MONROE, LA. (WBTW) – With both teams entering the game at 4-6 overall and trying to stay alive towards becoming bowl eligible with six wins on the season, both Coastal Carolina and ULM left it all on the field with the home-standing Warhawks outscoring the Chants 45-42 in an offensive slugfest on Saturday night in Monroe, La.
With the loss, the Chants fall to 0-3 all-time versus ULM, 4-7 on the season and 1-6 in Sun Belt play. ULM improved to 5-6 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
The two teams combined for 87 points, 49 first downs and 1,015 yards of total offense in a game that saw seven lead changes and two ties.
The CCU offense totaled 452 yards on 67 plays, an average of 6.75 yards per play. The Chants rushed for 230 yards, passed for 222 yards and had four different players score a touchdown in the loss.
Quarterback Fred Payton had a strong game through the air, as the sophomore was 10-of-16 for 158 yards and three touchdowns, which included a 41-yard strike to Reese White in the second half.
Fellow quarterback Bryce Carpenter was 4-of-6 for 64 yards and one interception in the passing game but rushed nine times for 32 yards on the ground.
Running back CJ Marable’s career-high 172 rushing yards marked his fifth 100-yard rushing game of the season, while his 75-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the longest play from the line of scrimmage for the Chants’ offense this season.
He also led the team with four catches for 27 yards, followed by Ky’Jon Tyler with three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. Tyler also added a 72-yard punt return for a touchdown in the third quarter, the first punt return for a touchdown for the Chants since Tyler returned one 80 yards for a score versus Furman on Sept. 24, 2016.
Wideout Larry Collins Jr. caught two passes for 60 yards, including a 51-yard catch in the first quarter, while White added two catches for 58 yards which included the 41-yard touchdown pass from Payton.
The Warhawks tallied 563 yards of total offense with 217 yards on the ground and 346 yards by way of quarterback Caleb Evans and the passing game.
Evans accounted for three touchdowns overall as he was 19-of-33 for 346 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed nine times for 69 yards and a score.
ULM running back Josh Johnson ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while five different receivers hauled in multiple catches on the night led by four catches each from Zach Jackson (4 rec., 72 yds) and Jonathan Hodoh (4 rec., 47 yds), and a game-high 114 yards and a touchdown from Markis McCray (3 rec.).
Redshirt senior cornerback Chandler Kryst had the lone turnover of the game for the Chants’ defense with an interception and led the way with nine total tackles, including 1.0 tackle-for-loss.
Linebacker Teddy Gallagher finished the game with eight stops, including 0.5 tackle-for-loss, while defensive end Tarron Jackson added five tackles, 1.5 tackles-for-loss, 1.0 sack and forced a fumble.
ULM’s Cortez Sisco led the Warhawks’ defense with a game-high 19 total tackles, to go with a 1.0 tackle-for-loss and an interception.
The Chanticleers started the shootout by quickly driving 75 yards on five plays in just 2:28 to take an early 7-0 lead on a 51-yard pass from Carpenter to Collins Jr. and a three-yard touchdown run by Marable.
However, the next two scores would go in favor of the home team, as the Warhawks evened the score up at 7-7 on a 12-yard scoring scamper from Johnson and then pulled out in front at 14-7 on a 98-yard pass from Evans to McCray with 5:55 to go in the opening quarter.
CCU answered on its ensuing offensive drive, as a 16-yard pass across the middle from Payton to Jaivon Heiligh found pay dirt to cap a nine-play, 75-yard drive to knot the game back up at 14-14 with under a minute to go in the first quarter.
Following punts from ULM and then CCU, the Warhawks continued the torrid scoring pace on their fourth possession of the game, as used a 20-yard Johnson rush and a 30-yard pass and catch from Evans to Jah Bloomfield set up a 10-yard Austin Vaughn rushing score to put the home team back in front by seven at 21-14 with 8:52 to play in the second quarter.
Looking to tie the game up again, the Chants drove 47 yards on 12 plays and took the ball down to the ULM 28-yard line before Carpenter was hit on a pass attempt that sent the ball floating into the air where the Warhawks’ Sisco came down with the ball for the interception.
Neither team would score for the remainder of the half to give the Warhawks a 21-14 lead at the half.
After the Coastal defense had a Kryst interception on a tipped pass overturned due to instant replay, ULM took advantage and put three points on the board to extend its lead to 10 at 24-14 on a 37-yard field goal from place-kicker Jared Porter with 11:19 to go in the third quarter.
Down 10, the Chants used a four-yard rush from defensive lineman C.J. Brewer on a fake-punt attempt on fourth-and-3 to keep their first offensive series in the second half alive.
A 23-yard catch by Isaiah Likely followed by a 29-yard touchdown catch from Tyler down the right sideline capped the 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive to put the Chants down three at 24-21 with under eight minutes to go in the quarter.
The defense would then force a ULM punt in which Tyler quickly switched fields and returned the kick 72 yards for a touchdown to put the visitors in white in front for the first time since the opening minutes of the contest at 28-24.
However, ULM retook the lead less than four minutes later on a 32-yard rush by Evans to take a 31-28 advantage into the fourth quarter.
Coastal refused to quit but rather responded with a score of its own on a 41-yard pass from Payton to White on a throw-back play to cap another 10-play, 75-yard drive and put the Chants back in front at 35-31 in the seesaw affair.
After the defense forced a ULM punt, Marable took the pitch from Payton 75-yards down the ULM sideline in just 14 seconds on the very first play of the series to give the lead back to the Chanticleers at 42-38 with 7:30 to go in the contest.
The scoring did not stop there, as ULM took the ball 75 yards on just three plays and 43 seconds to wrestle the lead back from CCU on a 34-yard touchdown catch by Johnson to put the home team on top at 45-42 with 6:47 left in regulation.
ULM was able to force the Chants into a three-and-out and attempted to run some time off the clock. However, the CCU defense came up big, as Kryst picked off a pass on a third-and-3 to give the ball back to the offense on its own 24-yard line with 3:26 to play.
A fumble on the third-down play gave the ball back to the Warhawks with 1:55 to go in the game, sealing the win for the home team.
Coastal (4-7, 1-6 Sun Belt) will wrap up the season with a home contest versus Texas State (2-5, 3-8 Sun Belt) on Saturday, Nov. 30 at noon. The game will be Senior Day for the Coastal football program.
Courtesy: Coastal Carolina Athletics