Chants Overcome Sluggish First Half in 24-13 Win at UMass

Coastal Carolina football scored 21 points in the second half to defeat the Minutemen

Chants Overcome Sluggish First Half in 24-13 Win at UMass

Amherst, Mass. – Coastal Carolina football shook off four missed scoring opportunities in the first half to score 21 points in the second half and pick up a 24-13 come from behind win over the University of Massachusetts Minutemen on Saturday afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium in Amherst, Mass.

The Chants overcame two missed field goals and two turnovers over the first 30 minutes of play to control the second half from the kickoff en route to the non-conference win.

CCU improves to 2-0 all-time versus UMass and 4-3 overall on the season with the road win. The Minutemen fall to 2-6 on the season with the loss.

The Chanticleers totaled 498 total offensive yards for the contest, their second-highest total as a team in game this season, including 279 yards on the ground and 219 yards in the air, while UMass totaled 453 yards overall with 390 yards coming in the passing game.

After committing eight penalties in the lost last week at home to ULM, CCU was flagged for just three miscues on Saturday. UMass was called for eight penalties for the game.

Freshman quarterback Fred Payton came off the bench for the Chants in the second quarter to help the offense find a rhythm in the second half, as the CCU offense shuffled three quarterbacks in-and-out for most of the contest in Payton, Kilton Anderson and Bryce Carpenter.

Payton was 5-for-7 for 107 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed five times for 44 yards, an average of 8.8 yards per carry. All were career highs for the true freshman.

Anderson, who started the game after missing the last two contests to an injury, was 4-for-10 for 112 yards through the air and rushed for 11 yards on three attempts. Carpenter was 0-for-1 in the passing game, but rushed seven times for 53 yards.

It was all Malcolm Williams on the receiving end for the Chants, as the senior hauled in four catches for a season-high 153 yards, an average of 38.3 yards per catch, and a touchdown.

Running back CJ Marable added a 21-yard reception in the fourth quarter, his lone catch of the game, but rushed for 80 yards on 13 attempts. Fellow running back Marcus Outlow ran for 91 yards on 17 carries and added to his team-high touchdown total with a one-yard score.

For UMass offensively, quarterback Andrew Ford was 20-for-34 for 326 yards and one touchdown, while off the bench backup Ross Comis completed 5-for-9 passes for 64 yards.

While the Minutemen rushed for just 63 yards for the contest, UMass had two receivers with over 100 yards for the game in Andy Isabella with 10 catches for 174 yards and Sadiq Palmer with seven receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The CCU defense, which forced and recovered two fumbles for the game, was led by corner back Anthony Chesley with six tackles (four solo) and two pass breakups and defensive end Tarron Jackson with six stops, 1.0 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and a pass breakup.

As a team, the Chants totaled a season-high nine pass breakups, 6.0 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss.

Both offenses started their first offensive possessions quickly, driving down the field rather easily only to see the defenses hold up in the red zone to force a pair of field goals and put the score at 3-3 with 7:32 to go in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff following Massimo Biscardi's 28-yard field goal, redshirt freshman Alex Spillum stripped the ball out of the hands of the UMass returner to force a fumble which was recovered by fellow special teamer T'Qele Holmes on the UMass 33-yard line.

However, the Chants failed to take advantage of the turnover and were forced to attempt a 48-yard field goal attempt, which Biscardi pulled wide left for his first career field goal miss as a Chanticleer.

Following a second missed field goal on the next CCU offensive possession, the Minutemen took the ball at the Coastal 20-yard line and drove 58 yards in eight plays to kick a 39-yard field goal and retake the lead at 6-3 with 10:31 to go in the second quarter.

The two teams then traded three-and-outs before the Coastal offense used the ground game, rushing eight-straight plays for 57 yards to get down to the UMass 23-yard line. However, on the next play, Carpenter was hit from behind on a draw up the middle and fumbled the ball right into the hands of a waiting Minutemen defender to end the CCU drive.

Five players later on the UMass offensive series, the Chants' Jave Brown hit the Minutemen receiver and knocked the ball free on the Coastal seven-yard line. The loose ball was picked up by freshman corner back Derick Bush to give the ball back to the CCU offense at their own nine-yard line.

Following a 12-yard rush by Marable, an incomplete pass and a 30-yard run from Marable, the Chants took a timeout with 1:21 and a first-and-10 to go on the home team's 49-yard line.

Out of the timeout, Anderson avoided a rush and scrambled out to his left where he threw the ball deep towards the end zone to find Williams along the left side line for a touchdown. However, the 49-yard touchdown reception was called back due to a holding penalty at the line of scrimmage to make it first-and-20 for the Chants on their own 41-yard line.

After back-to-back rushes of 17 and 15 yards from Payton, who entered the game after the penalty, put the Chants on the UMass 27-yard line, the turnover bug struck again on the first-and-10, as Payton's pass hit off the hands of a CCU receiver and fell right into the arms of the Minutemen's Chinedu Ogbonna for an interception.

The Chant defense kept the Minutemen off the scoreboard over the final 26-seconds of the half to go into the locker room down 6-3 at the halftime break.

Coastal got the ball to start the second half and took its time on its first offensive possession in the third quarter. The Chants methodically drove 75 yards down the field on 15 plays before a one-yard plunge by Outlow up the middle put the visitors in front for the first time in the game at 10-6 with 6:50 to go in the quarter.

The drive, which took 8:10 off the game clock, is the longest drive of the season for the Chants and the third-longest scoring drive in terms of time in the program's history. The 15 plays is tied for the longest scoring drive in terms of number of plays on the year and the ninth time that the Chants have recorded a 15-play or more scoring drive in CCU's history.

The lead did not last long, as the Minutemen quickly answered back less than two minutes later with a five-play, 74-yard drive, capped off by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ford to Palmer to put the home team back in front by three at 13-10 with 4:57 to go in the quarter.

Refusing to go away, the Chants responded in a big way, as Payton found a wide open Williams behind the UMass defense on a second-and-10 for a 61-yard touchdown reception to put the Teal back on top at 17-13 in the offensive third period of play.

The visitors extended its lead on the next offensive series, as Payton placed a great pass in the end zone for a streaking Marable to highlight an eight-play, 65-yard scoring drive and put the Chants in front at 24-13 with less than 15 minutes to go in the game.

Neither team would score for the remainder of the contest, as CCU held on for the 11-point win.

The Chants will return to Sun Belt Conference play next week versus Georgia State (2-5, 1-2 Sun Belt). Kick-off is set for 2 p.m. ET in Atlanta, Ga.