CONWAY, SC: The very odd streak that has emerged in the Coastal Carolina-Georgia State rivalry was extended for another season Thursday night in Conway. The Panthers defeated the Chanticleers 30-17 meaning the visiting team has won every game in the seven-year series. This was the Sun Belt Conference opener for both teams and the Panthers improved to 4-0 overall. The Chants fell to 2-2.
Georgia State led from the opening possession of the game. The Panthers took the kick and drove 75 yards in 14 plays with quarterback Darren Grainger, who is a native of Conway, scoring on an eight-yard run. The Chants countered with a field goal, but the Panthers responded with another 75-yard touchdown drive, this one in seven plays, and capped by a 13-yard Grainger touchdown pass to Robert Lewis.
Georgia State put together a late scoring drive to end the half on a 34-yard field goal as time expired and took a 17-3 lead into the locker room.
Coastal came out with some fire to open the second half with a 75-yard drive in seven plays with Grayson McCall connecting with Jameson Tucker on a 27-yard scoring strike to cut the deficit to 17-10. The TD toss was the 83rd in McCall’s stellar career at Coastal and moved him into a tie for 96th on the all-time NCAA list.
However, the Panthers scored the next ten points to basically put the game away, especially after the Chants turned the ball over on downs at the Georgia State 17-yard line with 8:40 to play.
There was a little bit of late hope for Coastal after Abraham Teamoney recovered a fumble by the Panthers punter and ran it in from the two to make it a 27-17 score with 7:01 to play. But the Chants defense could not come up with a stop on the next series as Georgia State used up 4:24 off the clock to kick a field goal for the final scoring of the night.
McCall led the Coastal offense with 295 passing yards and a touchdown, moving past 9,000 passing yards in his career. Sam Pinckney was targeted nine games and caught six for 67 yards. Grainger passed for 191 yards and a touchdown for the Panthers, who also got 150 rushing yards and a touchdown from Marcus Carroll.
Coastal Carolina will play its first conference road game of the season a week from Saturday at Georgia Southern. That will be the first of a three-game road trip. The Chants next home game will not be until October 28th against Marshall.