Nov. 14, 2011
CONWAY - Coastal Carolina sophomore safety Philip George has been named the Big South Defensive Player of the Week, while classmate Niccolo Mastromatteohas been name the Big South Special Teams Player of the Week.
George (Columbia, S.C.) had a career-high seven tackles, including his first career sack, in Coastal's 45-38 win at Charleston Southern. In addition, he had his first career interception and recorded his first career forced fumble.
After the Chanticleers threw an interception in the second quarter, George sacked Richard Mounce on the next play, causing the quarterback to fumble and give Coastal possession thanks to a Quinton Davisrecovery. Then, with less than a minute to play and Charleston Southern on the CCU 24, George picked off a Mounce pass on the one-yard line and returned it 16 yards to seal the seven-point win over the Buccaneers.
Mastromatteo (Ortonville, Mich.) had two punt returns for 14 yards and two kickoff returns for 64 yards. With the game tied at 31-31, Mastromatteo had a season-long, 40-yard kickoff return, giving Coastal the ball on the CSU 49. Five plays later, Coastal would score and never relinquish the lead.
With two punt returns, Mastromatteo took sole possession of the Big South record for career punt returns, now with 45 in his two seasons. With two kick returns for 64 yards this past Saturday, Mastromatteo set the CCU single-season records for both kickoff returns (now with 26) and kickoff return yards (now with 532). He is additionally just five kickoff returns and 36 kickoff return yards from becoming the CCU all-time leader. Mastromatteo has 1,348 combined punt and kickoff return yards for his career to rank sixth on the Big South all-time list.
Childers (Mt. Pleasant, S.C.) posted career highs in receptions (4), yards (92) and TD catches (2). In fact, Childers only had one TD catch in his career heading into Saturday, ironically coming last season versus Charleston Southern. The 92 receiving yards is the second-best, single-game total by a Chant this season and Childers joins Matt Hazelas the only Chant with two TD catches in a single game this season.
After filling in at quarterback for three quarters last week and throwing the game-winning TD, Childers started and played tight end the whole game at Charleston Southern. First, he tied the game at 7-7 with a 17-yard TD catch. Later, Childers had a 27-yard reception to the CSU six and three plays later, Coastal scored a TD to tie the game at 14-14. In the fourth quarter with CCU facing 3rd-and-11, he made an impressive 19-yard grab across the middle, taking a big hit but hanging on to the ball. Two plays later, Coastal scored to take a 38-31 lead. Finally, Childers scored what proved to be the game-winning TD, a 29-yarder, giving Coastal a 45-31 lead.
Coastal Carolina will conclude the 2011 season this Saturday (Nov. 19) facing Southern Conference member Western Carolina. Kickoff at WCU's E.J. Whitmire Stadium in Cullowhee, N.C., is set for 2 pm.