Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen threw five touchdowns to lead the Red Wolves to a 51-17 victory over Coastal Carolina Saturday evening at Centennial Bank Stadium.
While Coastal trailed 17-7 at the halftime, the statistics were nearly even with CCU having 206 yards to the Red Wolves’ 215. But A-State scored on its first three possessions of the second half to pull away for the victory.
Hansen was 24-for-37 passing for 286 yards and added nine rushes for 68 yards to go along with his five TD passes.
Tyler Keane was 8-of-13 passing for 98 yards, but was injured late in the first half. Kilton Anderson, seeing his first action as a Chanticleer, came off the bench to play the entire second half. He only completed five passes, but had a 51-yard touchdown to Chris Jones and finished with 133 passing yards. Omar Black led the CCU receivers with 88 yards and Jones had 75.
On the first play from scrimmage, Osharmar Abercrombie, who finished with 102 yards for his second 100-yard game this season, took a hand-off and burst up the middle for 55 yards to the A-State 20. Coastal would get to the nine before the drive stalled and would come away empty after missing a 25-yard field goal.
The Red Wolves road that momentum and put together a 12-play, 80-yard scoring drive. Justice Hansen started the drive with a 13-yard run. He then capped the drive with completions of 15 and 12 yards to Chris Murray, the last for a touchdown and 7-0 lead.
After the teams traded punts, Coastal got on track thanks to Tyler Kean completions of 33 yards to Omar Black, 12 yards to Ky’Jon Tyler and 10 yards to Tyler. The Chants then took advantage of a pass interference call on third down to keep the drive alive. Abercrombie powered his way five yards to the A-State one on the final play of the first quarter. Dalton Demos opened the second frame by keeping the ball for his third rushing TD of the season and first since the season opener. Evan Rabon added the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
Midway through the second quarter, A-State regained a seven-point lead, 14-7. Hansen completed four of his final five passes of the drive, including a 10-yard TD reception by Black Mack.
Coastal was forced to punt and the Red Wolves took over on their 35. A-State quickly marched into scoring position courtesy of a 31-yard Hansen to Johnston White pass. The Chanticleer defense stiffened and, with 12 seconds left, forced a 20-yard field that gave the Red Wolves a 17-7 lead.
A-State opened the second half needing just six plays to take a 24-7 lead on a Hansen to Dijon Paschal 17-yard pass. The Chants were forced to punt on their ensuing drive. While Rabon hit his second 55-yard punt of the game, Blaise Taylor returned the kick 50 yards to the CCU 25. The Chanticleers held firm and forced a 22-yard field goal to give A-State a 27-7 cushion.
After a missed 45-yard field goal, the Red Wolves pushed their lead to 34-7 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter. Hansen set-up the score with an 18-yard run then hit Kendrick Edwards for a four-yard score.
Early in the fourth quarter and one play after an A-State punt, Anderson hit a streaking Malcolm Williams down the left sideline for a 51-yard touchdown. After the extra point, CCU trailed 34-14.
Undaunted, Hansen only needed five plays to cover 65 yards and throw his fifth touchdown of the game, a 23-yarder to Mack, for a 41-14 lead.
Rabon (37 yards) and Sawyer Williams (34 yards) traded field goals to make the score 44-17.
The Red Wolves tacked on a score on defense inside the final two minutes. CCU fumbled and Ronheen Bingham scooped the ball and returned it 28 yards to provide the 51-17 final.
Coastal Carolina will stay on the road to face Appalachian State next Saturday (Oct. 21) at 3 pm.
-per Coastal Carolina Athletics