Record-setting crowd takes in CSU’s monumental victory
On their biggest stage in front of a record crowd, the Charleston Southern Buccaneers turned in their most impressive performance of the season to seize control in the Big South Conference on Saturday.
CSU rolled up 323 yards rushing and held on to beat No. 3 Coastal Carolina, 31-26 at Buccaneer Field. The win moved the Bucs to 10-1 overall and 3-1 in the Big South.
Coastal (9-1, 3-1) fell for the first time this season.
“We’ve put ourselves in position to control our destiny in the conference, which is huge,” CSU Head Coach Jamey Chadwell said. “We also beat a team with prestige that will help us get an at-large bid if we don’t qualify [for the playoffs].
“Our goal is to win out and be the Big South Conference champions.”
The Buccaneers travel to Gardner-Webb on Saturday for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The Runnin’ Bulldogs are 5-5 overall and 0-3 in the conference. They are coming off a 27-9 loss to VMI.
The monumental turnaround of the CSU program under first-year head coach Jamey Chadwell continued as the Bucs moved into position to grab their first Big South title since 2005. They are within reach of the first playoff berth in school history.
CSU controlled the game from the opening snap and jumped to a 24-3 lead late in the second quarter. CSU held CCU, which came in averaging 47.7 points per game, to just six points in the opening half.
“To hold them to only six points in the first half was huge,” Chadwell said. “We were able to put them in a position they aren’t used to. They usually blow teams out in the second half. But we were able to put them on their heels to begin the second half today.”
CSU got its typical workhorse effort from running back Christian Reyes. He had 117 yards on 24 caries and two touchdowns, while freshman Mike Holloway reeled off 79 yards on seven carries. Freshman quarterback Kyle Copeland added 79 yards and helped the Bucs drain the clock in the second half.
Former Goose Creek Gators standout Kevin Glears added three catches for 54 yards for the Bucs.
Quarterback Danny Croghan III was 14 of 21 for 166 yards and a 20-yard score to Colton Korn.
Coastal Carolina rallied to score three second-half touchdowns and cut he Bucs lead to five with 6:07 left to play, but the Buccaneers converted in the clutch to hold the ball over the final 6:07 to run out the clock.
Linebacker Calvin Bryant spearheaded the Bucs’ defensive effort with six tackles. Defensive end Dylan Black added two tackles for loss and a sack.
CSU frustrated Coastal quarterback Alex Ross into 17 of 29 passing for 242 yards and a touchdown. Only 60 of those yards came in the first half as the Bucs built their lead.
Coastal running back D’Angelo Henderson, a Summerville High School product, had 86 yards on eight carries and a touchdown to lead the CCU running game. The Bucs’ held Lorenzo Taliaferro – one of the nation’s top rushing leaders – to 83 yards on 14 carries.
Needing to bleed time off the clock after Coastal’s charge, the Buccaneers picked up three first downs on the ground in killing the clock.