CSU, Liberty, Stony Brook, Gardner-Webb Score Wins Saturday
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 32, VMI 14 | BOX SCORE
The Charleston Southern Buccaneers put together their most complete game in two years to defeat visiting VMI on Saturday afternoon at Buccaneer Field, 32-14.
CSU emphatically ended an eight-game Big South Conference losing streak and a six-game home losing streak with a dominant effort on both sides of the ball. CSU rushed for 307 yards and tossed four touchdown passes to put together its best offensive effort over a year. Defensively, the Bucs stifled VMI, holding the Keydets to 187 total yards.
With the win, the Bucs move to 2-4 on the year and 1-1 in Big South play, while VMI falls to 2-4 and 1-1.
Junior quarterback Malcolm Dixon led CSU's balanced attack with three TD passes and 50 yards rushing, leading the team effort. Dixon completed 5-of-6 passes for 88 yards and three touchdowns. He also guided CSU's option attack to 307 yards rushing, its highest total since last season against Jacksonville and its third-highest total since 2005.
The Bucs defense kept Dixon and the offense on the field, holding VMI to five drives of 10 yards or less and coming up with three sacks.
The win comes on the heels of a three-game, 4,200-mile road trip for the Bucs. CSU will follow its first home win with since 2010 with three home games in the next four weeks.
The Bucs started their home stand with a level of sharpness and intensity CSU had failed to show in the first quarter all season long, roaring to an early lead, 13-0.
CSU put together its best drive since its season opener to burst out to a 6-0 lead to start the game. The Bucs took the opening kickoff 67 yards in eight plays jump to score first in a game for the first time this season. Dixon found running back Zac Frazier on a slant for the 15-yard touchdown. Dixon added a 12-yard run and running back Michael Cirino added runs of six and eight yards as the CSU's option attack opened the game running downhill.
The Bucs faked a punt on fourth-and-short near midfield to jump start their second scoring drive, then took advantage of a VMI offsides penalty to build their lead to 13-0 late in the first quarter. Frazier, the upback in the punt formation, took a direct snap and rambled eight yards on fourth-and-1 as CSU converted from its own 44. Dixon would find Larry Jones III on second-and-short five plays later for the CSU touchdown to extend the lead. Dixon caught the Keydets in the neutral zone on the play, and found an open Jones III streaking down the right sideline for the first touchdown catch of his career.
VMI would answer to put some pressure on the Bucs. A 3-yard Jabari Turner run capped a 10-play, 69-yard drive as the Keydets cuts the CSU lead to 13-7, but a missed field goal and a three-and-out forced by the Buc defense gave CSU just enough opportunities to grow its lead before the half.
The Bucs turned to a trick play to add to their lead. On third-and-short at midfield, CSU's Chase Jones found Jones III on a halfback pass for 51 yards and the Bucs' final touchdown of the half. Jones III shook off two tacklers at the 10, as he came back to make the catch, before fighting his way into the end zone.
The Bucs defense forced a punt on Keydets opening drive of the second half and Bucs' offense went back to work.
Dixon found tight end Nathan Prater open on the backside for an 18-yard completion and followed with a 19-yard run to move the ball inside the 10. Two plays later Teddy Allen scored for the first time this season on a 2-yard run to give the Bucs a 26-0 lead, capping a 9-play, 76-yard drive to open the half.
Dixon threw his third TD pass of the day on the Bucs' ensuing possession after buying some time with his legs. Dixon avoided a rush from his left and rolled back to his right to find Chris Theodore, who came back to the goal line, to make his first catch of the season, a 12-yard TD catch.
VMI's John Washington returned a fumble by CSU's Gabe Johnson 70 yards early in the fourth quarter for the game's final score, but CSU held the ball for over seven minutes on the ensuing possession to end any chance of a Keydet comeback.
Despite the 307 yards rushing, no Buc ball carrier eclipsed the 100-yard plateau. Johnson led the way with 63 yards on 15 carries, while Dixon and Allen each had 50 yards.
Turner carried the load for the VMI offense, rushing for 55 yards on 13 carries, but could not find enough room to slow down the CSU pass rush and a defense which controlled the game.
The Bucs sacked VMI quarterback Eric Kordenbrock three times and held him to 15-of-33 passing for 113 yards. On the ground, Turner ran for 55 yards on 13 carries, scoring VMI's only offensive touchdown on the day. Derrick Ziglar ran for 22 yards on just five carries, picking up 4.4 yards a run
Linebacker Zack Johnson led the Bucs' defense with 10 tackles, while Cornelius Sterling added fives tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Charleston Southern returns to action against Presbyterian College next Saturday at Buccaneer Field. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m. in Charleston, S.C. and the game will be carried live on ESPN3. The Keydets return home next Saturday to face Coastal Carolina at Foster Stadium on Parents Weekend. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.
#11/11 STONY BROOK 27, COASTAL CAROLINA 21 | BOX SCORE | WATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Senior Miguel Maysonet rushed for a career-high 233 yards and two touchdowns and senior Kyle Essington passed for 181 yards and two touchdowns as the No. 11 Stony Brook football team (6-1, 2-0 Big South) held off Coastal Carolina (2-4, 0-1), 27-21, at Brooks Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Maysonet recorded his second 200-yard game of the season, breaking off second-half runs of 64 and 58 yards, respectively.
Senior Kevin Norrell caught seven passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jordan Gush had two receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown.
The Seawolves rushed for 283 yards, but needed a fumble recovery with under two minutes to play as Coastal Carolina was driving to hold on for the 27-21 win.
Coastal was led by senior Aramis Hillary who connected on 23-of-36 passing attempts for 271 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jeremy Height rushed for a team-high 89 yards on 15 carries while scoring a pair of touchdowns. Junior DeMario Bennett caught six balls good for 91 yards and a touchdown while junior Matt Hazel had six catches for 98 yards.
For the fifth time in six games this season, Coastal scored on its opening possession. Early in the drive, Coastal went for it on fourth and one and Height responded with a nine-yard gain. Hillary was 4-for-4 on the drive, including an 18-yard completion to David Duran and a 24-yard touchdown to Bennett.
Stony Brook answered on its first drive with a touchdown of its own. The Seawolves also converted a fourth-and-short and Essington was 3-for-3 in the drive, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Gush.
On the second set of drives, Coastal was near scoring position but back-to-back fumbles, the second coming on fourth down, gave Stony Brook the ball. The Seawolves marched to the Coastal 11 and faced fourth-and-one. Wesley Skiffington came on for a 26-yard field goal but missed wide left.
Coastal then rode the momentum. Hillary found Tyrell Blanks for 19 yards on the first play. Later, Travis Small, CCU's leading rusher last season, picked up 15 yards on his first attempt of 2012. Three plays later, Height burst through the middle and ran untouched for a 26-yard score. Stony Brook answered right back. Essington hit Gush for 40 yards on the first play of the drive and Marcus Coker had an 18-yard run. Facing third-and-four, Essington hit Norrell for an 18-yard score despite tight coverage by CCU's Richie Sampson.
At the close of the first half, Hillary connected with Hazel for a 55-yard completion to the Stony Brook 10. However, the Chants were unable to take advantage as Alex Catron's field goal as time expired missed wide left to keep the score tied at 14 at the break.
Stony Brook opened the second half with a 13-play drive that took 6:13 off the clock, capped with a two-yard Maysonet touchdown run for a 21-14 lead. After forcing a Coastal punt, Maysonet reeled off a 58-yard rush down the left sideline to the CCU 22, pushing the senior and Big South career rushing leader over 1,000 yards for the season. However, the Chanticleer defense stiffened and forced a field goal, which was missed wide left.
Coastal took advantage of the miscue and turned to a power running game, rushing six straight times, to tie the score at 21-21. Height had a seven-yarder, Hillary was flushed from the pocket to gain 11 and Lorenzo Taliaferro had rushes for eight, 25 and six to the SBU three. Height found pay dirt from three yards out to tie the game.
However, Maysonet struck again. On the first play from scrimmage on the ensuing drive, the senior had a 64 yard rush to the CCU 27. Four plays later, Maysonet scored from four yards out. The extra point missed left to give the Seawolves a six-point lead, 27-21.
Coastal's next drive stalled out at the Stony Brook 49 and the Chants were forced to punt the ball away. The Seawolves ate away 3:23 on their next drive before punting it away for just the second time in the game giving the Chants the ball at their own 35 with 4:21 remaining.
After a 10-yard penalty on the opening play of the drive, Hilary completed a 20-yard pass to Hazel to move the ball to the Coastal 45. Height then rushed twice for a total of 14 yards to move to ball over the 50 and into Stony Brook territory. Hillary then connected with Bennett for a 21-yard strike to move the ball to the Seawolves' 20. With just over two minutes to play, Hillary completed a pass to Hazel to the 16-yard line but a hit by a Stony Brook defender dislodged the ball and it was recovered by Dominick Reyes at the SBU 21 with 2:11 on the clock.
The Chanticleer defense forced a three-and-out by the Seawolves that gave Coastal the ball on their own 33 with 1:01 left in the game. Four-straight incompletions ended the Chants' hopes of a come from behind victory as the Seawolves held on for the 27-21 victory.
Coastal Carolina looks to snap its four-game losing streak next Saturday at VMI. The Seawolves return home to host Gardner-Webb at 4:00pm.
LIBERTY 56, PRESBYTERIAN COLLEGE 7 | BOX SCORE
After scoring 32 of the last 39 points against Gardner-Webb to rally for a win at home last week, Liberty's offense found the same groove for the entire game in a 56-7 Big South road win over Presbyterian College, Saturday at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
Liberty (2-4), which opens Big South play 2-0 for the sixth-straight year, racked up a school record 692 yards of total offense. PC begins Big South play 0-2 and is 2-5 overall.
The Blue Hose managed to get the ball across the 50-yard line on the game's opening drive, but Bryant Lewellyn stopped the effort with his second sack of the season.
Liberty began its first drive of the contest by airing out the ball. Josh Woodrum found Ryan Ferguson open over the middle of the field for a 46-yard reception on the Flames' first play from scrimmage.
Liberty then handed the ball off to Sirchauncey Holloway on the next four plays, with the fourth being a three-yard touchdown run to give Liberty a 7-0 edge with 9:52 left in the first quarter. Liberty's defense came up with another stand on PC's next drive, forcing the Blue Hose to punt the ball away following a three-and-out series.
The ground game continued to factor into Liberty's offensive success, as this time the ball was fed to Aldreakis Allen on consecutive plays.
Following a two-yard carry by the junior, Allen got to the outside and broke several tackles on a 59-yard touchdown run. He stiff-armed the final PC defender at the three-yard line, before crossing the goal line to push the Liberty edge to 14-0 at the 7:31 mark of the first.
Following a second-straight three-and-out series by PC, Liberty changed up its offensive method of attack, but the result was the same with the Flames widening its lead to 21-0.
Woodrum went four-for-four on the drive, quickly moving the Flames down the field with 67 passing yards on the eight-play, 81-yard scoring drive. Woodrum found Pat Kelly early for two receptions of 14 and 17 yards, before the redshirt quarterback went to tight end Justin Gunn for the final two successful passes.
The first was a 34-yard passing play over the middle of the field, where Gunn was tackled from behind at the PC five-yard line. After a two-yard gain on the ground by Holloway, Woodrum went back to Gunn for his second touchdown catch of the year, a two-yard passing play with 2:06 left to play in the opening quarter.
Both teams had chances to score on their next drive, but both were cut short following turnovers.
Liberty's giveaway came on a quarterback keeper by back-up signal caller Brian Hudson. Flames' head coach Turner Gill called a "wildcat" play for Hudson, who was able to gain 20 yards on the play, but stripped of the ball at the 10-yard line by Cedric Byrd.
The Blue Hose had their deepest drive of game, getting to Liberty's 33-yard line. Electing to go for it on a fourth-and-four play, PC quarterback Kaleb Griffin completed a screen pass to Michael Ruff, but the senior was tackled behind the line of scrimmage by Lewellyn and Scott Hyland to force a turnover on downs.
Holloway carried the ball four times on the next six-play drive, picking up gains of 26, 12 and 25 yards to get into the red zone. Fullback Nicky Fualaau was given the ball and he scored from one yard out for a 28-0 Liberty lead with 4:01 left before halftime.
Griffin was able to jumpstart the Blue Hose offense on the next drive, with the redshirt freshman quarterback completing all five of his pass attempts on the six-play, 70-yard drive. His fifth and final pass was a 32-yard sideline pass to Ruff, getting PC on the scoreboard with 2:05 left in the second quarter, 28-7.
The brief momentum shift lasted two plays, as the Flames answered quickly. Following a 45-yard pass play from Woodrum to Ferguson to open the drive, Allen scored on a 10-yard run, giving Liberty a 35-7 halftime lead just 25 seconds later.
Liberty's first half dominance on the scoreboard was also matched on the stat sheet, with Liberty outgaining PC, 428 to 169 yards. The Flames ran the ball 21 times during the opening half for 253 rushing yards, while racking up 175 passing yards. Allen and Holloway each surpassed the 100-yard rushing mark during the first half. Allen led Liberty with 115 rushing yards on six carries, while Holloway carried the ball a team-high 10 times for 109 yards.
Woodrum, who came into the game completing over 75 percent of his pass attempts, finished the opening half 9-of-10 on passing attempts for 175 yards. Kelly was his top option with four receptions for 46 yards, while Ferguson lead the team with 91 yards on two catches. Griffin finished the first half 19-of-23 for 150 yards, while Anderico Bailey leading the Blue Hose with five catches for 28 yards.
The Flames opened the second half right where it left off before halftime, adding points to the scoreboard to extend their lead.
Liberty put the ball on the ground four times on the nine-play, 77-yard scoring drive. The last, a 35-yard burst down the far sideline by Allen, to push the Flames' advantage to 42-7 with 11:47 left to play in the third quarter.
Liberty managed to score twice more during the remaining 26-plus minutes of the game to record his fifth-largest margin of victory in program history. The Flames also record a 49-point win over Glenville State on Sept. 5, 1997.
The first score was the next time the Flames touched the ball, as Allen capped off his career day with a four-yard scamper with 3:22 left to play. The run completed an 11-play, 70-yard scoring drive by the Flames.
After the two teams traded possessions during most of the fourth quarter, the Flames mounted one more scoring effort.
D.J. Abnar carried the ball eight times on a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive, concluding it with a one-yard plunge with 1:52 left to play in the game for his first career rushing touchdown.
Liberty's 692 yards on the afternoon bested the Flames' previous school record of 654 total offensive yards against Charleston Southern on Oct. 26, 1996.
Liberty's defense held its third opponent of the year below 300 total offensive yards. PC finished the game with 257 total offensive yards, 201 of which came via its passing game.
The Flames finished the game 30 yards short of the program team rushing record. Liberty carried the ball 47 times for 429 yards, thanks to three running backs averaging 10 or more yards per carries.
Allen rushed for a career-high 183 yards on 13 carries and a 14.1 yards per carry average. The junior scored four times on the day, besting his previous single-game career high of three rushing touchdowns against Coastal Carolina in 2009. Holloway followed behind Allen with 12 carries for 128 yards (10.7 avg.) and scored his 24th career rushing touchdown.
Allen and Holloway surpassed the 100-yard mark in the same game for the second time this year. Allen now has seven 100-yard rushing games and Holloway has four during their Liberty careers.
Woodrum finished the afternoon completing 15-of-21 passing attempts for 232 yards and one score. Hudson was 5-of-6 for 31 yards in a back-up role.
Kelly led the Flames in total receptions for the sixth time in 2012, finishing the game with six catches for 79 yards. Ferguson followed up his first career 100-yard game with three receptions for 97 yards to lead the Flames in total receiving yards.
PC's limited offense was paced by Griffin, who was 28-of-38 for 194 yards and one touchdown pass. His leading receiver was Bailey, who finished the afternoon with nine receptions for 38 yards. Ruff followed with five catches for a team high 60 yards.
The Blue Hose's ground game, which accounted for only 56 of the team's 257 yards, was led by Lance Byrd, who carried the ball seven times for 33 yards.
Liberty's stout defensive effort was paced by defensive backs Walt Aikens and Kenny Scott, who both recorded seven tackles apiece. All seven of Aikens' stops were solo stops.
Cedric Byrd and L.J. Perry were PC's top tacklers, finishing the game with eight stops apiece.
The Flames will play their final non-conference game of the regular season next weekend, when they host Concord on Saturday afternoon at Williams Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. Presbyterian travels to Charleston Southern to face the Buccaneers in a 1:30pm contest.
GARDNER-WEBB 30, MIDAMERICA NAZARENE 28 | BOX SCORE | WATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Lucas Beatty hit Seth Cranfill in the end zone on third down with 6.4 seconds left to lift Gardner-Webb to a 30-28 win over MidAmerica Nazarene Saturday night.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (1-5) led 23-14 at the half after a late touchdown to Cranfill, but saw MidAmerica Nazarene (4-2) control the clock en route to a pair of touchdowns that gave the Pioneers a 28-23 lead with 14:02 to play in the game on quarterback Sean Ransburg's 49-yard keeper.
Gardner-Webb was fruitless on its next two drives, with a 43-yard march ending at midfield with 4:51 remaining. Bo Lindsey's punt pinned MNU at its own one-yard line, but the Pioneers picked up two big first downs to get out past the 25 yard line.
Facing a fourth-and-inches with 1:14 left, and with Gardner-Webb out of timeouts, the Pioneers chose to go for it from the 31-yard line. Ransburg was stuffed in the backfield by middle linebacker Tanner Burch - giving GWU the ball back with 1:11 on the clock at the MidAmerica Nazarene 30.
Beatty got to work quickly, hitting Deonte Swinton on a 26-yard out route down to the four. After a holding call on third-and-goal pushed the 'Dogs back to the 13, Beatty found Cranfill on a fade route for the winning score.
Gardner-Webb jumped out to an early 7-0 lead on Juanne Blount's 32-yard dash on a direct snap with 11:58 to play in the first quarter. Trever Austin added a 22-yard field goal with 14:17 to play before the half for a 10-0 lead - before Ransburg tossed scoring passes of six and 19 yards to give the visitors a 14-10 lead with 5:38 left in the half - but the Runnin' Bulldogs would answer.
Return man J.J. Hubbard provided the spark, returning a kickoff 63 yards to the MNU 37-yard line with 5:21 in the half. Blount capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown run with 1:56 to play and - after Burch broke up a third-down pass near midfield - Hubbard struck again.
The sophomore darted 50 yards with the ensuing punt, setting up Gardner-Webb at the 32. Beatty hit Cranfill for 18 yards down to the 11-yard line and - after a false start penalty - found the 6-foot-4, 230-pound sophomore from 16 yards out with nine seconds left for the halftime lead.
MidAmerica Nazarene drove 73 yards in nine plays to open the third quarter, with Ransburg hitting Brett Houchen in the end zone from 18 yards out to trim the GWU lead to 23-21 with 10:02 left in the third quarter.
An interception on Gardner-Webb's next drive set the Pioneers up near midfield, and Ransburg darted 49 yards on the second play of the drive for the go-ahead score.
Gardner-Webb finished with 329 yards offensively on the night, with Beatty overcoming six dropped passes to go 20-of-30 for 193 yards and a pair of scores. Cranfill caught seven passes for 75 yards and the first two scores of his career. Swinton hauled in five passes for 70 yards, with none bigger than his diving grab on the final drive.
Blount carried 20 times for 86 yards and a pair of scores and Kenny Little had 54 yards on 17 carries.
Burch was the star defensively, collecting a career-high 18 total tackles (10 solo), two tackles for loss and a pass break up. Hubbard finished with 171 kick return yards in one of the best efforts of his young career.
MidAmerica Nazarene outgained Gardner-Webb, picking up 397 yards of offense and averaging 6.0 yards per play. Ransburg, a former Missouri Mr. Football winner, was at the core of that effort passing for 205 yards and three scores and running for 100 yards. Houchen caught a pair of touchdowns to pace the receiving effort.
Mike McJunkins (14 tackles), Joe Camacho (12 tackles) and Joey Oxley (10 tackles) paced the MNU defense. Dantren Anderson and Sean Moran each had interceptions for the Pioneers.
Gardner-Webb will get back to action in the Big South Conference next Saturday, traveling to Long Island to face No. 11 Stony Brook at 4:00 pm.