Daytona Beach, FL (Sports Network) - A 2-4 start to the season was hardly
reason to think Coastal Carolina would be playing in the FCS playoffs, let
alone win for the first time there.
But hidden in that record was a difficult strength of schedule that paid off
after the Chanticleers got into the heart of their Big South Conference
On Saturday, the Chanticleers continued their hot late-season run with their
sixth straight win, 24-14 at Bethune-Cookman in the first round of the
It was Coastal's first FCS playoff win in three all-time appearances. The
Chanticleers (8-4) next play at No. 4 Old Dominion (10-1) in the second round
Coastal, which has a first-year coach in Joe Moglia, overwhelmed Bethune-
Cookman with 17 second-quarter points, scoring on its first three possessions.
Marcus Whitener opened the scoring with a 14-yard touchdown run at the 13:50
mark before quarterback Aramis Hillary connected on a 3-yard scoring pass to
Matt Hazel with 7:23 left.
After Quenton Davis recovered a fumble by Bethune-Cookman's Jordan Murphy in
Wildcats terrority, the Chanticleers went ahead 17-0 on Alex Catron's 35-yard
field goal with 3:05 remaining.
Coastal extended its lead to 24-0 in the fourth quarter before Bethune-Cookman
(9-3) tightened the score with two touchdowns.
It was the 17th straight playoff loss for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
team, dating to 1999.
Coastal's schedule has been a difference-maker. The schedule became bearish
after the Chanticleers won their first two games. They lost to Eastern
Kentucky, FBS member Toledo, Appalachian State and Stony Brook - teams that
were 33-11 heading into Saturday's action.
But the Chanticleers averaged 46.2 points in their final five Big South games
to earn a share of the conference title and the automatic bid to the playoffs
on a tiebreaker.
The Sports Network