Key moment | With Coastal Carolina already up 7-0, the Chanticleers’ defense delivered a pivotal fourth-down stand late in the opening quarter that would set them up for another early touchdown. Junior safety Tyler McCarthy brought down Charleston Southern senior Mike Davis for a five-yard loss on fourth-and-one as the Chants took possession at the Buccaneers’ 39 and scored seven plays later to make it 14-0.
The man | Coastal sophomore Quinn Backus. The Chants’ standout linebacker set the tone defensively as he intercepted Charleston Southern junior Malcolm Dixon on the third play of the game. He also had a forced fumble and tackle for loss in the first quarter.
Key moment | Coastal junior Lorenzo Taliaferro fumbled early in the second quarter, and Charleston Southern recovered the loose ball at the CCU 27. But the Buccaneers couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity as the Chants’ defense came up with another fourth-down stop. Redshirt-freshman quarterback Briar Van Brunt took off running on fourth-and-2 from the CCU 8, but senior Quinton Davis stopped him a yard short of the first down to end the drive.
The man | Charleston Southern’s stable of quarterbacks. The Buccaneers were rotating quarterbacks Saturday and got two big throws at the end of the first half from two different players to get on the scoreboard. Van Brunt connected with senior Corvaughn Archie for a 34-yard gain on third-and-15 and junior Derek Hatcher threw a 7-yard touchdown pass on the next play to freshman Larry Jones III as the Buccaneers drew to within 21-7 heading into halftime.
Key moment | Coastal made sure the game never got all that close, though. Facing fourth-and-2 from the CSU 19 on the opening drive of the second half, senior quarterback Aramis Hillary backed away from a rushing defender and tossed up an 18-yard completion to redshirt-freshman tight end Thomas Pauciello. The Chants scored on the next play -- a 1-yard touchdown run by senior Marcus Whitener -- and converted the two-point conversion to push their lead to 29-7.
The man | Coastal senior Dontavais Johnson. The veteran cornerback intercepted Dixon on a two-point conversion attempt and returned it 100 yards the other way to instead give Coastal two more points and a 31-13 lead.
Key moment | Just to reiterate that Coastal wasn’t about to relent one bit in the second half, Hillary rumbled for 46 yards on a third-and-12 play early in the fourth quarter to extend the Chants’ drive and set up yet another score. Hillary’s big run took the Chants down to the 12, and sophomore Alex Catron would soon convert a 36-yard field goal to make it 41-13.
The man | Backus. The front-runner for Big South Defensive Player of the Year honors tallied a season-high 16 total tackles to go with two tackles for loss, that forced fumble and the interception. In the process, Backus broke the Chants’ single-season record for tackles -- now set at 123. The previous mark was 116, set by Jamar Leath in 12 games in 2006.
By Ryan Young, firstname.lastname@example.org