Copeland rushes to record as Bucs defeat West Virginia Wesleyan, 63-42October 15, 2005
By CSU Sports Information
|Andre Copeland rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns|
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern scored 42 fourth quarter and redshirt freshman running back Andre Copeland rushed for a school-record 226 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers to a 63-42 come from behind win over visiting West Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.
Charleston Southern (3-4) posted a Big South and school record 695 yards in total offense, rushing for 397 yards. The two teams combined for a CSU single-game record of 1,164 total yards and CSU set school records for points in a half (56) and quarter (42).
West Virginia Wesleyan, who led 14-7 at the half, finished the game with 469 total yards with 400 of those yards coming through the air. Quarterback Mark Kimes completed 17-of-38 passes for 392 yards and two touchdowns on the day. The Bobcats fall to 3-5 on the season.
“This team continues to grow and mature each week and today they overcame a bad start and turned in a good second-half performance,” said CSU head coach Jay Mills. “To the credit of West Virginia Wesleyan, they wouldn’t quit and kept coming back at us but I was real proud of the way our offensive line took control of the game in the fourth quarter. Our offensive line continues to be the most improved area of our football team on a weekly basis.”
Mainstays along that offensive line on Saturday included tackles Troy James and DeAndre Harrison, guards Rick Howell and Alex Bragg, center Shawn Huntsinger and tight end Bryan Meers.
Charleston Southern established Big South Conference records for yards per rush (8.8) and yards per play (9.7) while tying conference records for touchdowns (9) and first downs (31). Copeland’s rushing yardage was third most in conference history. Sophomore wide receiver Maurice Price had 10 receptions (158 yards), which ties for second on the Big South single game list.
Junior quarterback Collin Drafts completed 15-of-27 passes for 298 yards and two scores – a 39-yard pass to freshman Markus Murry in the third quarter and a 59-yard pass to Drew Rucks in the fourth quarter. Seven of CSU’s scoring drives took less than three minutes.
West Virginia Wesleyan opened the game with an impressive 10-play, 77-yard drive that consumed 5:19 off the clock to take a 7-0 lead on Kimes’ one-yard run in the first quarter.
CSU answered with an eight-play, 87-yard drive with Copeland tying the game on a five-yard run with :46 left in the opening quarter. The visiting Bobcats took a 14-7 halftime lead on Chance Varner’s 13-yard run with 3:27 left in the half.
Charleston Southern opened the third quarter clicking on all cylinders, taking their first possession 65 yards on eight plays with Drafts scoring on a one-yard run. The Bucs needed only two plays on their next possession as Drafts connected with Murry on the 39-yard scoring play, putting CSU up, 21-14, with 8:16 left in the third quarter.
West Virginia Wesleyan scored defensively late in the third. Tyler Kraus picked off a Drafts pass at the Bucs 30 and fumbled on his return. The ball bounced into the endzone and was recovered for a touchdown by Chris Romani with 2:57 left in the third. The extra point was wide, leaving CSU with a 21-20 lead.
The Buccaneers marched right back with Drafts directing a 74-yard scoring drive and scoring on a one-yard sneak on the first play of the fourth quarter. However, the Bobcats needed only 2:41 to tie the game as running back Lewis Caralla tossed an option pass to Sean Drumm from eight yards out, tying the score at 28 with 12:17 left in the game.
CSU scored three touchdowns over the next six minutes, using only 11 plays to do so. Rucks caught his touchdown pass from Drafts with 11:08 left in the game. After a WVW punt, the Bucs went 67 yards on seven plays with Copeland scoring from three yards out for a 42-28 lead with 7:48 to play.
Robert Adams, who rushed for 97 yards on nine carries, scored on a 46-yard run with 6:26 left, pushing the Bucs to a comfortable 49-28 lead.
T. R. Dues returned the ensuing kickoff to the CSU four-yard line and the Bobcats scored on a four-yard pass from Kimes to Brian Overton, cutting the lead to 49-35 with 6:09 to play.
CSU answered with an 80-yard drive on six plays with Copeland scoring on a five-yard run with 3:44 to play, pushing the lead back to 56-35, but the Bobcats answered immediately with an 83-yard pass from Kimes to Overton with 3:19 remaining, making the score, 56-42.
Charleston Southern finally sealed the deal on Copeland’s 29-yard run with :28 remaining.
Charleston Southern returns to action next Saturday, hosting Savannah State University in a 1:30 kickoff.Related Item: Box Score