chants ahead 7-0.
The Chants’ defense stymied the Eagles again and took possession on Coastal Carolina’s 43-yard line. On the 10th play of the drive, MacDowall completed an eight-yard pass to wide receiver Kenny Jones to put the Chanticleers up 14-0 with 4:39 remaining in the first quarter.
NCCU earned three first downs in its first drive of the second quarter, going 11 plays on the drive and getting as deep as the Coastal Carolina 12. However, the Chanticleer defense would hold the Eagles out of the end zone, forcing NCCU to attempt a 35-yard field goal. Brandon Gilbert connected from the distance to put NCCU on the board 14-3 with just under nine minutes remaining in the half.
Coastal Carolina took a commanding lead, scoring on the following two possessions in less than four minutes. Jamie Fordham rushed straight up the middle for 28 yards for a touchdown to put Coastal Carolina ahead 21-3. MacDowall then led the Chants on a quick five-play drive, capped off by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Whitley for a 28-3 advantage at halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, the Eagles combined for four plays and 73 yards for their first touchdown of the game. Wayne Blackwell caught a 63-yard pass from quarterback Michael Johnson, cutting Coastal Carolina’s lead to 28-10.
On the ensuing drive, the Chanticleers needed just six plays to cover 67 yards. Running back Arthur Sitton broke a tackle by spinning off his defender and rushed for a 42-yard score for a 35-10 lead with 9:41 to play. That would end up as the final margin in the contest.
Coastal Carolina amassed 373 yards of total offense while holding NCCU to just 215. The Chanticleers rushed for 215 yards, marking the 29th win in 33 times that Coastal Carolina has gone over the 200-yard rushing mark in a game. NCCU managed only 39 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
MacDowall steered the Chanticleers’ victory going 13-for-22 for 158 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Sitton had six carries for 100 rushing yards and a touchdown, the first career 100-yard rushing game. Linebacker Desmond Steward made an impressive first career start, posting a team-leading 11 tackles. Linebacker Chris Walls was steady on defense, as he picked off Johnson in the first quarter and recorded six tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, as well.
NCCU was guided by the arm of Johnson as the Eagle was 14-for-26 for 176 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Blackwell had six receptions for 89 yards and one score.
The Chanticleers return home next Saturday, Oct. 25, to host Stony Brook in Big South Conference matchup. Kickoff for the first-ever contest between the two schools is set for 7 p.m., as Coastal Carolina will be celebrating Homecoming at the game.
Coastal Carolina Head Coach David Bennett
I was very proud of the way we played in the first half. The second half, our defense played pretty darn good, but it was 7-7 in the second half, and that’s not good enough for championship football. We didn’t finish that well. Zach had a really nice first half. He stood in the pocket well, and he knew when he was going to get hit, he was very poised, and held the ball when he needed to.”
North Carolina Central Head Coach Mose Rison
“Coastal Carolina is a good football team. We forced them into some third and longs, but we just couldn’t get them off the field, and they took the ball down the field and scored on a couple of those drives. On a positive side, we didn’t get shut out, and that freshman quarterback (Michael Johnson) really showed what type of player that he can be. He really showed some sparks and could turn out to be a good football player for us.”