ORLANDO, Fla. (WMBF) - For the first time in program history, Coastal Carolina will play in a bowl game Saturday.
The No. 9 Chanticleers will kick off their matchup against the No. 23 Liberty Flames at 7:30 p.m. from Orlando’s Camping World Stadium as part of the Cure Bowl.
Coastal and Liberty were previously scheduled to play on Dec. 5, before COVID-19 issues within the Flames’ program caused the game to be canceled. The Chants later played and defeated BYU on that date instead.
It will also be Coastal’s first game since a Dec. 12 win at Troy after the Sun Belt Conference Championship Game was canceled due to COVID-19 issues for the Chants.
Coastal and Liberty will also renew their rivalry from the FCS-level Big South Conference. This will be the 15th meeting between the two programs, with the all-time series tied at 7-7.
Check back with this story for updates!
Coastal gets the ball first and is able to move into Liberty territory, but are ultimately stuffed on a fourth-and-short after making it to the Flames’ 36-yard line.
Liberty responds with a 10-play, 64-yard drive capped off by a short touchdown run by quarterback Malik Willis to give the Flames an early lead.
Liberty 7, Coastal Carolina 0 - 6:59, 1Q
Nothing doing for the Chants on their second possession. After a short run by Shermani Jones, Grayson McCall takes the ball just short on a third down. Coastal punts it away as Liberty takes over at their own 34-yard line.
Willis tears off another couple of big runs for Liberty, one of them ending in a 15-yard facemask penalty on Jeffrey Gunter. It moves the Flames into the Coastal 30-yard line before another fourth-down conversion gets them inside the red zone.
The drive is capped off by another touchdown run from Willis, this time from six yards out with less than ten seconds in the quarter.
The kickoff is returned to the Coastal 28-yard line by Jones to end the quarter.
Liberty 14, Coastal Carolina 0 - END OF FIRST QUARTER
The Flames dominated time of possession in the first, holding the ball for just over ten minutes in the opening period. Willis has also made his presence felt, rushing for 48 yards and passing for 53 so far.
The Chants only gained a total of 48 yards in the first quarter.
Coastal gains around eight yards in two plays to get themselves in a third-and-short situation, but McCall is sacked on a Liberty blitz to force another three-and-out. A false start call pushes them even further back for the punt, which is downed at the Liberty 29.
The Flames move upfield on a connection from Willis to Johnny Huntley. The ball comes out and Coastal is unable to recover, but a booth review rules that Huntley was down before the ball came out.
A couple of plays later, Willis tries to throw deep down the field, but is picked off by Brayden Matts and the Turnover Cloak comes out, complete with a Santa hat. Chants take over at their own 37.
The Coastal offense begins churning on the next drive, as McCall takes an eight-yard run before finding Jaivon Heiligh for a big first down. Liberty is called for a targeting penalty on the play, which is overturned. McCall connects with Isaiah Likely on the next play and he rumbles further into the Flames’ red zone, but an ineligible receiver penalty voids the play.
Coastal is able to move up slightly, but McCall slips on a third-down screen pass as the ball bounces out of bounds. The Chants elect to go for it, but Liberty calls a timeout first. Out of the break, CJ Marable takes an option pitch to the right all the way to the Liberty 4 to convert.
After an incomplete pass, Coastal is again stuffed on a third-and-short as an option to the left is snuffed out by the Flames’ defense. Massimo Biscardi nails a 21-yard field goal to get the Chants on the board after an over-six-minute drive.
Liberty 14, Coastal Carolina 3 - 6:00, 2Q
The Flames take over after a big kickoff return is called back, and Coastal is able to force their first three-and-out of the game. The punt is downed at Coastal’s 38-yard line, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on the Flames puts the Chants just midfield.
Coastal’s offense moves quickly following the penalty, with McCall finding Heiligh and Likely on back-to-back passes before taking a 16-yard run into the Flames’ red zone. A holding penalty moves Coastal back, but McCall is able to find Likely on a 25-yard touchdown strike to make it a one-score game.
Liberty 14, Coastal Carolina 10 - 2:02, 2Q
The Flames are able to move into the Coastal red zone in around seven plays, but the Chants get a stop on a third-and-long to set up a 37-yard field goal from Alex Barbir to extend Liberty’s lead just before halftime.
Liberty 17, Coastal Carolina 10 - 0:42, 2Q
Coastal trying to move quickly in an effort to tie things up before halftime. McCall finds Heiligh for 17 yards before taking it himself for 16 to put Coastal in Liberty territory within two plays. Heiligh catches another pass for a first down after bobbling it a bit. An incomplete pass on the next play forces Coastal into a 32-yard field goal from Biscardi to cut the lead to four heading into halftime.
Liberty 17, Coastal Carolina 13 - HALFTIME
The Chants responded in a big way in the second quarter after being down by two scores. Coastal totaled 181 yards in the period, with 111 of those coming through the air. Heiligh is becoming a favorite target on the night, catching eight of his nine targets for 100 yards on the night so far.
McCall has also passed for 141 yards, going 11-for-16 at the half while rushing for 54 yards. Things have also been a bit sloppy on both sides, with seven total penalties called, most going against the Coastal offense.
The Flames move quickly to start the second half, moving into Coastal territory with a 37-yard connection from Willis to Stubbs. Willis completes another long pass to Huntley for 20 yards to get within the Coastal 5-yard line before he’s picked off by Alex Spillum in the end zone as the Turnover Cloak comes out again.
The Chants try and move upfield quickly as McCall finds Likely for a 19-yard gain to set the offense up near midfield. McCall is then picked off himself by Javon Scruggs, who takes the return all the way back inside the Coastal 10-yard line. It’s just the third interception McCall has thrown this season.
The Flames are quick to take advantage, as Willis runs in his third touchdown of the game to put the lead at 11.
Liberty 24, Coastal Carolina 13 - 8:28, 3Q
The ensuing kickoff goes out of bounds, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on freshman Shane Bruce backs the Chants up to their own 10-yard line to start the drive. Coastal gets to work quickly, thanks to a pair of big passes and a run by McCall to move within Liberty territory.
After taking a sack, McCall rolls out and throws a deep pass to Greg Latushko in the end zone for a 43-yard scoring strike. McCall was shoved down hard after he let go of the pass and was heading to the blue medical tent on the sideline. The Chants elect to go for two but are unsuccessful.
Liberty 24, Coastal Carolina 19 - 4:36, 3Q
Liberty begins another march down the field with an eight-play drive that ticks away the rest of the time remaining in the third quarter. The Flames will start the fourth quarter at the Coastal 1-yard line.
Liberty 24, Coastal Carolina 19 - END OF THE THIRD QUARTER
Coastal gets a pair of big stops to start the quarter and sets up a third-and-goal for the Flames. Willis then takes a keeper to the right and dives ahead for his fourth rushing touchdown of the night, but it’s under review. The call stands and Liberty extends its lead.
Liberty 31, Coastal Carolina 19 - 13:22, 4Q
The Chants look to respond quickly as McCall re-enters the game and finds Heiligh for a 45-yard reception to put Coastal at the Liberty 32-yard line. McCall then finds Likely for a big gain to put Coastal within the Liberty 2-yard line. A quick run up the middle by Marable is ruled short of the goal line, but is now under review. The call stands, but McCall takes it in himself on the next play to make it a one-score game again.
Liberty 31, Coastal Carolina 26 - 10:34, 4Q
The Flames’ offense keeps moving along with on the ensuing drive. Willis continues to gash the Chants’ defense with big runs, one going 16 yards to midfield while Joshua Mack breaks off a 22-yard run to get Liberty deep in Coastal territory.
Wilson is later taken down for a loss of 10 when the Flames were at the Coastal 7, and the Coastal defense forces a field goal to make it an eight-point game late.
Liberty 34, Coastal Carolina 26 - 5:03, 4Q
The Chants take over at their own 28-yard line and keep the ball after a near-turnover by Heiligh. An incomplete pass toward Likely benefits Coastal after a pass interference call on Liberty. McCall then calls his own number again, taking a 21-yard run down to the Liberty 15-yard line.
McCall tries to connect with Likely, but another penalty on the Liberty secondary moves Coastal to the Liberty 7. The Chants make Liberty pay for the penalties as McCall finds Latushko for his second touchdown of the night as the Chants go for two again - this time successful as McCall powers in an option run to tie the game.
Liberty 34, Coastal Carolina 34 - 3:01, 4Q
The Flames move quickly after getting the ball back. Willis completes a pair of big passes before running for 52 yards down to the Coastal 24-yard line with less than two minutes to go. Coastal calls a timeout ahead of a 2nd-and-6 for Liberty.
The Flames end up converting a third down as Coastal uses the last of its timeouts with 1:35 to go. Liberty sets up at the Coastal 3-yard line after a 15-yard pass from Willis to Mack for a first down.
After going down on purpose on one play, Mack takes a run up the middle but loses control of the ball before he crosses the plane. It’s ruled a fumble on the field and Coastal recovers, but the play is under further review. The play stands and Coastal takes over at their own 1-yard line.
The Chants offense takes a pair of runs to get out of the end zone and runs the clock out to take things to overtime.
Liberty 34, Coastal Carolina 34 - END OF REGULATION
The Chants win the toss and will defend to start overtime. Each time gets a possession at the 25-yard line to start each overtime period.
WIllis completes a short pass for five yards, but the Flames are unable to convert a third down and it sets up a field goal. Barbir comes back out to kick a 39-yard field goal but a delay of game moves it back five yards, but he hits it.
Coastal can now win the game with a touchdown or send it to a second overtime with a field goal.
Liberty 37, Coastal Carolina 34
The Chants are unable to move the ball thanks to a pair of incompletions and Biscardi is back out to kick a 42-yard field goal. Liberty calls a timeout first and Biscardi’s kick is blocked to end the game.
Liberty 37, Coastal Carolina 34 - FINAL