Coastal Carolina has had plenty of close battles with Furman, the last six contests between the schools decided by a total of 29 points.
But Saturday’s game between the in-state foes wasn’t really close – at all.
The Chanticleers got out to a 20-point lead at halftime behind the play of halfback De’Angelo Henderson and the team’s strong defense and special teams, and Coastal Carolina never slowed down en route to a 41-21 victory over the Paladins in front of a capacity crowd of 10,311 at Brooks Stadium.
The Chants have now won six straight against the Paladins, and it was the largest margin of victory in the series – which Coastal Carolina leads 7-1.
“It was nice, man,” Henderson said of getting out to a big lead against Furman. “Special teams really helped us out big tonight with a blocked field goal, Kenny Daniel scoring and Ky’Jon [Tyler] scoring on a big punt. So, special teams played a big role and the defense played well again. I tip my hat off to them, and the offense – we need to keep rolling.”
Henderson finished with a career-high 185 yards on 20 carries and caught three passes for 19 yards and a touchdown, extending his NCAA Division I record for most consecutive games with at least one touchdown to 30. He also reached the 100 rushing yard plateau for the 21st time in his career, the most in program history.
“It felt good,” Henderson said with a chuckle. “It’s just fun, man. You get out there and draw up your Xs and Os and where you’re supposed to hit stuff. But I tell [the coaches] I’m just out there having fun. I see something, I hit it. But really, you have to give credit to the [offensive] line. They do all the dirty work. Me and Laquay Brown kind of got into it on the field a little bit. He was trying to tell me to stay inside and I was like, ‘Let me run.’ So, kudos to those guys.”
Also helping lead the way for the Chants was Myrtle Beach High School product Tyler Keane, making his first collegiate start at quarterback. He finished 9-of-14 passing for 130 yards and two scores as he replaced injured starter Josh Stilley, who went down with a left knee injury in last week’s 27-26 loss to Jacksonville State and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia was impressed with Keane after a respectable performance.
“He’s doing a good job,” Moglia said of Keane. “He’s still inexperienced at the spot; he’s still learning. I think [offensive coordinator] Dave Patenaude and the offensive staff doesn’t ask him to do stuff he’s not able to do, so therefore he’s able to execute. I think he did a good job.”
Keane credited the defense and special teams for taking a load off his back.
“I can’t speak enough about how they played,” Keane said. “For them to put up that many points on the board made it that much easier for us an offense.”
The Chants defense – which did allow 408 total yards – did a good job of limiting the Paladin’s chances in the red zone. Coastal Carolina linebacker Alex Scearce can attest to that as he intercepted a Reese Hannon pass in the end zone to halt some momentum.
Scearce – who leads the team in total tackles and added four more Saturday – later picked off another Hannon pass to score and put the Chants ahead 41-14 in the fourth quarter.
“I think I had a slow first half and was trying to make some plays to keep up what I’ve been doing to start the season. I’m just trying to make some plays,” Scearce said. “Last week, I missed an opportunity to get an interception and focused real hard this week on trying to catch the ball. It’s about time I brought one back to the house, so that was nice.”
Coastal Carolina’s Osharmar Abercrombie had 15 carries for 56 yards, and wide receiver Chris Jones finished with a team-high 88 yards receiving and had one touchdown to round out the Chants’ offense.
And while the Coastal Carolina defense and offense put up points, the special teams unit did as well. Myles White blocked a field goal – his second straight week doing so – and Abercrombie picked it up and pitched it to Kenneth Daniels, who took it 60 yards for a score in the second quarter. Also, Ky’Jon Tyler took his first-ever punt return 80 yards for a score – also in the second quarter.
“It was real good,” Henderson said of the special teams’ play on Saturday. “Ky’Jon is one of those special guys that we knew was going to make a play when he got his opportunity. Real excited to see him to do that and hopefully he can continue to build off it.”
The Chants – who improved to 3-1 – will look to build off the win as they host Charleston Southern at 6 p.m. next Saturday.
But for now, they’ll celebrate a win over Furman that didn’t come down to the wire.
“The last thing I have on my mind tonight is next week. We’’ll put this game to bed and tomorrow we’ll worry about Charleston Southern,” Moglia said. “Our guys deserve to enjoy this game; I’m going to enjoy it.”
CC—Henderson 8 pass from Keane (Granger kick), 13:20.
CC—FG Granger 30, 11:06.
CC—Daniels 60 blocked FG return (Granger kick), 8:08.
CC—FG Granger 43, 6:30.
CC—Tyler 80 punt return (Granger kick), 5:20.
FUR—Dirks 3 run (Hollingsworth kick), 1:07.
FUR—Gordon 23 pass from Hannon (Hollingsworth kick), 11:02.
CC—Jones 18 pass from Keane (Granger kick), 7:43.
CC—Scearce 31 interception return (Granger kick), 3:17.
FUR—Luke 5 Yd pass from Hannon (Hollingsworth kick), 0:10.
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Furman, R. Hannon 8-35, R. Hayes III 7-31, A. Wilcox 7-16, A. Suttles 2-15, K. Dirks 1-3, J. Tuten 1-2, T. Luke 4-1. Coastal Carolina, D. Henderson 20-185, O. Abercrombie 15-56, T. Keane 6-13.
PASSING—Furman, R. Hannon 26-45-3-305. Coastal Carolina, T. Keane 9-14-0-130.
RECEIVING—Furman, A. Suttles 4-95, T. Gordon 5-71, A. Schumpert 4-44, T. Luke 3-26, D. Fletcher 3-19, J. Tuten 1-16, A. Wilcox 2-14, L. McCarter 3-12, B. Lemmons 1-8. Coastal Carolina, C. Jones 4-88, D. Henderson 3-19, G. Bradshaw 1-17, B. Mapp 1-6.