Coastal Carolina had its first game-like setting Wednesday morning as the football squad held an hour scrimmage at Brooks Stadium.
The session began on the practice fields, doing individual drills. At “halftime” the team adjourned to the new Adkins Field House locker room and went through its normal halftime routine of instruction. The team then came out to Brooks Stadium, stretched just as they would for the start of the third quarter and proceeded to scrimmage.
“We went back to the fundamentals,” said head coach David Bennett. “We taught them how we are going to do halftime in our new locker room and finished by working on getting on and off the field quickly. That is what we have to do to be successful in our up-tempo offense. Thanks goodness we have a little bit of time (before our first game) because we sure are not ready right now.
“I thought our freshmen running backs ran the ball real hard today, Aaron Jones and Jeff Allen. We had a couple guys missing, attending class, so our backfield was down to just four guys. It was a good day’s work for those guys.
“Right now we are learning to be a team. We have to give up on our individual wants and needs and put the team first.”
While the defense was able to make some big plays, forcing a three-and-out on the first series and returning an interception for a touchdown on the second, the offense was able to make some big plays in crucial moments.
On the second series, the second offense faced the second defense. E.J. Brown started things with a tackle for loss, but Aramis Hillary (4-of-7 for 63 yards and an interception) hit Jonathan Morgan on a 30-yard pass two plays later. Matt Johnson answered with a TFL, setting up a Dontavious Johnson pick, which he returned 90 yards for a score.
The third offense then took over, having a short field. Bad snaps led to tackles for losses by Moon Edwards and Corey Hawkins and an eventual 46-yard field goal attempt.
The one’s had their second shot after the quick first series and, after a Quinton Davis TFL, the offense worked its way to third and short. Zach MacDowall (1-of-2 for 52 yards and a TD) hit Marquel Willis on a short slant, which turned into a 52-yard touchdown.
Hillary used his arm and legs to put together a nice drive on his second time on the field. First, he hit Akeem Wesley for a 10-yard completion across the middle. After an eight-yard run by Jones gave the offense another first down, Hillary scrambled and hit Chris Floyd for a 20-yard gain. The drive stalled as Josh Norman made a big hit on third down to break-up a pass. Grant Clayton came on and split the uprights from 35 yards out for a field goal.
The sixth series of downs went by quick as a bad exchange on a handoff led to defensive end Jamel Davis recovering a fumble.
A small break led to the first offense facing the second defense. Starting from just 30 yards out, the defense looked to be a trouble after an off-side turned third and long into third and three. However, the defense made the stop and Justin Durham came on to make a 31-yard field goal.
The defense kept the momentum, forcing a three and out before third-team quarterback Cody Craig (5-of-6 for 60 yards and a TD) strung together a nice scoring drive. Allen picked up the first first down of the drive with back-to-back, five-yard runs. Craig then hit Mike Limoli and Jones made a nice run to move the chains. Andrae Jacobs temporarily provided a lift to the defense with a big hit, leaving fourth and two. The offense went for it and, while Allen was hit near the line of scrimmage, he dove forward to make the first down. On the ensuing play, Craig rolled left and hit Adrian Sullivan on a pass near the sideline. Sullivan made the defender miss and gained 30 yards to the 10. After a short run, Craig then found an open Kenny Jones in the endzone for an eight-yard score.
The final series had the defense forcing a three-and-out, thanks to a TFL by Dominique Davenport and a Quinton Davis forcing a rushed pass which led to an incompletion.
The session ended with conditioning by with multiple sets of the offense and defense – first string, then second, followed by third – sprinting from the sideline to the ball and getting set, then sprinting off the field.
NOTE: The four Chanticleer quarterbacks (adding Jamie Childers who was 1-for-1) completed 11-of-16 passes to 11 different receivers.
Injury Report: Several minutes after practice concluded, Moon Edwards (Pageland/Chesterfield HS) was taken to the hospital to get an I.V. for fluid replacement. He was stable and prognosis is good.