No. 21 CCU overcomes wet conditions to down Georgia Southern, 28-8

Chants held the Eagles to only 86 rushing yards for the game
CCU QB Bryce Carpenter making a move on a defender during his 23-yard touchdown run.
CCU QB Bryce Carpenter making a move on a defender during his 23-yard touchdown run.(WMBF)
Published: Nov. 6, 2021 at 11:17 PM EDT
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STATESBORO, GA – On a night that saw steady heavy rain for the full 60 minutes, the No. 21-nationally ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers used a full team effort to defeat the Georgia Southern Eagles for the first time ever in Statesboro, Ga. by a score of 28-8 on Saturday night.

With the win, Coastal moves to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in Sun Belt play, while the loss drops Georgia Southern to 2-7 and 1-5 in conference action.

The “Black Swarm” defense held the Georgia Southern triple-option attack to just 86 rushing yards, recorded four sacks, recovered three fumbles, had one interception, and forced seven punts, while special teams blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown.

Freshman defensive end Josaiah Stewart broke his own single-game school record for sacks with 4.0 on the night, as he led the way with six total tackles, 5.0 tackles-for-loss, and two forced fumbles in the win.

Super senior Silas Kelly matched Stewart with a team-high six stops, while veteran Jeffrey Gunter forced a fumble and Derick Bush picked off a pass.

The offense ran the ball for 220 yards and totaled 305 yards of offense, scoring twice on the ground and once through the air, and possessed the ball for over 31 minutes in a game where scores were tough to come by.

Getting the start in place of the injured Grayson McCall, senior quarterback Bryce Carpenter was 13-for-20 for 85 yards and a score in the passing game and rushed 13 times for 44 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

Senior running back Shermari Jones led the ground attack with 20 totes for 96 yards and a score, while redshirt freshman running back Braydon Bennett covered 78 yards on five carries out of the backfield.

Five different Chants caught at least one pass on the night, led by super senior Kameron Brown and his three receptions for 30 yards and a touchdown, while both senior tight end Isaiah Likely and Bennett finished with three catches each as well.

CCU punter Charles Ouverson had a season-high seven punts for 266 yards and placed four inside the 20-yard line to keep the Eagles’ offense pinned back for most of the contest.

The Eagles offense, which had seven fumbles and lost just three on the night, was led by quarterback Justin Tomlin who was 6-for-13 for 83 yards and one interception and carried the ball 10 times for a team-high 39 yards on the ground.

Backup quarterback Cam Ransom entered the game in the fourth quarter and provided a spark for the Eagles’ offense, going 5-for-10 for 64 yards and a touchdown pass.

Running backs Logan Wright and Gerald Green ran for 35 and 23 yards, respectively, while wideout Kahleb Hood had five catches for 66 yards.

Georgia Southern’s Anthony Walton had a game-high 10 tackles, while two other Eagles in Michael Edwards II and Eldrick Robinson II finished with eight stops each.

Neither team could get anything going at the start of the contest, as the two teams combined for 108 yards and six punts over the first quarter of play. Each team had three punts and neither team had over 35 total yards of offense on any of their first three offensive series.

On their fourth offensive series of the game, the Chants got a little rhythm going as “Teal Team 6″ picked up three first downs, highlighted by a 13-yard pass and catch with Carpenter and Brown on a third-and-10 and a five-yard pass to Bennett on a third-and-3.

However, an illegal forward pass on a third-and-11 ended the drive and forced the Chants to punt for the fourth time in the game.

On the very next play, the Eagles’ Justin Tomlin ran off the left side and right into the arms of Gunter who stripped the ball from the running back which skirted down the field before being scooped up by redshirt senior spur linebacker Enock Makonzo at the GS 36-yard line.

The turnover proved too be huge for the offense, as Carpenter went to the air for 11 yards on first down to Likely then handed the ball off to Jones for a 13-yard gain on the next play to put the Chants down to the Eagles’ 12-yard line.

On first-and-10, Carpenter connected with Brown on a slant route for the 12-yard touchdown pass to cap the three-play, 36-yard scoring drive, and put the visitors on top at 7-0 with 8:54 to go in the first half.

The Eagles looked to get the score back on their next offensive drive, as the home team strung together three first downs yet put the ball on the ground again on a bad snap with Teddy Gallagher winning the ball in the pile-up to give the ball back to the Coastal offense on the Georgia Southern 40-yard line with 4:35 in the second quarter.

Again, CCU needed just three plays, as this time taking to the ground with back-to-back runs from Jones before Carpenter kept it himself on an option to the left and broke through for a 23-yard touchdown run to push the visitors in front by two scores at 14-0 with 3:23 to go before the halftime break.

The Chants were not done, as the special teams unit got in on the action.

Following another defensive stop by the “Black Swarm”, ended by a sack by Stewart on third-and-10, the Eagles were set to punt for the fourth time of the game.

On the punt, three Chants swarmed the Eagles’ punter with Alex Spillum sticking out his right hand to block the kick. Redshirt freshman linebacker Mason Shelton picked up the loose ball and ran it in from 33 yards out to put CCU on top 21-0 at halftime.

Out of the halftime break, the Coastal defense surrendered just one first down and forced another Anthony Beck II punt to take over on their own eight-yard line.

Coastal opened up the drive with a 33-yard scamper from Bennett and an 11-yard run up the middle by Jones to get to the ball across midfield and into Georgia Southern territory.

Nine plays later, the Chants’ extended their lead with a seven-yard touchdown run from Jones to cap a 12-play, 92-yard scoring drive that took 6:49 off the game clock and go up by four scores at 28-0 with 5:17 left to play in the third quarter.

After another Georgia Southern punt, a Coastal Carolina fumble, and an Eagles’ interception, in which a long pass was picked off by CCU’s Bush for his first interception of the season, the Chants were again forced to punt the ball, as a bad snap led to a 22-yard sack of Carpenter to end the drive.

Taking over on the Coastal 45-yard line following a punt, the Eagles went to the air with back-to-back double-digit yard passes from Ransom to Derwin Burgess Jr. to move the ball down to the Coastal seven-yard line.

Two plays later, Ransom connected with Johnson for a six-yard touchdown pass to put the home team on the scoreboard and then added a two-point conversion to cut the Chants’ lead to 28-8 with 10:56 to go in the contest.

Neither team would find pay dirt for the remainder of the contest, as the Chants punted twice and turned the ball over on downs, while the Eagles punted once, muffed a punt return to give the ball back to the Chanticleers, and also had a turnover on downs as the clock wound down to 0:00.

The Chanticleers (8-1, 4-1 SBC) will return home to host Georgia State (4-5, 3-2 SBC) on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 2 p.m. ET. The Homecoming and Hall of Fame Weekend contest will be video streamed live on ESPN+.


  • The win is CCU’s first-ever victory at Allen E. Paulson Stadium in Statesboro, Ga., moving the Chants to 1-2 all-time.
  • The victory is the second straight for the Chanticleers over Georgia Southern.
  • With the win, Coastal has improved to 19-2 overall since the start of the 2020 season, the second-best record in all of FBS behind Alabama (20-1).
  • Coastal senior quarterback Bryce Carpenter made his first start of the season and the first since 2019.
  • CCU redshirt sophomore quarterback Grayson McCall did not play due to an upper-body injury.
  • The four forced turnovers – two fumbles, one interception, and one muffled fumble – is the most in a single game this season.
  • This season, the Chanticleers have blocked four kicks overall – three punts and one PAT.
  • CCU has returned three blocked punts for touchdowns this season, a single-season CCU record.
  • It is the fourth time in 2021 that the Chanticleers have held their opponents to under 100 rushing yards for the game.
  • Alex Spillum blocked his second punt of the season which was returned for a touchdown by Mason Shelton in the second quarter.
  • The touchdown return on the blocked punt in the second quarter by Mason Shelton was his first career touchdown.
  • Freshman defensive end Josaiah Stewart set the CCU single-game record for the second time this season with 4.0 sacks on the night.

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