Coastal Football Drops to 5-5, losing to Arkansas State, 44-16

College Sports

Conway, S.C. – Coastal Carolina had one touchdown catch each from redshirt freshman Jeremiah Miller and true freshman Isaiah Likely, but was held to just 293 total yards for the game while the Arkansas Red Wolves totaled 454 yards of offense on their way to a 44-16 Sun Belt Conference cross-divisional win over the Chanticleers on Saturday night at Brooks Stadium in Conway, S.C.
 
At halftime of the game, the Coastal Carolina University Department of Athletics recognized the George F. “Buddy” Sasser Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductees in Brittany Henderson (women’s golf), Jose Iglesias (baseball), Chelsy Kimes (volleyball), Erica Peake (women’s track and field), Sebastian Soderberg (men’s golf), Mike Tolbert (football) and Cody Wheeler (baseball). Also being inducted as honorary members are retired women’s basketball coach Alan LeForce and retired University photographer Bill Edmonds.
 
The loss drops the Chanticleers to 5-5 overall and 2-4 in Sun Belt play, while the win pushes Arkansas State to 6-4 overall and 3-3 in league play. CCU, who has dropped two-straight games for just the second time this season, is now 0-2 all-time versus the Red Wolves.
 
The two teams combined for 19 penalties – 10 for 71 yards for the Red Wolves and 9 for 86 yard for Coastal, while the Chants had two turnovers to A-State’s one.

Freshman quarterback Fred Payton tied his career-high with two touchdown passes, as he was 11-of-18 for 146 yards through the air. He also rushed eight times for 26 yards. Coming off the bench, Kilton Anderson was 5-of-13 for 19 yards and an interception.
 
On the ground, sophomore running back CJ Marable rushed for a team-high 59 yards on 12 carries. Jacqez Hairston totaled 51 yards on four carries in the fourth quarter, including a long of 24 yards.
 
Marable also led the team with four catches for 33 yards, while Miller (three catches, 59 yards) and Likely (four catches, 13 yards) each had a touchdown catch. Larry Collins Jr. added two catches for 45 yards.
 
While senior Malcolm Williams was held to just one catch for the game, he has now caught at least one pass in 14-straight contests dating back to last season.
 
With his four points for the game – a field goal and extra point – freshman place-kicker Massimo Biscardi has scored at least one point in all 10 games this season.
 
A-State’s offense was led by quarterback Justice Hansen who was 18-of-20 for 253 yards with four touchdowns, while backup Logan Bonner was 5-of-9 for 28 yards.
 
Hansen connected with eight different receivers on the day, highlighted by Kirk Merritt’s game-high 11 catches and 180 yards. Marcel Murray (two catches, 21 yards), Warren Wand (one catch, 20 yards), Reed Tyler (one catch, six yards) and Omar Bayless (one catch, six yards) all had one touchdown catch in the win.
 
On the ground, Murray led the way with nine carries, 65 yards and a score, followed by Wand’s six carries, 53 yards, and a touchdown.
 
Senior safety Fitz Wattley led the way defensively for the Chants with six tackles, including 1.0 tackle for loss, while Teddy Gallagher also had six stops and a tackle for loss. Chandler Kryst and Jonathan Clayton had five tackles apiece on the night. Clayton recorded a 0.5 TFL.
 
For the sixth time this season and the first time since the ULM game on Oct. 13, the Chants’ allowed their opponent to score a touchdown on the opening drive of the game. The Red Wolves overcame two false start penalties and took advantage of a 31-yard Murray rush and a 23-yard Justin McInnis catch to drive 80 yards on seven plays to take a 7-0 lead just 3:32 into the contest.
 
After the Chants were forced to punt after seven plays on their first offensive possession, punter Charles Ouverson pinned the A-State offense down on its own five-yard line to start its second drive of the game.
 
The poor field position did not deter the Red Wolves, as the visitors in white drove the ball 95 yards on 12 plays, highlighted by a 10-yard pass from Hansen to Merritt on a third-and-8 to set up the 10-yard touchdown pass to Reed Tyler and put A-State in front by two scores at 14-0 in the first quarter.
 
The 95-yard scoring drive was the longest allowed by CCU this season and the longest offensive scoring drive by the Red Wolves on the year.
 
Down two scores early, the CCU offense went to the ground game in its second offensive series, as they rushed the ball nine times on the drive to get down to the A-State 23-yard line. On a second-and-11, the Chants’ Payton found an open Miller across the middle for a 24-yard touchdown catch to get the home team in black on the scoreboard.
 
With the Red Wolves’ called for an offsides penalty on the extra point attempt, Coastal elected to go for two with the ball on the one-yard line. However, Payton was stood up on the goal line on the quarterback run to keep the score at 14-6 in favor of the Red Wolves with 10:34 to go in the second quarter.
 
The Chants attempted what looked to be a successful on-sides kick attempt, however, the catch interference was called on the play to give the ball to the Red Wolves on the Coastal 41-yard line.
 
Taking advantage of the great field position, the visitors used nine plays to go 41 yards and score on a Murray 14-yard touchdown and extend its lead to 14 at 20-6. However, the point after attempt was no good, leaving the Chants down two scores with just over five minutes to go in the opening half.
 
Following a CCU interception, the Red Wolves scored again on the ensuing possession, as a leaping 25-yard catch by Merritt between three Coastal defenders on a scramble and heave down the right sideline by Hansen set up a seven-yard touchdown run by Wand to increase the visiting team’s lead to 27-6 with 1:18 to play in the first half.
 
With the Chants forced to go three-and-out on the next possession, the Red Wolves moved the ball into Coastal territory but missed a 32-yard field goal attempt as the first half ended with A-State in front 27-6.
 
Facing the second-largest halftime deficit of the season, the Chants’ offense took the second half kickoff and drove 30 yards to the A-State 39-yard line. However, the drive was halted on back-to-back incomplete passes on third and fourth downs, as the Red Wolves’ defensive pressure forced a turnover on downs and gave the ball back to the offense on the A-State 39-yard line.
 
The A-State offense responded with an eight-play, 64-yard drive, capped off by a 20-yard pass and catch from Hansen to McInnis to give the visitors a 34-6 lead with 8:44 to go in the third quarter.
 
After A-State scored again to take a 41-6 lead, a heads up play by Marable to recover a fumble on a muffed punt by the Red Wolves gave the ball to CCU at the A-State 26-yard line. The offense used just three plays to score on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Payton to Likely to put the score at 41-13 in favor of Arkansas State with just over 16 minutes to go in the game.
 
A-State added a field goal in the fourth quarter to put the final score at 44-16.
 
Coastal wraps up its three-game homestand next Saturday, Nov. 17, versus Georgia Southern (7-3, 4-2 Sun Belt) on Military Appreciation Day and Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT at Brooks Stadium.

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