Over the last several years, wins have come in rapid fashion for the Coastal Carolina football team. But when they needed one the most on Saturday, victory was quite elusive. Playing for an opportunity to host the Sun Belt Championship game and clinch the East Division title outright, the Chanticleers were blown off the field by James Madison 47-7 in front of over 19,000 fans in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The loss drops CCU to 9-2 on the season and 6-2 in conference play.
James Madison completed its first Football Bowl Subdivision season by claiming a share of the East Division title. The Dukes also finished the regular season 6-2 in the Sun Belt but are ineligible for the postseason as part of their transition from the FCS. Over in the West, Troy blew out Arkansas State 48-19 on Saturday to clinch the West championship and secure the host site for next week’s title game. The Chanticleers and Trojans will meet next weekend at 3:30pm (ET) in Troy, Alabama
Game Recap Courtesy of Kevin Davis/CCU Media Relations
The No. 23 nationally-ranked Chanticleers were held to a season-low seven points in a 47-7 road loss at James Madison in the regular-season finale in Harrisonburg, Va., on Saturday afternoon.
The Chants were outgained by the Dukes 502-183 in total yards, the lowest yards total by the Coastal offense all season long. CCU also had just 11 first downs to 25 by JMU.
Quarterback Jarrett Guest, who got the second start of his career on Saturday, was 10-for-23 for 99 yards, a touchdown, and an interception through the air and rushed 14 times for 26 yards. He was sacked four times in the game.
The rushing attack was held to just 90 yards in the loss, as senior Reese White had a team-high seven rushes for 29 yards, while seven other Chants had at least one carry on the day, combining for 61 yards.
For the Dukes, quarterback Todd Centeio was 17-for-32 for 287 yards and four touchdowns through the air and rushed six times for 25 yards and a score, totaling five touchdowns in the win.
Six different Dukes had at least one catch on the day led by Kris Thornton with a team-high six receptions for 93 yards, while fellow wideout Devin Ravenel hauled in five receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Reggie Brown and tight end Drew Painter each added a touchdown catch in the win.
On the ground, the Dukes were led by veteran running back Percy Agyel-Obese with a game-high 79 yards on seven carries, while two other Dukes in Latrele Palmer (61 yards, TD) and Kaelon Black (50 yards) finished with over 50 yards on the ground.
JMU’s defense not only kept the Coastal offense in check but had one interception and one forced fumble in the win. Jalin Walker led the Dukes with a game-high nine tackles, while both Chris Chukwuneke and Taurus Jones finished with eight tackles each. Chukwuneke finished with 1.0 sack and 2.5 tackles-for-loss, while defensive lineman Jamare Edwards had 2.0 sacks, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, and forced a fumble.
After going three-and-out and losing six yards on their opening offensive series, the Chants’ defense was able to come up with a big stop on JMU’s opening series, as Hope came up with a sack on first-and-10 to put the Dukes behind the chains on the CCU 14-yard line.
The play helped force the Dukes to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Camden Wise to put the home team in black on top at 3-0 with 10:46 to go in the opening quarter.
The “Teal Team 6” offense woke up on the next offensive drive, as Guest used both his arm and legs to drive the Chants 75 yards in 12 plays, highlighted by a 33-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Tyson Mobley for a touchdown on a fourth-and-1 play. The score pushed the visitors in white in front at 7-3 with 4:50 left in the first quarter of play.
Neither team would score on their next offensive possessions, as JMU punted and CCU turned the ball over on downs, before the Dukes would cut into the Coastal lead with another field goal, this time a 43-yarder from Wise to put the score at 7-6 just minutes into the second quarter.
Following a second CCU punt, the Dukes went to the air, as a 43-yard pass and catch from Centeio to Devin Ravenel put the home team in Coastal territory. Two plays later, Centeio connected with Brown across the middle for a 34-yard touchdown catch to put the Dukes back in front at 13-7 with 6:57 in the first half.
The trend continued the rest of the first half, as CCU was forced to punt for the second time in the quarter to give the home team the ball at their own 33-yard line with 4:30 to go before the halftime break.
JMU again went to the air as the Dukes completed a 27-yard pass to Thornton on a third-and-10 to keep the drive alive. Two plays later, JMU completed another pass to Thornton for 16 yards on a second-and-12 to move down to the CCU 26-yard line. Just one play later, Centeio found a leaping Ravenel in the back of the end zone from 26 yards out for another JMU touchdown and pushed the home team’s lead out to two scores at 20-7 heading into the halftime intermission.
The Dukes picked up where they left off in the third quarter, as on the opening drive they used just five plays to go 75 yards, using a 30-yard rush by Agyei-Obese to start the drive then added to the lead on a 17-yard pass to tight end Painter. The PAT was no good, putting the score at 26-7 with 12:54 to go in the third quarter.
While the Coastal offense could not get on track, the Dukes tacked on three more scores over the final 28 minutes of play to outscore the Chants 27-0 in the second and pull away for the 47-7 conference win.
· The Chants finished 6-2 in SBC play for the second consecutive year.
· The road loss snaps the Chants’ road winning streak at five consecutive games.
· With the loss, CCU falls to 1-2 all-time versus James Madison.
· CCU’s loss marks the first conference road loss since falling at Appalachian State on Oct. 20, 2021.
· Despite the loss, CCU finished with a winning record in conference play for the third straight season.
· The seven points scored are the fewest by the Chants’ offense in a game since falling to Louisiana 48-7 on Nov. 7, 2019.
· The 47 points allowed by the Chanticleers were the second-most allowed this season, behind the 49 points they surrendered in the 49-21 loss to Old Dominion.
· The Chants will play in their first Sun Belt Championship game on Saturday, Dec. 3rd at Troy. CCU was set to host the 2020 Sun Belt Championship game, but had it canceled due to COVID-19.