Celebrating 20 seasons of coastal football: Chants Football closes 2010 70-3; Get Big South Title and playoff spot

CONWAY, SC – The Coastal Carolina football program is celebrating its 20th season this year after playing its inaugural season in 2003.

As part of this season’s celebrations, each week the Coastal Athletics Department is presenting a memorable game, championship or moment that made the history of the Coastal Carolina football program.

Week 1: First football game in program history (September 6, 2003)
Week 2: Chants Knock Off No. 1 JMU (10 Sep 2005)
Week 3: Coastal Upsets #3 Furman 29-27 (Oct 7, 2006)
Week 4: Chants win first-ever street game on Thursday night (September 25, 2003)
Week 5: Football Gets Dramatic 24-23 win at No. 17 SC State (October 1, 2005)
Week 6: Coastal scores 13-7 win in Idaho for first Sun Belt win (Nov. 18, 2017)
Week 7: Coastal Carolina opens FBS era with victory over UMass (September 2, 2017)
Week 8: Open house week
Week 9: Football earns a share of Big South title with victory at GWU (Oct 30, 2004)
Week 10: No. 14 Coastal Carolina beats No. 8 BYU in a thrilling top 15 matchup (Dec. 5, 2020)
Week 11: Coastal Defeats No. 22 Bethune-Cookman, 24-14, Advances to NCAA Second Round (Nov. 24, 2012)
Week 12: Chanticleer’s record win in Kansas (September 7, 2019)

Chants Football ends 2010 with a 70-3 win; Get Big South title and playoff spot (Nov. 20, 2010)
Zach MacDowall tied a Big South record and punt returner Niccolò Mastromatteo set two Big South standards with Coastal Carolina’s 70-3 win over Charleston Southern at Brooks Stadium in Saturday afternoon’s 2010 regular season finale.

The Chanticleers, in their eighth season as a program, claimed their fourth Big South Championship — and first since 2006 — with the win tied with a 54-28 home win by Liberty over Stony Brook. Coastal Carolina, Liberty and Stony Brook all finished the conference game with a 5-1 record. The tie-breaker for the Big South’s automatic berth went to Coastal Carolina based on fewest points allowed in league play. Coastal gave up just three points against Charleston Southern on Saturday and finished the tournament with 109 defensive points allowed, compared to Stony Brook’s 122 and Liberty’s 138. (Stony Brook had a 38-point lead in points allowed ahead of Saturday’s game, with Coastal allowing just three and Stony Brook losing 54 to Liberty.)

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

For the game, MacDowall had six points, rushed for 41 yards and a TD while completing 15 of 20 passes for 248 yards with no interceptions. Also, the CCU offensive line didn’t concede a sack for the fourth season this season, giving up just seven and no more than one in a game this year to lead the Great South and rank in the nation’s top 5.

Mastromatteo set the Big South record for punt returns in a season, scoring five Saturdays and finishing 2010 with 29. One of his returns was a result, and that 91-yard return marked the longest punt return in Big South. Justin Durham also set a Big South record, becoming the second league player to make 10 PATs in a game.

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

Other leaders for the Seniors’ Day chants were seniors Brandon Whitley (5 receptions for 70 meters), 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) during Josh Norman and Andrea Jacobs Each had eight team-high tackles.

The 70 points are the second-highest in school history (with 71 points against Mansfield in 2005) and the third-highest in Big South history — the second-highest points scored in a Big South game, while the 67-point differential is the biggest is school history.

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

After propping the Bucs up on their own six on kickoff, the Chants forced a quick three-and-out and handed the ball to CCU at the CSU 34. The Chants quickly bolstered their lead with a 23-yard MacDowall on O’ Neal on pass for a touchdown. The game only became possible with the right tackle Bryan Brooks made an impressive block on a Blitz pickup.

Charleston Southern reduced their deficit to 14-3 after a 43-yard field goal from Andy Brown.

Undaunted, Coastal quickly marched back onto the field after a 28-yard completion to Whitley and a 14-yard rush from MacDowall. MacDowall finished the eight-play 71-yard drive by climbing and finding Ruffled Gause for a 7-yard touchdown pass and a 21-3 lead with just under two minutes into the first quarter. The TD catch was Gause’s first hit of his career.

Threatening again, the Buccaneers got to the CCU 10 pyard line before a fumble was restored on a Coastal handoff exchange Chad McField. Coastal would then turn the ball over on a fumble in the red zone. The Bucs were able to get their offense going again until they attempted a halfback pass. Coastal Tre Henderson read the piece, stepped in front of the quarterback and the intended recipient Malcolm Dixon and returned it 66 yards for a touchdown. That was not only Henderson’s first career pick, but also his first career pick and the second-longest interception return in school history.

The Chants forced a punt on CSU on the ensuing drive, and Mastromatteo caught the ball on his own nine and threw it back 91 yards to score. It was the freshman’s first result of the season, a Big South record for longest punt return and marking the second-longest scoring game in school history behind Tarvorris Jollys 94-yard return from a blocked field goal.

The second half started with another big game on special teams like Jeremy Height returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to CSU’s 13-yard line, marking the third-longest kick return in school history. Two games later, O’Neal gave Coastal a 42-3 lead from seven yards.

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

To start the fourth 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 get off the clock in the fourth quarter but added another touchdown. Opposite the third and third of seven, senior Anthony Frie worked his way into the end zone for his only career TD.

Before the game, Coastal Carolina honored its 23 football seniors, including Robert Balkunas, Danny Bonifas, EJ 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 full CCU football coverage, follow the chants on social media @CoastalFootball (Twitter), facebook.com/CCUChanticleers (Facebook), @goccusports (Instagram), or visit the official Coastal Carolina Athletics home page at www.GoCCUsports.com.

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