TROY, Ala. (WMBF) - No. 11 Coastal Carolina added on to a historic run on the gridiron Saturday, but no one call tell the Chanticleers that it came easy.
Even after last week’s thriller against BYU, the Chants needs a little late-game theatrics to cap off their first-ever perfect regular season.
“To be able to go 11-0 with this group of young men, it’s a credit to them and our coaching staff,” CCU head coach Jamey Chadwell said following the win. “To be able to focus in each week and overcome all the different things that you have to overcome and then be able to find a way this week, it’s just a special time.”
CJ Marable had four total touchdowns, and Grayson McCall connected on a late score to Jaivon Heiligh as Coastal held took a late lead to end the regular season unbeaten with a 42-38 win over Troy on Saturday.
McCall threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while Heiligh found the end zone twice and led all wideouts with 138 receiving yards.
TURNING POINT: The game went back-and-forth late into the fourth quarter, with Coastal Carolina leading 35-23. After stopping Coastal at the goal line, Troy starting quarterback Gunner Watson was knocked out of the game after a hit in the Trojans’ end zone. Backup Jacob Free then took the field, leading Troy on a 75-yard touchdown drive, making it a 35-30 game with just under three minutes left.
Costal regained possession, but McCall threw just his second interception of the season on the drive, putting Troy in prime position to take the lead. The Trojans worked quickly, as Free found Tray Eafford for a touchdown with under 90 seconds left.
McCall and the Chants then worked quickly on what would be the game-winning drive. The offense moved 75 yards in under a minute, and McCall found Heiligh on a 23-yard strike for the go-ahead score with just over 30 seconds left. Free would fumble on the Trojans’ next possession, and the Chanticleers would recover to put the game on ice.
THE X-FACTOR: Marable has been a major force for the Chants in this late-season stretch. His performance on Saturday was the third straight week with at least 100 rushing yards. He also hauled in three catches for 47 yards on the day.
OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT: Both teams combined for over 950 yards of total offense, with Coastal having the advantage on the ground with 176 rushing yards. The Chants also went 8-for-13 on third downs, totaling just over 61% efficiency.
HISTORY MADE: For the Chanticleers, it caps off the first-ever perfect regular season in program history. Their previous best seasons were back-to-back 12-win seasons in 2013 and 2014 as an FCS program. Coastal is also the first Sun Belt Conference team to go 11-0 in a season.
UP NEXT: The No. 11 Chants will face No. 17 Louisiana-Lafayette in the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game at Brooks Stadium on Dec. 19. Kickoff is scheduled for noon. Coastal won on the road in the teams’ last meeting back on Oct. 14, 30-27.
Troy (5-6) will cap off its regular season on Thursday at home against ULM.