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Coastal Carolina hangs on to victory over Jacksonville State

Coastal Carolina defeats Jacksonville State
Photo Credit -William F. Yurasko via Flickr

Coastal Carolina hangs on to a 30-16 victory over Jacksonville State in Conway. The home opener of the 2023 season was a tale of two halves.

The Chanticleers had a dominant game through the air, with Grayson McCall going 21-29 for 268 yards and a touchdown. His primary target was the star of the game, Jared Brown, who caught all seven of the passes thrown his way for 93 yards and a touchdown. Brown also had his only carry of the night count, taking it 77 yards to the house. Outside of Brown, however, the running game was lacking with the remainder of the running game only accumulating 65 yards.

In the first half the Chanticleers couldn’t get much done on the ground, outside of a Braydon Bennett touchdown. In total, the team only rushed for 38 yards, with Reese White leading the way with just 20 yards on nine carries. Bennett grabbed 18 total yards on eight carries. The defense had a very “bend but don’t break” first half, allowing Jacksonville State to get within two yards of the red zone each of the first three drives of the game but only up a field goal each time.

The second half would start with more of the same for the Chanticleer defense, but with slightly better results. They allowed Jacksonville State to drive to the Chanticleer 32 before a huge sack by Micheal Mason. That play would lead to a 4th and 17, which the Gamecocks would attempt to convert. In spite of completing a pass, they were unable to get to the first down marker, resulting in a turnover on downs.

On the Chanticleers first offensive drive of the half, they would have the roles reversed on them. This time it was the Gamecock's defense who would bend but not break, giving up a 32 yard pass from McCall to Jared Brown to put Coastal in a goal to go position. They would ultimately hold Coastal to a field goal.

Following the field goal, and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Jacksonville State, the Chanticleers would capitalize on the field position by recovering an onside kick. Starting the drive in Gamecock territory, the offense would stall by going three and out. They would, however, kick a field goal to extend the lead to seven. The Chants would get the ball back quickly, however, and score again on a beautiful catch and run by Jared Brown. Browns score came on a short pass from McCall that he took 48 yards to the house, helping extend the lead to 14.

Brown would have another huge gain for a touchdown, but this time on the ground, receiving the handoff from the triple option. He would get around the edge and beat the Jacksonville State defense for a 77-yard score, extending the lead to 21 and putting the game just about out of reach.

The Gamecocks would put up a valiant effort towards the end, bringing in backup quarterback Logan Smothers. He would drive the Gamecocks down the field from the 25 yard line, finishing off the drive with his own 19 yard rushing touchdown. He would once again drive Jacksonville down into a goal-to-go situation before being sacked on 4th and 6 from the 10 by Jahmar Brown. That turnover on downs would secure the win for Coastal.

The Chanticleers will host Duquesne next week at home with kickoff at 7pm.



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