Celebrating 20 Seasons of Coastal Football: Chants Football Closes 2010 With 70-3 Win; Get Big South Title and Playoff Berth

CONWAY, S.C. – The Coastal Carolina football program is celebrating its 20th season this year, having played the inaugural season in 2003.
As part of the celebration this season, each week the Coastal Athletics Department will feature a memorable game, championship, or moment that makes up the history of the Coastal Carolina football program.

Week 1: First Football Game in Program History (Sept. 6, 2003)

Week 2: Chants Knock Off No. 1 JMU (Sept. 10, 2005)

Week 3: Coastal Upsets No. 3 Furman 29-27 (Oct. 7, 2006)

Week 4: Chants Win First-Ever Road Game on Thursday Night (Sept. 25, 2003)

Week 5: Football Gets Dramatic 24-23 Win at No. 17 S.C. State (Oct. 1, 2005)

Week 6: Coastal Gets 13-7 Win at Idaho for First Sun Belt Victory (Nov. 18, 2017)

Week 7: Coastal Carolina Opens FBS Era with Victory Over UMass (Sept. 2, 2017)

Week 8: Open Week

Week 9: Football Earns Share of Big South Title with Win at GWU (Oct. 30, 2004)

Week 10: No. 14 Coastal Carolina Shuts Down No. 8 BYU in Thrilling Top-15 Matchup (Dec. 5, 2020)

Week 11: Coastal Defeats No. 22 Bethune-Cookman, 24-14, to Advance to NCAA Second Round (Nov. 24, 2012)

Week 12: Chanticleers Record Historic Win at Kansas (Sept. 7, 2019)

Chants Football Closes 2010 With 70-3 Win; Get Big South Title and Playoff Berth (Nov. 20, 2010)

Zach MacDowall tied a Big South record and punt returner Niccolo Mastromatteo set two Big South standards in Coastal Carolina’s 70-3 season-ending win over Charleston Southern at Brooks Stadium Saturday afternoon in the 2010 regular-season finale.

The Chanticleers, in their eighth season as a program, laid claim to its fourth Big South Championship – and first since 2006 – with the win, coupled with a Liberty 54-28 win at home versus Stony Brook. Coastal Carolina, Liberty, and Stony Brook all finished conference play with a 5-1 record. The tie-breaker for the Big South’s automatic berth went to Coastal Carolina based on the fewest points allowed in league play. In only giving up three points Saturday versus Charleston Southern, Coastal finished with 109 defensive points allowed, compared to 122 by Stony Brook and 138 by Liberty. (Stony Brook held a 38-point lead in points allowed prior to Saturday’s game with Coastal allowing just three and Stony Brook giving up 54 to Liberty.)

MacDowall threw five touchdowns to tie the Big South single-game record and broke the school record with former CCU record holder and All-American quarterback Tyler Thigpen on hand to watch Saturday. The five TDs also stand as the most touchdown passes thrown in a Big South game, two other Big South signal callers (Jeremy Martin of Gardner-Webb and Collin Drafts twice) also threw five TDs in a game but each coming against non-conference opponents.

For the game, MacDowall accounted for six scores, rushing for 41 yards and a TD, while completing 15-of-20 passes for 248 yards with no interceptions. Also, the CCU offensive line did not allow a sack for the fourth time this season, giving up just seven on the year and no more than one in any one game to lead the Big South and rank among the nation’s top five.

Mastromatteo set the Big South record for punt returns in a season, getting five Saturday and ending 2010 with 29. One of his returns went for a score and that 91-yard return marked the longest punt return in Big South history. Justin Durham also tied a Big South record, becoming the second league player to make 10 PATs in a game.

In addition to the impressive offensive and special team performances, Coastal’s defense only allowed 218 yards, the second-lowest total allowed this season, while surrendering just 33 yards in the second half. Also, Coastal improved to 35-4 all-time when rushing for 200 yards in a game, getting 205.

Other leaders for the Chants on Senior Day included senior Brandon Whitley (5 receptions for 70 yards), senior Eric O’Neal (11 carries for 65 yards, 5.9 per attempt), and freshman Aaron Jones (7 carries for 64 yards, 9.1 per attempt), while Josh Norman and Andrae Jacobs each had a team-high eight tackles.

The 70 points is the second-most in school history (scoring 71 vs. Mansfield in 2005) and third-most in Big South history – second-most points scored in a Big South game, while the 67-point differential is the biggest in school history.

Coastal took control early as it forced a quick punt on Charleston Southern’s first possession and Mastromatteo returned the ball 12 yards. From there, Coastal took advantage of a pass interference call, a 16-yard O’Neal run, and two completions from MacDowall to Whitley, the second being a 25-yard strike in the end zone.

After backing the Bucs up to their own six on the kickoff, the Chants forced a quick three-and-out, giving CCU the ball on the CSU 34. The Chants quickly padded its margin with a 23-yard MacDowall to O’Neal screen pass for a touchdown. The play was made possible when right tackle Bryan Brooks made an impressive block on a blitz pick-up.

Charleston Southern trimmed its deficit to 14-3 after a 43-yards field goal by Andy Brown.

Undaunted, Coastal marched quickly back down the field after a 28-yard completion to Whitley and a 14-yard MacDowall rush. MacDowall capped the eight-play, 71-yard drive by scrambling and finding Racheed Gause for a seven-yard touchdown pass and a 21-3 lead with just under two minutes left in the first quarter. The TD catch was Gause’s first for a score in his career.

The Buccaneers were threatening again, getting to the CCU 10pyard line before a fumble on a handoff exchange was recovered by Coastal’s Chad McField. Coastal would then turn the ball over in the red zone on a fumble. The Bucs were able to get their offense on track again until trying a halfback pass. Coastal’s Tre Henderson read the play, stepped in front of quarterback and intended receiver Malcolm Dixon and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown. Not only was that Henderson’s first career score, but it was his first career pick and the second-longest interception return in school history.

The Chants forced a punt on the CSU ensuing drive and Mastromatteo caught the ball on his own nine and returned it 91 yards for a score. It was the freshman’s first score of the season, a Big South record for the longest punt return, and marked the second-longest scoring play in school history behind Tarvorris Jolly’s 94-yard return off a blocked field goal.

The second half began with another big play on special teams as Jeremy Height returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to the CSU 13-yard line, marking third-longest kick return in school history. Two plays later, O’Neal scored from seven yards out to give Coastal a 42-3 lead.

Coastal made the score 49-3 midway through the third quarter when MacDowall hit tight end Jamie Childers for a 12-yard touchdown. It marked the first receiving TD for Childers, a former CCU quarterback. On the Chants’ next drive, MacDowall hit Matt Hazel with a 39-yard strike.

To start the four quarter, Aaron Jones and Gause did most of the work on the ground, but MacDowall finished the drive with an eight-yard touchdown run.

Coastal was content to run out the clock in the fourth quarter but did add another touchdown. Facing third-and-three from the seven, senior Anthony Frye bulled his way into the end zone for his only career TD.

Prior to the game, Coastal Carolina honored its 23 football seniors, including Robert Balkunas, Danny Bonifas, E.J. Brown, Ben Collins, Keon Cunningham, Dominique Davenport, Justin Durham, Ben Erdman, Anthony Frye, Racheed Gause, Kent Harper, Tarvorris Jolly, Trae Long, Zach MacDowall, Carlton Mitchell, Jonathan Morgan, Eric O’Neal, Jamie Perkinson, Brian Sanders, Seth Smalls, Chris Walls, Brandon Whitley, and Marquel Willis.

For complete coverage of CCU football, follow the Chants on social media @CoastalFootball (Twitter), facebook.com/CCUChanticleers (Facebook), @goccusports (Instagram), or visit the official home of Coastal Carolina Athletics at www.GoCCUsports.com.


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