The 20th ranked Eastern Kentucky Colonels invaded Conway, South Carolina on Saturday night and punched the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers in the nose. Eastern Kentucky (2-1) raced to a two touchdown lead at halftime and never looked back on the way to a 35-17 victory at Brooks Stadium.
Eastern Kentucky running back Matt Denham rushed the ball 24 times for 121 yards and scored two TD's. Denham's first score came on a 32-yard reception to give the Colonels a 7-0 lead.
Coastal scored on their first drive. Aramis Hillary threw an 8-yard TD pass to Niccolo Mastromatteo to tie the game at seven apiece. Mastromatteo tied a Coastal school record with ten receptions in a single game. He had 96 receiving yards.
CCU's other touchdown came when Cody Ross threw a five yard TD pass to Matt Hazel. Ross was pressed into duty when Hillary was shaken up on an option keeper. Hillary returned to finish the game at quarterback.
Eastern Kentucky had a nice balance running and throwing the ball. The Colonels racked up 217 rushing yards and 225 yards through the air. Eastern Kentucky scored three times on running plays and twice through the air, including a back-breaking 77 yard TD toss from T.J. Prior to Tyrone Goard just before halftime to give the Colonels a 21-7 advantage.
Coastal Carolina linebacker Mike McClure led all tacklers with ten stops. But the CCU defense could not stop Eastern Kentucky's sustained drives, and lost for the first time under new head coach Joe Moglia.
CCU (2-1) will play at Toledo next Saturday, September 22 at 7 p.m. in the Rocket's Glass Bowl. It will be the first football meeting between the two schools. Coastal's only previous game against a team from the Mid-American conference was an 18-0 loss at Kent State in 2009.