Coastal Carolina senior running back Lorenzo Taliaferro was added to the Walter Payton Award Watch List on Thursday after starting the season on a record-setting pace for the undefeated Chanticleers.
Taliaferro has already set program records for rushing touchdowns (17), total touchdowns (18) and needs 122 rushing yards to surpass the Chants' single-season mark of 1,107 set in 2004.
He is one of 20 nominees so far for the prestigious award, which honors the most outstanding player at the FCS level. Ballots are sent out to a national panel of sports information directors, media members and other dignitaries after the regular-season and the top three vote getters are invited to the FCS awards show Dec. 16 in Philadelphia.
The 6-foot-2, 230-pound standout ranks second at the FCS level with his 17 rushing touchdowns, fourth in rushing yards per game (140.9) and fifth in total rushing yards (986) while turning in five of the top 13 single-game rushing performances in program history already this fall.
Making that feat even more impressive is that three of those came against South Carolina State (157 yards), Eastern Kentucky (174) and Liberty (151) -- which all lead their respective conferences in rushing defense.
The Chants' stout offensive line and potent passing attack have no doubt helped, but Taliaferro's strong start is a key reason the team finds itself 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 6 in The Sports Network's media poll.
"I'm not going to lie in the face of modesty. Are we a good offensive line unit? Yeah, we are. But it's nice when you've got a guy like 'Zo behind you," senior left guard Jamey Cheatwood said. "It makes you look good because he's fast, he's big, powerful and he holds on to the ball. So he's the complete package, and he's exactly what you want in your offense."
Murrells Inlet’s Zack Byrd and Myrtle Beach’s Roberto Diaz are entered in the First Stage of the Web.com Qualifying Tournament at St. Johns Golf & Country Club in St. Augustine, Fla., from Oct. 22-25.
• Green Sea Floyds 7, Mullins 0 | Maegan Milligan led the Trojans to a shutout over Mullins
No. 1 Maegan Milligan (GSF) def. Serenity Hunt, 6-3 6-0; No. 2 Mandy Granger (GSF) def. Anea Gause, 6-1, 6-3; No. 3 Kaylee Jordan (GSF) def. Zhane Eaddy, 6-0, 6-1; No. 4 Courtnee Faulk (GSF) def. Jasmine Harley, 6-3, 6-3; No. 5 Savannah Bailey (GSF) def. Jessica Ghavez, 8-2
No. 1 Milligan and Granger (GSF) def. Hunt and Gause, 8-2; No. 2 Sefa Kienast and Hali Hutchinson (GSF) def. DeAsia Crawford and Makayla Caulder, 8-0.
Rec.: GSF: 8-5
• Socastee 4, (at) Aynor 3 | The Braves bested the Blue Jackets, winning four-of-seven to get the win. Aynor finishes the season at 8-6 overall, 6-2 in the region.
Singles – Anna Brice Cox (S) d. Gentry Johnston 6-2, 6-1; Keekee Alston (S) d. Heleana Toth 6-3, 6-0; Savannah Tiller (A) d. Ashlyn Burns 6-7, 6-3, 7-3, 10-4; Mary-Kathryn Tilma (A) d. Hayley Duvall 7-5, 3-6, 10-7; Rachel Gresko (S) d. Kelly Floyd 6-0, 6-0.
Doubles – Cox /Alston (S) d. Johnston /Toth 6-0, 6-3; Mattie Hucks/Shelley Baker (A) d. Joy Renfrow/Destiny Watts 6-1, 6-3.
Records – Aynor: (8-6, 6-2)
• (At) Green Sea Floyds 15, Hanna-Pamplico 65, Latta 113 | The Trojans finished out the top five positions with Micah Floyd taking the Region VIII–A Championship for the boys.
1. Micah Floyd (GSF) 18.47, 2. Alfredo Vasquez (GSF) 18.49, 3. Steele Willoughby (GSF) 18.52, 4. Cesar Alvarado (GSF) 19.01, 5. Lou Norton (GSF) 19.05.
• (At) Green Sea Floyds 21, Latta 45, Hannah-Pamplico (DNP) | Jessica Evans of Latta finished first with a time of 22:00 to take gold in the girls Region VIII–A Championship.
1. Jessica Evans (L) 22.00, 2. Nadia Howell (GSF) 22.20, 3. Joanna Jaimes (GSF) 23.00, 4. Katia Howell (GSF) 23.12, 5. Harley Berry (GSF) 24.28