No. 14 Coastal Carolina responded to a go-ahead touchdown by No. 10 Charleston Southern with under a minute to go by quickly driving down field and setting up kicker Ryan Granger with a 35-yard field goal attempt to send the game to overtime.
Granger nailed it, and – after the teams traded a pair of touchdowns in overtime – it came down to the senior yet again as he needed a successful extra point to send the contest to triple overtime. But Granger’s kick would never find the uprights.
“I lined up in the middle and jumped as high as I could,” said Buccaneers freshman Solomon Brown, who blocked Granger’s extra point attempt to give Charleston Southern a 56-55 double-overtime victory at Brooks Stadium. “I saw the ball coming and it hit my right hand. I just went crazy.”
The Buccaneers immediately stormed the field following the block, while the Chanticleers and their fans’ heads hung low in defeat as Charleston Southern used a resilient effort to get past its old rival.
The loss dropped the Chants to 3-2 overall as each defeathas come by just one point against top 10-ranked opponents as Coastal Carolina – which is ineligible for the postseason as it transitions to the FBS level next year – fell to No. 3 Jacksonville State earlier in the year.
“How can you not be disappointed on one hand with the outcome? And how can you not be proud on the other hand with regard to the effort? I was proud of our guys’ effort,” Coastal Carolina head coach Joe Moglia said. “Clearly, you go to double overtime and to lose and for us getting our kick blocked at the end is very disappointing for [myself], the team and the program.”
Saturday also may have been the last meeting between the Chants and Buccaneers for quite some time as Coastal Carolina makes the move to the Sun Belt Conference.
“It was a heck of a college football game,” Charleston Southern coach Jamey Chadwell said. “I’m really sad that this rivalry is going away. The way we were going and scoring, I thought the Clemson-Louisville game (8 p.m. start) would end before ours. A great play by Solomon and we make one more play than they do.”
The loss overshadowed a stellar performance by Chants halfback De’Angelo Henderson, who tied the school record for touchdowns in a game with four and finished with 164 yards on 18 carries.
“It’s huge. When you’ve got this guy next to you, all you have to do is pretty much hand him the ball,” Chants quarterback Tyler Keane said of Henderson. “He gets you 150 yards a game, pretty much. We took advantage of what the defense was doing, and he scored four touchdowns so he did pretty well.”
And Henderson had full faith in Keane to put the Chanticleers in position to win the game.
In the second overtime period, Coastal Carolina was down to its last play on fourth down with five yards to go and Keane completed an 8-yard pass to Devin Brown for a first down. He rushed for a yard, then found Henderson for a 7-yard pass to put the Chants within five yards of the end zone.
Kenny Daniels then found the end zone on a 2-yard rush to bring Coastal Carolina within one, but then Robinson shut the door on the Chants with his block.
“We had full confidence in Tyler to drive us down the field and put us in position to win the game, and he did,” Henderson said. “We made plays and he got the ball to guys he needed to get the ball to, and we forced overtime and just came up a little short.”
As for the Buccaneers, they were playing without new quarterback Robert Mitchell for most of the game as he left with an injury in the second quarter. He was replaced by Shane Bucenell – who was the team’s third-string quarterback to start the season – but returned to the field in double overtime and finished the game for Charleston Southern.
“Robert came in and made some huge plays for us with just his athletic ability,” Chadwell said.
Bucenell really stepped up when called on, completing 9-of-15 passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns.
Moglia gave the redshirt freshman quarterback plenty of credit.
“We could have possibly brought a little pressure, but it looked like when we got him in trouble he’d run out of trouble,” Moglia said of Bucenell. “On one hand you may think you have an advantage because the No. 1 guy goes out, but the No. 2 guy came in and did everything pretty well as far as I’m concerned. He certainly didn’t play like a No. 2 guy.”
Henderson and the Chants will take a week to regroup as they head into a bye, and will then head to Gardner-Webb for a contest with the Bulldogs on Oct. 15.
“The main thing we need to do is try not to point fingers at any particular group,” Henderson said. “Just regroup tomorrow, correct our mistakes and move forward for Gardner-Webb in two weeks. [We can’t] dwell on it. The game is over and there’s nothing we can do about it and just move forward.”
But for Charleston Southern and Chadwell, it will be hard not to look back and use Saturday’s game as a motivator.
“It felt like a conference title game to us,” Chadwell said. “It felt like that whoever wins this game is going on to win the conference. It didn’t matter that they were not in the Big South anymore. We both wanted this one badly.”
CC—Henderson 1 run (Granger kick), 11:03.
CC—Henderson 1 pass from Keane (Granger kick), 7:59.
CCH—Holloway 42 run (Tekac kick), 4:42.
CC—Henderson 36 run (Granger kick), 2:16.
CCH—Korn 12 pass from Bucenell (Tekac kick), 13:29.
CCH—FG Tekac 37, 9:39.
CCH—Hatten 11 pass from Bucenell (kick failed), :42.
CC—White 0 fumble recovery (pass complete), 11:39.
CCH—Hammond 27 run (Tekac kick), 7:19.
CC—Henderson 47 run (pass failed), 5:54.
CCH—Mitchell 10 run (run complete), 9:32.
CC—Bradshaw 19 pass from Jones (Granger kick), 8:17.
CCH—Mitchell 13 run (Tekac kick), :42.
CC—FG Granger 35, :00.
CC—Mapp 15 pass from Keane (Granger kick), :01.
CCH—Korn 24 pass from Bucenell (Tekac kick), :02.
CCH—Scotland 15 pass from Bucenell (Tekac kick), :03.
CC—Daniels 2 run (kick blocked), :04.
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Charleston Southern, M. Holloway 22-140, D. Hammond 15-83, R. Mitchell 11-69, S. Bucenell 13-13, K. Fraise 1-5, B. Robinson 1-3, G. Wall 1-3. Coastal Carolina, D. Henderson 18-164, G. Bradshaw 2-48, T. Keane 8-20, O. Abercrombie 3-13, K. Daniels 1-2.
PASSING—Charleston Southern, S. Bucenell 9-15-0-149, R. Mitchell 3-8-0-32. Coastal Carolina, T. Keane 14-21-1-149, C. Jones 1-1-0-19.
RECEIVING—Charleston Southern, J. Scotland 4-62, K. Brown 2-47, C. Korn 2-36, T. Hatten 1-11, D. Hammond 1-9, S. Davis 1-8, M. Holloway 1-8. Coastal Carolina, D. Henderson 5-44, D. Brown 3-44, B. Mapp 2-30, G. Bradshaw 2-24, A. Sattinger 2-22, C. Jones 1-4.