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Coastal Carolina wins OT thriller over South Alabama, clinches 10th win of the season

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 7:03 PM EST
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MOBILE, Ala. (WMBF) - Coastal Carolina has now won double-digit games in back-to-back seasons for the first time ever, but it wasn’t easy.

The Chanticleers overcame a 10-point deficit at halftime to snag their tenth win of the season in a 27-21 overtime victory at South Alabama on Friday.

Senior running back Shermari Jones shattered his personal best with a 211-yard rushing performance, including his longest touchdown run of the season. Grayson McCall threw for 176 yards and ran for 59.

Coastal’s first half was marred by a sluggish start on offense and penalties, including two touchdowns that were called back.

The Jaguars, led on offense by former South Carolina quarterback Jake Bentley, took advantage by scoring the game’s first touchdown midway through the first quarter. South Alabama then extended the lead early in the second quarter on a 30-yard field goal.

COASTAL COMEBACK

Down 10-0 in the third quarter, fortunes began to turn in Coastal’s favor.

The Chants were able to snag their first turnover of the game on an acrobatic, one-handed interception by linebacker Silas Kelly - but it pinned Coastal deep in their own territory.

Starting at their own 5-yard line, the offense orchestrated a long scoring drive capped off by a Grayson McCall touchdown pass to Jaivon Heiligh to cut the lead to a field goal. The 19-play possession took nearly 9:30 off the clock in a fast-moving third quarter.

That momentum continued into the first play of the fourth quarter, as Jones broke free and took a 75-yard run to the end zone and gave the Chants their first lead of the game.

TURNING POINT

The Jaguars were able to pull within one with a field goal and got the ball back on a McCall interception later in the fourth quarter.

Down to a fourth and short, Bentley was sacked by freshman defensive end Josiah Stewart to give Coastal the ball back. On the next possession, McCall was hit from behind while scrambling and lost the ball, giving the Jaguars the ball back.

Bentley responded by going deep downfield to Jalen Tolbert on a 57-yard touchdown strike and a successful two-point conversion attempt put Coastal in a 21-14 hole late.

The Chants responded to that strike with another long drive, this time going 82 yards on 10 plays in less than four minutes as a touchdown run from Bryce Carpenter and the extra point tied things up with 39 seconds left.

OVERTIME

Coastal set the pace out the gate in the extra period, as McCall found open space and ran in a 25-yard touchdown to put the Chants up early. Massimo Biscardi would miss the extra point, however, keeping the lead at six.

Bentley led the Jaguars out for their possession but was unable to generate any yardage outside of a six-yard gain on their first play. Faced with a fourth down, Bentley was sacked by C.J. Brewer and a host of Chanticleers to ice the win for the visitors.

RECORD BREAKERS

Stewart locked up Coastal’s single-season sack record just before halftime. He’s now one ahead of former Chanticleer Tarron Jackson’s record-breaking 2019 campaign. Stewart would finish the night with three sacks.

Heiligh broke a record of his own as well, becoming the program’s all-time career leader in receiving yards late in the fourth quarter.

UP NEXT

Coastal Carolina finishes the regular season at 10-2 and will learn of their bowl destination next week.

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