Chants dominate Minutemen in 50 point win

Sports

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CONWAY, S.C. – The No. 17 nationally-ranked Coastal Carolina football team scored on eight of their nine offensive possessions, with the ninth ending due to the end of the game, forced seven punts, picked up a safety, and blocked a punt for the second time this season to cruise to a dominating 53-3 home win over the Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium.

The 50-point win is the largest margin of victory for the Chanticleers over an opponent since defeating Georgia State 51-0 last year in Atlanta, Ga.

Coastal Carolina totaled 558 yards of total offense in the win compared to UMass’ 158 total yards of offense.

CCU outgained the Minutemen by 284 yards on the ground, rushing for 312 yards compared to UMass’ 28 rushing yards on the game. The Chants also outgained the Minutemen 246-130 in passing yards, throwing for three touchdowns in the win.

The CCU defense held the Minutemen out of the end zone and has yet to allow a passing touchdown over the four games thus far this season.

The 28 rushing yards allowed is not only the fewest allowed by the Coastal defense this season but also the fourth-fewest rushing yards surrendered in a single game in program history and the fewest allowed in a game since becoming a full-time FBS member in 2017.

A trio of quarterbacks took snaps on offense for the Chanticleers, as starter Grayson McCall was 10-for-14 for 162 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed two times for nine yards and a score. Senior Bryce Carpenter was 4-for-9 for 77 yards and a touchdown pass, while redshirt-sophomore Jarrett Guest was 1-for-2 for seven yards through the air.

A total of 10 Chants recorded a rush in the win headlined by Braydon Bennett’s career-high 83 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries and Reese White’s nine carries for 69 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore wideout Tyson Mobley added a 32-yard touchdown run on his lone carry of the game.

On top of the running game, seven different Chants had a reception led by senior Jaivon Heiligh’s team-high five catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Isaiah Likely added a touchdown on three catches for 76 yards, while Mobley had one catch for nine yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, co-captain Silas Kelly had a team-high six tackles and was followed by D’Jordan Strong with five tackles and a pass breakup, Travis Geiger Jr. with five total stops and 1.0 tackle-for-loss, and Jeffrey Gunter with three tackles, 2.0 sacks, and 2.0 tackles-for-loss.

For UMass offensively, quarterback Brady Olson was 14-for-23 for 86 yards while running back Ellis Merriweather carried the ball six times for a team-high 30 yards on the ground.

Eight different players had at least one reception on the day, led by Rico Arnold’s team-high four catches for 38 yards, while defensively a trio of Minutemen in Te’Rail Powell, Gerrell Johnson, and Avien Peah finished with a team-leading six tackles.

Coastal pounced on the Minutemen right out of the gates, as the “Black Swarm” defense forced a UMass punt on their own 35-yard line in the first offensive series of the game. The snap went over the head of the UMass punter and rolled to the eight-yard line where he picked up the ball and tried to get off a kick only to boot it right into the chest of redshirt freshman linebacker Mason Shelton who returned the blocked kick to the four-yard line.

Two plays later, McCall kept the ball on the option play to the left for the three-yard touchdown run to put the home team up 6-0. However, the extra-point attempt was wide left which kept the score at 6-0 with 11 minutes to play in the opening quarter.

The Chants added to their lead on the next offensive possession as McCall and the offense took over on their own one-yard line and drove 99 yards on nine plays in just over four minutes, highlighted by a 34-yard pass and catch from McCall to Likely and a 12-yard touchdown scamper on the right side by White to extend the home team’s lead to 13-0 with 2:58 to go in the first quarter.

The CCU defense held the UMass offense to just one first down again on their next possession, forcing another Minutemen punt.

The offense continued to roll into the second quarter, as the Chants used a trio of double-digit plays – a 10-yard run by White, an 18-yard pass from McCall to Heiligh, and a 14-yard rush from White – to set up a 25-yard touchdown pass from McCall to a wide-open Likely to push the men in teal in front big at 20-0 with 11:30 remaining in the first half of play.

After picking up a safety, the Chants’ first since 2016, on a UMass errant snap and fumble out of the back of the end zone to push the lead out to 22-0, Coastal’s offense continued its efficient play with a four-play, 59-yard drive capped off by a 32-yard end-around rush by Mobley, his first career touchdown as a Chant, to add to the lead at 29-0 with 8:01 to go in the second quarter.

Following a defensive stop in which the Minutemen went three-and-out and sent out the punt team for the fifth consecutive drive, the “Teal Team 6” offense continued to roll over the UMass defense, as a 16-yard reception by Likely set up a 23-yard touchdown catch down the sideline from Heiligh to put the lead at 36-0 with 2:20 to go before the halftime break.

UMass attempted to spoil the shutout bid, driving down to the Coastal 15-yard line on a fourth-and-eight play from the 25-yard line. However, the CCU defense would stand tall and not allow another yard over the next three plays to take a 36-0 lead into the halftime intermission.

The CCU offense made it 6-for-6 on scoring drives with a score on its opening possession in the second half, as the Chants’ offense drove 79 yards in just six plays to go up 43-0 on a one-yard plunge by Bennett with 12:38 on the clock in the third quarter.

Following another UMass three-and-out, the Chants’ used a 47-yard rush down the Minutemen sideline by Bennett and back-to-back runs from redshirt freshman CJ Beasley to set up Carpenter nine-yard touchdown pass to Mobley to put Coastal on top 50-0 with 10:55 to go in the third.

CCU added a 38-yard field goal from Kieran Colahan, the first of his career, to take a demanding 53-0 led seconds into the fourth quarter.

However, the Minutemen ruined the shutout attempt on their first drive of the fourth quarter, as backup quarterback Garrett Dzuro led the visitors in white down the field, going 57 yards in 13 plays to set up a 35-yard field goal by Cameron Carson to put the score at 53-3 with 8:22 left to play.

The Chants would run out the final eight minutes of play to walk away with the 50-point victory.

The Chanticleers (4-0) will open up Sun Belt Conference play next Saturday, Oct. 2, as the ULM Warhawks (1-2) will visit Brooks Stadium for a 2:30 p.m. ET kick.

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