Coastal football makes history in 30-27 win over (21) Louisiana

Sports

CCU kicker Massimo Biscardi kicks the game winning field goal against Louisiana on Wednesday, as CCU defeats the Cajuns, 30-27.

LAFAYETTE, La. – Coastal Carolina placekicker Massimo Biscardi put a 40-yard game-winning field goal through the uprights with just :04 seconds remaining in the contest to give the Chanticleers the program’s first-ever win over an FBS top 25 nationally-ranked program with a 30-27 victory at No. 21 Louisiana on Wednesday night in Lafayette, La.

The win puts Coastal at 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time in the program’s history as a Sun Belt member (since 2017).

Coastal is off to a 4-0 start to the season for the first time since 2015 and just the fourth time in program history (2013, 2014, and 2015).

The current four-game winning streak this season is the longest in a single season in Coastal’s young FBS history.

For the second-straight game, the Chanticleers controlled the ball, as the offense had the ball for 38:11 compared to the Ragin’ Cajuns’ 21:49 of the contest. The Chants also ran 72 plays compared to the Cajuns’ 55 plays.

CCU totaled 414 yards of offense on a balanced attack on 212 yards rushing and 202 yards passing, while UL recorded 413 total yards on 240 yards rushing and 173 yards passing.

Quarterback Grayson McCall was 17-of-24 for 202 yards and two touchdowns through the air and again was sacked just once. He also added 11 carries for 45 yards and a rushing score in the win.

Senior running back CJ Marable found the end zone both on the ground and through the air, as he rushed 17 times for 73 yards and a score and caught three passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Behind Marable, sophomore Reese White ran the ball 11 times for a hard 68 yards between the tackles, while Shermari Brown had 28 yards on eight carries in the win.

Sophomore wideout Jaivon Heiligh eclipsed 100 yards receiving with 108 yards on eight catches and a score, while redshirt senior Greg Latushko had just two catches for 19 yards but both coming on third-down conversions.

The “Black Swarm” defense was led by the linebacker duo of Teddy Gallagher and Silas Kelly with eight tackles apiece, while C.J. Brewer added seven stops along the defensive line.

UL’s offense was led by Levi Lewis’ 173 yards through the air on 14-of-24 with one touchdown and one interception and a team-high 84 rushing yards with one touchdown on six carries.

Louisiana opened up the scoring on the opening drive, as the home-standing Ragin’ Cajuns drove 75 yards on 10 plays in 4:56 to take a 7-0 lead on a 12-yard pass from Lewis to Jalen Williams. The drive was highlighted by four double-digit yard plays on the drive.

Coastal answered with a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive of its own, as the Chants tallied five first downs and scored on a third-and-goal from the one-yard line on a run up the middle by Marable to knot the score up at 7-7 with 4:43 to go in the opening quarter.

The two defenses woke up over the next four possessions, as each team punted over their next two offensive series to keep the game tied up at 7-7 midway through the second quarter.

After the “Black Swarm” defense forced a third-straight UL punt, the Chants took their first lead of the game late in the second quarter as McCall led a 7-play, 84-yard drive capped off by a 13-yard pass and catch from McCall to Marable. The extra-point was no good to put the visitors in front 13-7 with 1:03 to go in the first half.

However, UL answered the Chants’ score with one of its own, as the Ragin’ Cajuns drove 77 yards on nine plays in just 54 seconds to tie the score up at 13-13 on an eight-yard quarterback draw by Lewis. The PAT was no good to send us to the halftime break tied at 13-13.

Coastal got back to Coastal football to start the second half, as the CCU offense took the second-half kickoff 16-plays, 75-yards, and 8:12 off the game clock to pull back out in front by seven at 20-13 with just over six minutes left in the quarter.

On the drive, the Chants recorded five first downs, was 3-for-4 on third-down conversions, and converted a fourth-and-one on their own 34-yard line to set up a six-yard touchdown pass from McCall to Heiligh to put the visitors in front for the second time on the night.

Just like in the second quarter, the Ragin’ Cajuns quickly answered back as Mitchell capped a 7-play, 66-yard drive with a nine-yard scamper off the right side to again tie the game up, this time at 20-20 with 3:47 left in the third quarter.

Following a 44-yard punt from Charles Ouverson that put the Ragin’ Cajuns on their own 10-yard line, redshirt sophomore Jordan Morris picked off a Lewis pass for his first career interception to give the ball back to the offense at the UL 26-yard line.

The Chants took full advantage with three-straight runs by McCall with the last one being a three-yard touchdown rush to put the visitors back on top by one score at 27-20 with 14:12 to go in the contest.

As UL did all game, the home team quickly responded with a score of its own, as a 51-yard quarterback scramble by Lewis set up a one-yard touchdown plunge from Elijah Mitchell to retie the game at 27-27 with 12:44 to go in the game.

The CCU offense drove the ball to the UL 41-yard line but had the drive halted at fourth-and-five to force an Ouverson punt. The redshirt senior put the ball on the UL one-yard line which was downed by long snapper CJ Schrimpf to pin the Cajuns back up in their own end zone.

The defense looked to have forced UL to punt on a fourth-and-five, however, an illegal participation penalty on Coastal on the punt gave the Ragin’ Cajuns a first down and kept the home team’s drive alive.

Despite the mistake, the Chants’ defense held strong and after four more plays, again forced a Louisiana punt to get the ball back to the offense at the 16-yard line with 5:30 to go in regulation.

Coastal (4-0, 3-0 SBC) will return home to host Georgia Southern (2-1, 1-1 SBC) on Saturday, Oct. 24, at noon ET at Brooks Stadium. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU.

Notes

·         CCU’s win over No. 21-nationally ranked Louisiana is the Chants’ first-ever win over an FBS nationally-ranked top 25 program.

·         The win puts Coastal at 2-0 in Sun Belt Conference play for the first time in the program’s history as a Sun Belt member (since 2017).

·         Coastal is off to a 4-0 start to the season for the first time since 2015 and just the fourth time in program history (2013, 2014, and 2015).

·         The current four-game winning streak this season is the longest in a single season in Coastal’s young FBS history.

·         CCU has now won five-straight games dating back to last season.

·         The Chants have scored on the opening drive in three of their four games this season with the lone punt coming in the home contest versus Arkansas State (Oct. 3).

·         The 16-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 8:12 off the game clock was tied for the fourth-longest scoring drive in terms of plays in CCU history and the third-longest in regards to times.

·         The interception by Jordan Morris in the third quarter was the first of his career.

·         For the second-straight game, the Chants’ CJ Marable has recorded one rushing and one receiving touchdown in the same game.

·         CJ Marable extended his streak to 24-straight games with at least one pass reception for the game.

·         Jaivon Heiligh has caught at least one pass in 19-straight games dating back to 2018.

Courtesy – Coastal Carolina Athletics

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