Nov. 22, 2010
CONWAY - After a near shutout and setting multiple Big South records, the Coastal Carolina defense and Niccolo Mastromattteo were honored as the Big South as its Defensive "Player" of the Week and The Crons Brand Freshman of the Week, respecitively. Mastromatteo was also recognized nationally and, for the second consecutive week, Zach MacDowall was recognized as a National Player of the Week.
Coastal Carolina (6-5) will make its second playoff appearance this weekend, hosting #21 Western Illinois (7-4), at 1 pm. The Chants, in their eight year as a program, won its fourth Big South title this season.
The Chanticleers' defense limited Charleston Southern to three points and 218 yards of offense - including just 33 in the second half, en route to a share of the Big South title and claiming the Conference's first-ever automatic bid to the FCS Playoffs. Coastal Carolina posted 11.0 tackles for loss of 30 yards - three of which were sacks, forced two fumbles, recovered two fumbles, returned an interception for a touchdown for the third time in the past four games and did not allow a third down conversion in the final 30 minutes. The CCU defense leads the Big South in tackles for losses (7.64 per game) and ranks 14th nationally in the category, while ranking second in sacks and 41st nationally.
In the Charleston Southern win, among those that turned in standout performances to give the entire unit the honor were Josh Norman (8 tackles), Andrae Jacobs (8 tackles, 1.5 TFL), Chad McField (fumble recovery), Keon Cuningham (forced fumble, fumble recovery, PBU) and Tre Henderson (66-yard INT return for a TD).
Mastromatteo, also honored as a National Punt Returner Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards, set three Big South punt return records against Charleston Southern. He returned four punts for a single-game record 125 yards (31.3 average), including a 91-yard return for a touchdown - the longest punt return in Big South history. Mastromatteo ended the regular-season with 29 punt returns, breaking the Big South single-season record of 26.
MacDowall, The Sports Network's National Offensive Player of the Week after the win over Liberty, was one of three named National Offensive Performer of the Week by College Football Performance Awards. MacDowall accounted for six touchdowns, five passing and one rushing, in Coastal's 70-3 win over Charleston Southern. Overall, he completed 15-of-20 passes for 248 yards with no interceptions and five TDs, while rushing eight times for 41 yards and a score. The five TD passess stand as the most thrown in a Big South game (two other Big South signal callers, Jeremy Martin of Gardner-Webb and Collin Drafts of Charleston Southern twice also threw five TDs in a game but each coming again non-conference opponents). His 15 completions went to eight different receivers while his five TDs went to five different players.
Coastal Carolina ended the season having the Big South Defensive Player of the Week in four of the last six weeks, including Jamel Davis (vs. Presbyterian), Dominque Davenport (vs. Gardner-Webb), Andrae Jacobs (vs. VMI) and the Defensive Unit (vs. Charleston Southern). Coastal has also featured the Offensive Player of the Week (MacDowall vs. Presbyterian and Liberty), Freshman of the Week (Matt Hazel vs. Liberty) and Special Teams Player of the Week (Tarvorris Jolly vs. Delaware State).