MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The road to the Sun Belt Conference championship will now run through Conway. A fitting cliché to go along with how No. 20 Coastal Carolina came up with a win to clinch the conference’s East Division.
“That’s what they wanted to accomplish and we wanted that,” CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell said following the win. “Our kids knew they had the opportunity to obtain that each week and they’ve kept focus on that. I know that’s something they’re looking forward to.”
CJ Marable took 16 carries for 157 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, leading the Chanticleers’ ground attack in a 49-14 road win over Texas State on Saturday. Coastal ended up totaling over 400 yards rushing in the win, totaling for more than half of the offense’s output.
“Coach [Newland] Isaac told me and all of the running backs that this was going to be our game,” Marable admitted. “It’s raining, the ball is wet so we’re going to put in your backs. I love playing in this weather because I know for a fact we’re going to pound the ball.”
Quarterback Grayson McCall went 11-for-18 passing for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns throws to Jaivon Heiligh, who finished with 35 yards on three catches.
Coastal’s defense also stepped up in a big way, as Tarron Jackson came up with 2.5 sacks, while Alex Spillum forced the game’s only turnover with a fumble early in the first quarter.
The Chanticleers will now host West Division winner Louisiana-Lafayette on Dec. 19 in the Sun Belt Conference Championship game. Coastal defeated the Ragin’ Cajuns, 34-31, back in October.
The Chants put a big emphasis on the option attack early, utilizing McCall and Marable to take an early 14-0 lead on a pair of quick scoring drives.
Texas State then responded with a 14-yard touchdown connection from Brady McBride to Javen Banks to cut the lead in half.
Any momentum the Bobcats gained on that drive was very quickly snuffed out by 21 unanswered points from the Chanticleers in the second quarter.
McCall and Heiligh connected on their scores back-to-back drives, while Reese White ran in the other score earlier in the quarter.
Marable found the end zone one more time on a 23-yard run in the third quarter before his day was done, while Baden Pinson muscled his way in for the Chants’ final score early in the fourth quarter.
Coastal returns home next week for a non-conference matchup against Liberty on Dec. 5. Tickets for the game are sold out, according to CCU officials.