CCU wins double overtime thriller to stay unbeaten

CCU wins double overtime thriller to stay unbeaten

Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Media Relations

GREENVILLE – De'Angelo Henderson scored three times, including a game-winning, 17-yard touchdown reception, to give #3 Coastal Carolina a 37-31 double-overtime victory at Furman.

This is the second time in as many trips to Paladin Stadium Coastal has needed overtime to win at Furman, claiming a 47-45 decision in triple overtime in 2012. Overall, Coastal improves to 6-0 for the season and 5-1 versus Furman, which falls to 2-4 this season. However, each game in the intrastate series has been decided by seven points or less, including a 35-28 victory versus the Paladins last season in Conway.

Henderson finished with 161 yards all-purpose yards, rushing 20 times for 134 yards and two scores and hauling in two passes for 27 yards, including the 17-yard game winner. Alex Ross completed 15-of-24 passes for 205 yards and three touchdowns while he rushed for 85 yards to become the seventh quarterback in Big South history to rush for 1,000 yards in a career. (Ross is exactly at 1,000 career rushing yards.)

In the first overtime, Alex Catron made a 40-yard field goal. Furman, on second down, just missed a big gain on a trick play and then was held short of a first down on the next play. Jon Croft Hollingsworth actually missed his first attempt from 35 yards out, but a timeout by Furman prior to the snap gave him a second chance. He then split the uprights from 35 yards away to tie the game at 31-31 and force a second overtime.

Furman had the ball first in the second overtime. Much as he did last season in an overtime win at Liberty last season, Calvin Hollenhorst made a key tackle. While Furman completed a third down pass, Chad Scott had to make a diving catch and came up four yards short of a first down. Hollingsworth then missed his 36-yard attempt to the right.

After a three-yard gain on the first play, Ross hit Tyrell Blanks, who caught five passes for 81 yards, for five yards. On third-and-two, Ross found Henderson on a swing pass to the right and the sophomore ran untouched for the game-winner.

The game was a back-and-forth affair from the start. While Furman was forced to punt on its opening drive, thanks to a roughing the kicker penalty, the Paladins reached the CCU 35 before electing to punt.

Coastal Carolina's offense clicked from the start as it needed just nine plays to cover 80 yards and take an early 7-0 lead. De'Angelo Henderson had a 16-yard run to start the drive and a 10-yard reception. Devin Brown added a 14-yard reception and Alex Ross capped the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to John Israel.

Furman answered with an impressive 19-play, 81-yard drive that took 9:37 off the clock. However, the drive ended with no points as Roderick Holder made a touchdown-saving tackle on fourth-and-goal from inside the one.

The Paladins did find the end zone with 5:24 left in the second quarter. Highlights included a Hank McCloud rush for 21 yards run and an Andrej Suttles 13-yard run. Ernie Cain tied the game with a three-yard rushing touchdown.

The Chants only needed six plays to regain the lead. Ross hit Israel for 16 yards then completed passes of 43 and 18 yards to Blanks. Henderson then found paydirt for from yards out to put the Chants up 14-7 with 2:34 left in the half.

Furman dominated several statistical categories at halftime, including total plays (45 to 23) and time of possession (22:30 to 7:30). However, Coastal led in total yards, 184 to 180, and had 14 first downs to Furman's seven.

As the third quarter began, Coastal took the opening kickoff and marched 61 yards in nine plays. Bruce Mapp made a nice catch, but a better run for a 28-yard gain. Four plays later and Coastal facing fourth and two from the seven, Henderson bulled his way through the left side of the line to score his second touchdown of the evening to put the Chants up 21-7,

Furman, thanks to a bad snap of fourth down by Coastal for a loss of 27, came back with consecutive scores to tie the game at 21-21. First, PJ Blazejowski hit Duncan Fletcher for gains of 14 and 21 yards, Blazejowski out-ran the Chanticleer defense for a 27-yard touchdown.

On the ensuing drive, Coastal reached the Furman 31 and went for it on fourth and one. A bad snap led to a loss of 27 yards, giving the Paladins the ball on the CCU 43. Blazejowski immediately hit Duncan for 28 yards to the CCU 15. Three plays later and on the first play of the fourth quarter, Cain tied the game at 21-21 with a three-yard touchdown run.

Ross made an impressive scramble and run on third and eight for a gain of 16 yards to keep the next drive alive. Henderson followed with a 35-yard gain. Ross converted another third down with a six=yard run. Then, on third-and-goal from the two yard line, Ross found Thomas Pauciello for a touchdown. and 28-21 Chanticleer lead.

Furman once again answered, going 67 yards in 11 plays and taking 6:21 off the clock. Blazejowski connected with Suttles for 21 yards early in the drive and Antonio Wilcox followed with an 11-yard gain. On third and eight, Blazejowski completed a 12-yard pass to Jordan Snellings. Blazejowski converted a final third down on the drive, a seven-yard touchdown pass to Chad Scott with 4:45 left to play.

Coastal used 12 plays and worked its way to the Furman six with 10 second left before calling a timeout. The potential game-winning field goal was blocked by Furman's Trey Robinson to force overtime.

Roderick Holder led the Chanticleer defense with a career-high nine tackles (eight solo) with a sack. Hollenhorst added eight tackles and Backus six.