The Chanticleers drop a 38-28 decision at Georgia Southern
STATESBORO, GA (CCU Athletics) – Coastal Carolina University’s football team suffered its second straight loss of the season as Sun Belt Conference foe Georgia Southern University claimed a 38-28 victory on Sept. 30. The Chanticleers are now 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the SBC while the Eagles improve to 4-1 and 1-0.
For the game, the Chants outgained the Eagles in total yards, 465-438, including a 166-116 advantage in rushing yards. CCU quarterback Grayson McCall was 22 of 39 for 299 yards and one TD, but was intercepted four times. Jared Brown led CCU’s receivers with eight catches for 106 yards. Sam Pinckney had a game-high 132 receiving yards on seven receptions with one TD. Braydon Bennett was the game’s leading rusher as he finished with 114 yards on 15 carries with one score. Juan Powell recorded a team-high 10 tackles while Shane Bruce finished with seven total stops.
The Chanticleers opened the game with a quick score as McCall called his own number and ran five yards for a TD to cap an eight-play, 75-yard drive that took just 3:11. Liam Gray added the extra point to make the score 7-0.
Georgia Southern took advantage of an interception, which it turned into a score. On the first play of the second quarter, Davis Brin threw a two-yard pass to Derwin Burgess Jr. for a touchdown.
Max Balthazar got CCU on the scoreboard next with a one-yard rushing touchdown with 7:29 left in the second quarter. During the drive, McCall and Pinckney connected on two long pass plays that covered 29 and 42 yards, respectively. Gray’s extra point put CCU ahead, 14-7.
GSU evened the score at 14-14 when Brin’s pass attempt, which was deflected Powell, dropped into the hands of Anthony Queeley for a touchdown.
CCU missed 34-yard field goal attempt with 1:19 left in the first half. Later in the quarter, CCU turned the ball over again on an interception. Jalen White’s 29-yard run up the middle helped to set-up a score. With :08 left on the game clock, Brin hit Kaleb Hood for a 12-yard TD pass reception and Georgia Southern went into halftime leading 21-14.
At the half, CCU led 261-244 in total yards. GSU led advantage in passing yards 189-174 and time of possession 16:49 to 13:11. Pinckney had four catches for 96 yards. Bennett led the ground game with seven carriers for 61 yards. Powell had seven total tackles, including six solo stops.
The Chants’ defense forced GSU to go three-and-out on its opening drive of the second-half. CCU used a strong ground game to move the ball during its first second-half possession. McCall then threw a 13-yard TD pass to Pinckney to help knot the score at 21-21. The drive took 3:33 and covered 64 yards in eight plays, including six rushes.
Georgia State responded with a 45-yard field goal to take a 24-21 lead with 7:10 left in the third. On the ensuing drive, McCall’s pass attempt was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Khadry Jackson, who returned it 20 yards for a TD. The Eagles increased their lead to 31-21.
On Georgia Southern’s next drive, the Eagles went 72 yards in nine plays and scored on Jalen White’s three-yard TD run. The drive, which was highlighted by a Brin to Hood 43-yard pass completion, took 4:46 and made the score 38-21 with :49 left in the third.
On its next drive, CCU converted two fourth down attempts on its way to a touchdown. On fourth and eight, McCall completed a pass to Brown for 10 yards that moved the ball to the Georgia Southern 13-yard line. On fourth and 10, McCall ran 12 yards for a first down at the Georgia Southern one-yard line. On the next play, Bennett ran across the goal line for a touchdown from one yard out. Gray’s extra point cut the Eagles’ lead to 38-28 at the 9:16 mark in the fourth quarter.
Georgia Southern came right back with another scoring attempt but its 40-yard field goal attempt bounced off the left upright. CCU got the ball at its own 21-yard line. On fourth and 12, McCall’s pass completion to Pinckney covered just 11 yards. Georgia Southern took over at the 31-yard line and eventually tried a 50-yard field goal attempt, which fell short. CCU’s final drive ended with an interception with :12 left in the game.
The Chants will remain on the road as their next contest will be at Appalachian State on Tuesday, Oct. 10, beginning at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
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