Coastal Carolina quarterback Alex Ross tossed a career-high four touchdown passes to lead the Chanticleers to a 48-24 first round win over the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats in the FCS Playoffs, before a crowd of 3,007 at Brooks Stadium in Conway.
Ross carved up the Bethune-Cookman defense completing 13-of-18 passes for 256 yards. Two of his touchdown passes went to Matt Hazel, who caught three passes for 64 yards.
On defense, Coastal Carolina sacked Bethune-Cookman quarterback Quentin Williams five times. The Wildcats never recovered from a forced fumble by Richie Sampson in the first quarter that Mike McClure returned for a 39-yard touchdown.
CCU running back Lorenzo Taliaferro scored on an 8-yard TD run in the second quarter that gave the Chants all the points they needed. Taliferro's score put Coastal in front 27-10 at halftime. Taliaferro was Coastal's leading rusher with 85 yards on 19 carries.
Florence native John Israel, who played at Wilson High, scored on a 23-yard third quarter touchdown pass. Israel caught three passes for 60 yards.
Former Cheraw standout Travis Small scored the final TD of the contest on a 17-yard run. Small finished with 50 yards on four carries.
The victory gave Coastal Carolina (11-2) the first 11-win football season in history. CCU also finished the year with a perfect 7-0 record at home for only the second time.
Coastal Carolina will travel to Missoula, Montana to face the University of Montana Grizzlies (10-2) next Saturday, December 7 at 2 p.m. ET in the second round.
#5 Montana received a first-round bye in the FCS Playoffs after earning the 8th seed.