SAN MARCOS, TX (SPECIAL TO WLAF) – Caryville native Jamey Chadwell’s Number 16 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers dominated the Texas State Bobcats (2-10, 2-6 Sun Belt) from start to finish in a 49-14 road conference win to claim the Sun Belt East Division crown on Saturday in San Marcos, Texas.
The Sun Belt East Division Championship title is the first for the Chanticleers in just the program’s fourth year as full-time members of the Sun Belt Conference.
The Chanticleers dominated the first half, as the offense totaled 372 yards on 41 plays, including 249 yards on the ground while the defense held Texas State to just 140 yards on 28 plays, including 108 passing yards and just 32 rushing yards.
Coastal’s 249 rushing yards in the first half were just one yard shy of the team’s season-high rushing yards in a game when they ran for 250 yards in the win over Georgia State (Oct. 31).
For the game, Coastal finished with 572 yards of total offense behind 406 rushing yards and 166 passing yards. The 406 rushing yards were the most since the Chants rushed for 401 yards versus Norfolk State last season.
Coastal held a 32-13 advantage in first downs and 76-50 in total plays. The Chants also held a 37:31 to 22:29 advantage in time of possession and were 8-of-13 on third downs compared to the Bobcats’ 4-of-10. CCU was also 2-of-2 on fourth-down attempts.
Texas State finished with 318 total yards of offense on 202 passing yards and 116 rushing yards for the game.
Senior running back CJ Marable rushed for a season-high 157 yards and a career-high three scores on 16 carries to lead a ground game that saw eight different Chants tote the ball in the win.
Sophomore Reese White ran seven times for 72 yards and a score, while junior back Shermari Jones added 62 yards on 11 carries. Freshman CJ Beasley rushed eight times for 44 yards in the fourth quarter.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Grayson McCall was 11-of-18 for 154 yards and two touchdowns through the air while also rushing four times for 25 yards in the win.
Juniors Isaiah Likely (4 rec., 73 yards) and Jaivon Heiligh (3 rec., 35 yards) led the receivers with Heiligh catching two touchdown passes on what was a wet and rainy contest from start to finish.
For Texas State, reigning Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week Brady McBride was 20-of-26 for 202 yards and one score through the air but was also sacked three times by the Coastal Carolina defense.
Wideouts Javen Banks (5 rec. 38 yards) and Jeremiah Haydel (5 rec., 9 yards) each had a team-high five receptions with Banks adding a touchdown catch in the loss.
The Coastal defense was led by the redshirt senior duo of Tarron Jackson and Silas Kelly with six total tackles apiece, with Jackson adding 2.5 sacks and 3.0 tackles-for-loss in the win.
Coastal pounced on the Bobcats out of the gates, as the “Black Swarm” defense forced a three-and-out on the home team’s first possession to open the contest, to give the ball to the offense for the first time of the game.
The offense then used the legs of Marable to go 81 yards in just seven plays to put the visitors in front 7-0 following just 2:43 off the game clock. On the drive, Marable had carries of five, 42, seven, and 14 yards to find pay dirt on the last run and give the Chants the early first-quarter lead.
The defense continued its strong start on TXST’s next possession as Alex Spillum stripped the ball from a Bobcat wideout on a first-and-10 play and fell on it to give the Chants the ball on the Texas State 45-yard line.
The CCU takeaway set up the Teal Team 6 offense once again, as Marable opened the Chants’ second offensive drive with a 24-yard run. After an eight-yard rush by Jones, a shuffle pass to Marable for no gain, and another rush off the left side for four yards by Jones, Marable again found the end zone on a nine-yard run off the option pitch from McCall to double the Chants’ lead at 14-0 with 7:08 left in the opening quarter.
The high-powered Texas State offense found its rhythm on its third offensive drive, as McBride led the Bobcats down the field on 5-of-7 passing, including a 26-yard pass on a slant to Drue Jackson to set up a 14-yard touchdown pass-and-catch to Banks to put the home team on the scoreboard at 14-7 with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter of play.
Following back-to-back punts to end the first quarter and start the second quarter, the Coastal offense went back to work as the ground game ran through, past, and over the Bobcat defense before a 10-yard run by White straight up the middle capped the eight-play, 55-yard drive to push the visitors in front by two scores again at 21-7 early in the second quarter.
After another defensive three-and-out, the CCU offense continued to roll, as the next drive saw six rushes, highlighted by a 33-yard scamper from White, set up a 14-yard touchdown pass and catch from McCall to Heiligh extend the visitors’ lead to 28-7 with just over four minutes left in the first half.
The Chants capped off their stellar first half with another score, as McCall went to the air attack by going 4-of-6 on the eight-play, 77-yard scoring drive. McCall’s completions included connecting on a 15-yard pass with Likely on a third-and-four, a 14-yard pass to Heiligh on a third-and-seven, and a 25-yard pass to Greg Latushko on the sideline before hitting an open Heiligh for a seven-yard touchdown score push the Chants’ lead to 35-7 at the halftime break.
The offensive onslaught continued to start the second half, as the Chants took the kickoff and used just under five minutes to go 75 yards on nine plays to add to its lead on a 23-yard touchdown run by Marable, his third score of the day, to take a 42-7 lead with just over 10 minutes to go in the third quarter.
Coastal’s Baden Pinson added a nine-yard score in the fourth quarter by picking up the loose ball off an errant snap and then bulldozing his way into the end zone to put the score at 49-7 with nine minutes to play in the game.
With the game out of reach, the Bobcats added a five-yard score from Jahmyl Jeter with 6:08 left in the contest to cap the final score at 49-14.
Coastal (9-0, 7-0 Sun Belt) will return home to host the Liberty Flames (9-1) on Saturday, Dec. 5, at Brooks Stadium. The game will be Senior Day for the Chanticleers. Game time has not yet been announced.
- The Chanticleers are one of just four teams in all of FBS football to have nine wins this season (Notre Dame (9-0), BYU (9-0), and Liberty (9-1)).
- The nine wins are the most for Coastal Carolina in a single season since moving to FBS full-time in 2017.
- The 9-0 start for the Chants is the best for CCU since starting 9-0 in 2014 and the third time in program history that a team has started 9-0 (2013 and 2014).
- Coastal’s win extends their winning streak to nine-straight games this season and 10-straight dating back to last year.
- With his career-high three rushing touchdowns, CJ Marable has now scored in a touchdown in eight-straight games this season.
- With his first quarter reception, CJ Marable has now caught at least one pass in 29-straight games.
- CJ Marable’s 100-yard rushing game was his first of the season and the eighth of his Coastal Carolina career.
- Jaivon Heiligh’s two receiving touchdowns in the first half marked his second multi-receiving touchdown game of the season (at Georgia State on Oct. 31).
- With Jaivon Heiligh’s second catch of the game, he became the sixth Chant in program history to record 100 career receptions.
- Grayson McCall’s two-touchdown game marks the seventh of the season for the redshirt freshman quarterback.
- Baden Pinson’s touchdown in the fourth quarter was the first of the season and the second of his career.
- Freshman running back CJ Beasley recorded his first career rush in the win. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 11/30/2020-6AM)