CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Coastal Carolina football capped off its 2019 season with a 24-21 win over the Texas State Bobcats in the regular-season finale on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium. Prior to the game, CCU’s 10 seniors were recognized as part of Senior Day.
The win ends the Chants’ season at 5-7 overall and 2-6 in Sun Belt play. The five wins tied the program’s FBS record (2017) for wins and marked the third time in the last four years that the Chants have ended the season with a victory.
Saturday’s win also snapped the Chants’ losing streak at three-straight games and is the first-ever victory over Texas State (1-1).
The three-point win is fitting for the Chants this season, as seven of their 12 games were decided by one score (eight points) or less.
Junior running back CJ Marable etched his name in the CCU record books in the first half, as he eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season to become just the fourth Chant to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season. His 1,000-yard rushing season is only the sixth in school history joining De’Angelo Henderson (2014, 2015 and 2016), Lorenzo Tailiaferro (2013) and Patrick Hall (2004).
He finished the day with 121 rushing yards and one touchdown run on 25 carries, giving him six 100-yard rushing games on the year, and a total of 1,085 rushing yards for the season.
On the defensive end, redshirt junior defensive end Tarron Jackson finished the game with a career-high 3.0 sacks, giving him a new CCU school-record of 10.0 sacks on the season, surpassing the previous record of 8.0 by Alex Scearce in 2016.
Redshirt senior cornerback Chandler Kryst’s five interceptions this year is tied for the fourth-most by a Chant in CCU’s single-season history.
Coastal’s offense tallied 380 total offensive yards for the game, running 75 plays compared to just 51 by Texas State. The Bobcats finished with 329 yards of offense.
Quarterback Bryce Carpenter was 10-for-11 for 114 yards and one score, while fellow sophomore quarterback Fred Payton was 7-for-11 for 43 yards and a touchdown pass. Carpenter’s 90.1 completion percentage is the best in a single game in CCU history with a minimum of 10 passing attempts.
Eight different Chants caught at least one pass led by tight end Isaiah Likely’s team-high six receptions and 107 yards. Both Likely and fellow tight end in redshirt senior Shadell Bell each had a touchdown catch in the win.
The Bobcats passed for 285 yards and rushed for just 36 yards in the loss. The 36 rushing yards were the fewest allowed by the CCU defense this season.
Texas State quarterback Tyler Vitt was 23-for-33 with 285 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception, and also caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from wideout Hutch White in the fourth quarter.
Eight different receivers caught a pass for the Bobcats, including Vitt, led by White’s game-high seven catches and Mason Hays’ game-high 117 receiving yards.
The CCU defense was led by Jackson’s 3.0 sacks and freshman linebacker JT Killen who recorded a team-high seven stops, including 0.5 tackle-for-loss, in his first career start as a Chant. Fellow Chants Derick Bush and Brayden Matts each finished with six tackles apiece, while Kryst had an interception and one pass breakup in the defensive backfield.
Texas State’s leading tackler Bryan London II and fellow linebacker Nikolas Daniels both finished with a game-high 14 total tackles in the loss.
Both teams got off to a sluggish start, as neither team got anything going offensively over the first 15 minutes of play.
CCU’s offense went three-and-out on the first possession, while the next two series saw both Texas State and the Chanticleers each miss a field goal to keep the game scoreless midway through the opening quarter.
Following three straight punts, the Chants finally got on the scoreboard first midway through the second quarter, as the offense put together a series that saw four first downs and was capped off by a one-yard touchdown pass from Payton to Bell to put the home team in front 7-0 with 7:39 to go in the first half.
On the scoring drive, Marable totaled 20 rushing yards to push him over 1,000 rushing yards for the season.
Texas State found the end zone two series later, as the Bobcats’ Vitt hit a wide-open Hays down the field for a 64-yard pass and catch on the first play of the drive to tie the game up at 7-7 with 3:07 to go in the second quarter.
With the score knotted up at 7-7 out of the halftime break, the Bobcats looked to take their first lead of the game in the early minutes of the second half only to see an Alan Orona 47-yard field goal attempt miss wide left to open the door for the Chants.
Coastal took the ball at its own 29-yard line and nickel-and-dimed its way down the field, going 71 yards on 11 plays over 6:23 to take a 14-7 lead on a one-handed catch by Likely from Carpenter 28-yards out. The drive saw four first downs and only three plays go over 10 yards, highlighted by the 28-yard TD reception with 3:42 to go in the third quarter.
The Chants’ defense refused to let the Bobcats’ offense answer, as Kryst picked off a Vitt pass, his fifth interception of the season, to end the Texas State drive and give the ball back to the CCU offense with 2:32 left before the fourth quarter.
CCU’s offense took another six minutes off the clock and used another 11-play drive, this time covering 50 yards before a 47-yard field goal by Massimo Biscardi put the home team on top by 10 at 17-7 with 11:30 to go in the contest.
However, Texas State quickly cut the CCU lead back to one score on its ensuing drive, as the Bobcats drove 67 yards in just four plays to score on a wide receiver pass to the quarterback all alone in the end zone to trim the Coastal lead to three at 17-14 with 9:38 to play.
Coastal answered with another double-digit play scoring drive, as Marable led the Chants 69 yards on 10 plays and capped off the drive on a three-yard touchdown run to push the men in teal back out in front by 10 at 24-14 with just over four minutes left in regulation.
Too much time was left on the clock, however, as the Bobcats scored just over two minutes later on an 18-yard pass from Vitt to Jacoby Hopkins to get back to within three once more, this time at 24-21 with 1:31 in the contest.
Coastal sealed the win with a five-yard run by Marable to get a Chanticleer first down and allow the home team to run out the clock in the 24-21 home win.
The Chanticleers finished the season, their third as a full member at the FBS level, at 5-7 overall and 2-6 in Sun Belt play.
Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics