CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Coastal Carolina's football team concluded its season with the most solid performance of the year, dominating host Charleston Southern 41-2 in Big South Conference action, Nov. 17. With the victory, the Chanticleers wrap up the 2007 campaign with a 5-6 mark and 3-1 in the Big South, while the Buccaneers fall to 5-6 and 1-3 in the league.
The Chanticleers got things started on the right foot on CSU's Senior Day, setting the tone on the opening play from scrimmage. CSU quarterback Sidney Bryant threw a pass in the flat that was intercepted by senior linebacker Anthony Steele and returned to the CSU 3. From there, senior fullback Mike Tolbert plunged in for his first score of the day, but a bad snap resulted in a failed pass attempt to make it 6-0 Coastal just 21 seconds into the contest.
CCU's defense squelched a Buccaneer fake punt and got the ball back on its own 46. On the 11th play of the drive, junior Tommy Fraser dove in from a yard out to make it 12-0. Tolbert then took the ball and drove a Charleston Southern defender into the end zone for the two-point conversion, extending CCU's lead to 14-0 with 6:54 remaining in the first quarter.
Coastal made it three straight possessions with a score when junior quarterback William Richardson connected with senior wide receiver Jerome Simpson for a 41-yard scoring strike. Redshirt freshman Justin Durham hit the extra point to wrap up the 9-play, 87-yard scoring drive over 4:10 and give the Chants a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The special teams got involved in the scoring in the second quarter. Sophomore Jamar Anderson took a CSU punt at the Coastal 47, broke two tackles and picked up several key blocks en route to a 53-yard touchdown return with 5:28 remaining in the quarter. The PAT was good, making it 28-0 Coastal, and the two teams would enter the halftime break with that score.
The lead widened on the Chanticleers' second possession of the second half. The defense got things going forcing a fumbled pitch with freshman linebacker Derrick Frasier falling on the ball at the CSU 32. Five plays later, Tolbert got his second score of the game on a one-yard run to make it 34-0 Coastal. The point after was blocked and returned by CSU's Gerald Stevenson for a two-point conversion to close the gap to 34-2 with 9:43 remaining in the third.
Coastal added one final score in the third quarter, started again by the defense as junior linebacker D.J. Rice's interception put CCU in business at its own 42 yard line.The punchline to the 13-play, 58-yard drive over 5:35 was again provided by Tolbert, as he took it in from two yards and CCU had a 41-2 lead late in the third, which also was the final.
The Chants outgained the Bucs, 347-196 and held a commanding time of possession advantage of almost 19 minutes (38:58 to 21:02). Coastal gained 220 yards on the ground while also limiting CSU's vaunted passing attack to just 11-for-31 for 65 yards and four interceptions and forcing the Bucs into six turnovers overall. CCU also converted 12 of 19 third down opportunities, while holding the hosts to no conversions in their 10 chances.
Tolbert finished the game with 18 carries for 60 yards and three touchdowns, while Richardson was solid in the passing game, going 13-for-16 for 127 yards and one score. Simpson concluded his CCU career with four catches for 84 yards and one touchdown.
Alexius Ferguson led CSU with five carries for 58 yards, while DeMarcus Moon had five rushes for 56 yards. Bryant was just 5-for-14 for 17 yards passing, while Eli Byrd came in and was 6-for-17 for 48 yards. League receiving leader Dee Brown had six catches but was held to just 16 yards in the game.