Coastal Carolina overwhelms Duquesne, 66-7

Published: Sep. 16, 2023 at 11:44 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 16, 2023 at 11:52 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. – Coastal Carolina University’s football team scored early and often during its impressive 66-7 victory against Duquesne University on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Chants are now 20-2 in Brooks Stadium dating back to 2020.

Tobais Fletcher tied an NCAA FBS record with his school record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter.

For the game, the Chanticleers scored on the first eight of their nine possessions while outgaining the Dukes 471-217 in total yards. Grayson McCall was 12 of 16 for 169 yards and two TDs. Braydon Bennett finished with 58 yards on the ground while Jared Brown finished with 66 receiving yards and 62 punt return yards. CCU’s defense, which recorded three total interceptions, was led by Dre Pinckey’s five total tackles.

After Duquesne was stopped on its first drive of the game, Brown received the punt and returned it 51 yards to the visitor’s 33-yard line. During the drive, Bennett ran for a first down. On second and nine, Grayson McCall threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Karr to put CCU on the board first, 7-0.

Duquesne’s next drive quickly ended when JT Killen intercepted Darius Perrantes’ pass attempt and returned it 30 yards for another Chanticleer touchdown. Liam Gray added the extra point to increase CCU’s lead to 14-0. After the Chants’ defense forced another Duquesne punt, CCU put together a 12-play, 83-yard drive that lasted more than six minutes and tallied its third TD of the game when McCall connected with Sam Pinckney from 11 yards out.

Duquesne was moving down the field on its next drive but CCU’s Abraham Temoney III hit receiver Keshawn Brown, whose fumble was recovered by Mason Shelton on CCU’s 21-yard line. On the next play, Brown received a McCall pass and it took 51 yards to the DU 28-yard line. On third and three, Bennett ran it up the middle to the Dukes’ two-yard line for a first down. On the next play, Bennett got the call again and took it in for a TD. Gray’s extra point pushed CCU’s lead to 28-0 with 14:33 left in the second quarter.

After a three-and-out by DU, the Chants put three more points on the scoreboard with a 27-yard field goal by Gray. The 10-play drive covered 47 yards but was hurt by two CCU penalties.

On DU’s next possession, Keonte Lusk stepped in front of a Perrantes pass and returned it 43 yards to the DU 20-yard line with 5:47 left in the half. Four plays later, CJ Beasley scored a 10-yard rushing TD that was followed by Gray’s successful PAT to make the score 38-0.

Fletcher ended DU’s longest drive (50 yards) of the half with his historic interception return for a touchdown with :43 left in the half. His TD marked only the second time in school history that a CCU player recorded a 100-yard score (Devin Brown, kickoff return versus Furman on Sept. 5, 2015). The Chants entered halftime leading 45-0. In the first half, CCU led in total yards (277-177). Bennett led the ground game with 58 yards while Brown had four receptions for 66 yards. Pinckney led the Chants’ defense with four tackles.

Second-half scoring:

CCU quickly went up 52-0 when Kyre Duplessis scored on the first play of the second half as he hauled in a 64-yard TD reception from Jarrett Guest.

Max Balthazar added a two-yard rushing TD for the Chants at the 10:53 mark of the third. Kade Hensley hit the extra point.

Duquesne put its first points on the board when Matt Robinson threw a 23-yard scoring strike to Keshawn Brown with 6:26 left in the third to make the score 59-7.

Ja’Vin Simpkins had a three-yard TD run to cap a seven-play, 66-yard drive. Hensley’s extra point put the final score at 66-7.

The Chants will have a short week as they host Georgia State on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Brooks Stadium. The game will be aired live on ESPN.