by CCU ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina running back CJ Marable scored from three yards out with 30 seconds left in the game and then added the two-point conversion to give the Chanticleers the 36-35 come-from-behind win over Troy on Homecoming Weekend at Brooks Stadium.
The win snaps a three-game losing streak and pushes the Chants to 4-4 overall and 1-3 in Sun Belt play while Troy falls to 3-5 overall and 1-3 in conference action with the loss.
CCU’s victory is the first-ever over the Trojans in program history (1-2) and ended the Chants’ Sun Belt Conference game losing streak at seven-straight games.
With the win, Coastal improves to 11-6 all-time in Homecoming Games and marks the first Homecoming win for the Chants in their FBS era (2017).
Trailing the Trojans by a score of 35-28 late in the fourth quarter, the Chanticleers offense began their drive on their own 29-yard line with 2:15 to go in the game.
Sophomore quarterback Bryce Carpenter opened the drive with back-to-back completions for five and six yards to fellow sophomores Jaivon Heiligh and Isaiah Likely, respectively.
After an offsides call on the Troy defense moved the men in teal up to the 45-yard line, Carpenter again completed two-straight passes, this time to Marable and Heiligh to push the Chants up to the Troy 43-yard line.
Following a Troy timeout, the Carpenter to Likely connection struck again, this time for nine yards to the Troy 34. Two plays later, Marable rushed for seven yards to the Troy 27-yard line for a first down and more importantly got out of bounds at the end of the play to stop the clock.
On second-and-10, Carpenter hit his high school teammate Heiligh for 18 yards down the sideline and then connected with Ky’Jon Tyler for six more yards on first-and-goal from the nine-yard line.
Marable capped the drive with a three-yard score to put the Chants down one at 35-34 with 30 seconds in regulation.
Without a doubt, Coastal immediately decided to go for the win with the two-point conversion which forced Troy to call a timeout.
After the teams returned to the field, the Trojans were called for pass interference in the end zone on a Carpenter pass attempt to Likely which gave the Chants a second attempt from the two-yard line.
Marable did the rest, as he went in untouched on an option pitch from Carpenter to give the Chants the 36-35 win.
The two teams combined for 976 yards of total offense, Troy with 500 and Coastal with 476, 54 first downs and nine touchdowns in the contest.
Coastal totaled 27 first downs on 285 yards passing and 191 yards rushing and held an advantage of over 14 minutes in time of possession at 36:38 for the game. The Chants were 12-of-19 on third downs and reached the red zone eight times, scoring six times in the win.
Making his second start of the season, Carpenter completed a career-high 32-of-45 pass attempts for 285 yards and a touchdown. With his career-high in passing yards, he became just the ninth quarterback in CCU’s young history to pass for over 1,000 career yards.
Redshirt junior Jacqez Hairston led the way on the ground with 72 yards on seven carries, an average of 10.3 yards per rush, and two touchdowns while Marable tallied 52 yards rushing on 14 carries including the final touchdown with 30 seconds left.
Carpenter’s favorite receiver on the day was Heiligh, as the second-year Chant posted a career-high 12 catches for 107 yards. Likely added 49 yards on six receptions and a score while Marable continued to show his pass receiving skills with four receptions out of the backfield.
The high-powered offense of Troy finished the game with 500 total yards on 385 passing and 115 rushing.
The Sun Belt’s leading passer in Kaleb Barker was 26-of-35 for 385 yards and three touchdowns, as he connected with nine different receivers in the game led by a game-high 12 catches and 145 yards from Kaylon Geiger.
On the ground, Troy rushed the ball just 32 times led by DK Billingsley’s 14 carries and 83 yards on the night while both Jabir Daughtry-Frye and Barker had a rushing touchdown in the loss.
After giving up 21 points and 239 yards in the first quarter, the Coastal defense settled down to hold the Troy offense to just 14 points and 261 total yards over the next three quarters of the game, including just 191 total yards of offense in the second half.
CCU’s defense recorded four sacks for a loss of 26 yards and a total of 5.0 tackles-for-loss to contain the number three offense in the Sun Belt on Saturday.
Defensive end Tarron Jackson led the defensive effort with a career-high 11 total tackles, including eight solo stops, and added a 0.5 sack. Redshirt sophomore safety Alex Spillum also reached double-digits in stops with a season-high 10 tackles, while veteran starters Chandler Kryst and C.J. Brewer registered seven tackles apiece in the win.
Massimo Biscardi added two field goals of 25 and 36 yards in the win to extend his consecutive field goals made streak to nine-straight over the last six games.
The Sun Belt contest opened up like a track meet, as the two teams combined to score 28 points in less than 10 minutes into the game with both teams scoring on each of their first two possessions.
After CCU’s Hairston capped off a four-play, 65-yard drive to knot the game back up at 14-14 with 5:24 to go in the first quarter, the Trojans’ Barker connected with Reggie Todd on a 47-yard pass and catch just 1:38 later to push Troy back out in front by a score at 21-14 with 3:46 left in the first quarter.
On Coastal’s second possession of the second quarter, the Chants picked up five first downs on the drive but saw the drive fizzle out on the Troy eight-yard line three plays later.
Biscardi connected on a 25-yard field goal to cut the Troy lead to four at 21-17 going into the halftime break.
The second half started like the first one ended, as the Chanticleers took the opening kickoff 57 yards and down to the Troy 18-yard line before a Biscardi 36-yard field goal put the home team within in one at 21-20 with 7:41 to go in the third quarter.
Following a CCU defensive stop and a third-straight punt by the Trojans, the Chants offense coasted down the field going 92-yards on just eight plays, highlighted by a 22-yard rush from freshman running back Reese White and a 40-yard scurry up the middle from Carpenter.
A three-yard dive by Hairston capped the drive off and the second touchdown for the running back put the Chants in front at 26-21.
On the ensuing two-point conversion attempt, Carpenter rolled out to the right and through a floating ball back across the field where a leaping Likely plucked the ball out of the air and ran into the end zone to give the home team a 28-21 lead with 2:28 to go in the quarter.
Troy, who hadn’t scored since the 3:46 mark in the first quarter, quickly drove the ball down the field, going 79 yards on just six plays in less than two minutes to tie the game up at 28-28 on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Barker to Todd with 23 seconds left in the third period.
In the fourth quarter, the Trojans struck first to retake the lead when Barker hit Geiger across the middle for a 23-yard touchdown reception with a CCU defender draped all over him to push the visitors in front at 35-28 with 8:34 to play in the contest.
On the Chants’ next possession, the home team picked up three-straight first downs on a five-yard reception by wideout Josh Anderson, a 16-yard catch by Jeremiah Miller and a 10-yard rush from Marable to cross the 50-yard line.
With the help of a Troy unsportsmanlike penalty, the Chants had a first-and-10 at the Troy 20-yard line.
However, three-straight plays of negative yards, including a sack, drove the Chants back to the 44-yard line and forced the Chants to punt.
The defense came up big for the Chants to force the Trojans to punt the ball back after just 1:27 ticked off the game clock.
That set up the offense’s game-winning drive and two-point conversion.
The Chants will have a quick turnaround as CCU will host Louisiana (6-2, 3-1 Sun Belt) on Thursday night, Nov. 7, at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU.