CSU holds on for 49-42 win over West Virginia StateSeptember 20, 2003
By CSU Sports Information
|Freshman RB Robert Adams had career day|
CHARLESTON, SC – It took a little longer than expected, but the Charleston Southern University football team finally notched their first victory of the Jay Mills coaching era, holding off a late rally to defeat West Virginia State College, 49-42, at Buccaneer Field on Saturday.
CSU (1-3) built a 49-28 lead with just over three minutes left in the game, only to see the Yellow Jackets score two late touchdowns to make things interesting. CSU recovered a final onside kick attempt with 57 seconds remaining to seal the victory.
“It certainly wasn’t a thing of beauty but it’s a win and I am very excited for the young men of this football program,” said CSU’s first-year head coach Jay Mills. “It has been a very trying first month and our players have done everything asked of them. We felt we were coming closer and closer to victory and today we turned the corner. We made some mistakes but we did a lot of good things and our players should be proud of themselves.”
West Virginia State (0-3) rolled up 503 total yards, including 270 on the ground and had 189 total yards in the fourth quarter. The Yellow Jackets ran 26 more plays offensively than the Buccaneers and held the ball nearly 10 minutes longer than the home team. Quarterback Kerrick Cooper completed 18-of-34 passes for 233 yards and running back Chris Lester rushed for 108 yards to lead the visitors.
CSU, on the other hand, had their best offensive day of the season, totaling 468 yards and showing great balance. The Bucs rushed for 250 yards and passed for 218 and did not commit a turnover for the first time this season.
Freshman running back Robert Adams rushed for 148 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns, while freshman quarterback Collin Drafts completed 10-of-18 passes for 218 yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Dunklin had scored on two of his five receptions, totaling 139 receiving yards, and Kijana Thomas tallied 169 return yards and 35 yards rushing in the winning effort.
“It was a very good day offensively and we were very pleased with the balance that we showed,” said Mills. “Our defense did some good things but I have to credit West Virginia State for the way they executed on offense. It certainly turned into quite a shootout.”
CSU jumped out to a 21-0 lead as Drafts connected on touchdown passes of 43 and 58 yards to Dunklin, the second score coming with 7:58 remaining in the first half. Drafts hit Luke Turner with a 13-yard scoring pass with 4:26 left in the half before WVSC answered on Lester’s 11-yard run with 41 seconds remaining in the half.
The Buccaneers needed just four minutes to score in the third quarter as Adams scored on a one-yard run for a 28-7 lead. The Yellow Jackets, however, answered with a 66-yard drive as Terrell Givins scored on a three-yard run with 8:20 remaining in the third period. After Thomas scored from 35 yards out on his only carry of the game with 5:58 to play, WVSC answered with a Levin Carn one-yard run with 1:40 to play, cutting the lead to 35-21.
Adams’ second score of the day with 11:31 left in the game put the Bucs up 42-21. With 4:13 left, the Yellow Jackets got a two-yard run from Givins, making it 42-28, but CSU quickly answered when Drafts hit Don Phillips on a 44-yard touchdown toss with 3:07 remaining for a 49-28 lead.
Cooper then rallied the Yellow Jackets, hitting Kenneth Davis with a 15-yard touchdown pass with 1:11 to play. The Yellow Jackets then recovered a high pooch kick at the CSU 31-yard line, and after a pass interference penalty on CSU, scored on a 16-yard pass from Cooper to Davis for the final margin.
Charleston Southern will play at home for the third consecutive week next Saturday, hosting Tusculum College at 1:30 p.m.
CSU records and single game superlatives from today's game:Related Item: Box Score
Aaron Dunklin - touchdown receptions in a game - 2 (tied record)
Aaron Dunklin - eighth best receiving yards in a game - 139
Robert Adams - fifth best rushing yards in a game - 148
Collin Drafts - fourteenth best passing yards in a game - 218
Collin Drafts - tenth best total offensive yards in a game - 276