#15-Coastal Carolina narrowly missed setting a school record for total offense on Thursday, as the Chanticleers blasted Arkansas State 52-20 in front of announced crowd of 12,086 at Centennial Bank Stadium in Jonesboro, Arkansas. CCU churned out 685 yards of total offense, just five shy of the 690 yards Coastal rolled up versus Charlotte in 2014.
QB Grayson McCall continued his solid play for the men in teal, throwing for 365 yards and four touchdowns, all to tight end Isaiah Likely. The senior from Cambridge, Massachusetts is the first player in school history with four TD receptions in a game. Likely also recorded the longest touchdown play in program history on the second snap from scrimmage for the Chanticleers. McCall caught him wide open over the middle and Likely raced 99-yards for the first score of the game.
Afterwards, Likely knew he had to score. “I just didn’t want to get caught from behind”, he said acknowledging that his teammates would have given him grief had that happened. “We like to keep it light on the sidelines.”
Coastal’s defense was on lockdown mode throughout the first half, keeping the Red Wolves scoreless in the opening thirty minutes. ASU (1-5/0-2) rushed for minus-19 yards in the first half, as the Chanticleers continued to apply pressure to starting quarterback James Blackman. The transfer from Florida State was just 7-of-12 for 70 yards, while being sacked three times in the first two quarters.
The game took a turn for the worse early in the third quarter as Arkansas State cornerback Samy Johnson was injured making a tackle. The Little Rock, Arkansas native lay motionless on the field for several moments before being transported to a local hospital. After the game, ASU announced that Johnson has a lower back injury, but did have full movement. Tests at the hospital returned normal.
Oddly, the injury seemed to provide a spark for the Red Wolves. That, and a change at quarterback. Layne Hatcher replaced Blackman and led ASU on three scoring drives in the second half. Hatcher finished the game 13-of-29 for 185 yards and 2 TDs.
Coastal (6-0/2-0) will enjoy an open date next week before their much anticipated showdown with Appalachian State in Boone on Wednesday, October 20th.