Eastern Outlasts Coastal Carolina to Open Season with 30-23 Win

CONWAY, S.C. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University football team overcame a slow first quarter to take down Coastal Carolina University in exciting fashion, 30-23, Saturday, Aug. 31, at Brooks Stadium. After falling 10-0 in the first quarter, the Eagles stormed back to outscore the Chanticleers 30-13 the rest of the way.

After Coastal (0-1) connected on a 38-yard field goal to bring the score to 30-23 with just 40 seconds to go, the Chanticleers recovered an onside kick to give themselves one last chance. On their first play, Eastern (1-0) cornerback Kevin McGill (Waldorf, Md.-Westlake) pulled down an interception to put the game on ice.

EMU’s first strike of the 2019 season was a touchdown to kick off the second quarter, as senior quarterback Mike Glass III (St. Louis, Mo.-Hazelwood Central (Southwestern College)) connected with sophomore Dylan Drummond (Cleveland, Ohio-Cuyahoga Heights) for a highlight-worthy 11-yard catch-and-pass.

Eastern returns to the gridiron Saturday, Sep. 7 when it travels to the Bluegrass State to take on the University of Kentucky. The Eagles and Wildcats kick off at 7:30 p.m. from Kroger Field and can be found on ESPNU/SEC Network, as well as WEMU 89.1

With Coastal driving into Eastern’s territory on the ensuing drive, senior Brody Hoying (Coldwater, Ohio-Coldwater) picked off a pass for his third career interception. As the Eagles returned the drive, a fumble off the pylon and out of the endzone resulted in a turnover and touchback for the Green and White. Coastal Carolina capitalized on the turnover, knocking through a 52-yard field goal to take a 13-7 lead into halftime.

On the first drive of the second stanza, Glass punched in a two-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper to put Eastern ahead 14-13. The run capped off a 13-play, 75-yard drive to open up the second half, and gave the Eagles a lead they would not relinquish. Running back Shaq Vann (South Bend, Ind.-John Adams) was crucial to the drive with and featured heavily all afternoon. The senior finished the game with 108 yards on 22 attempts, marking the fifth 100+ yard game in his career.

Senior defensive lineman Clay Holford (Carrollton, Texas-Hebron) came up big for the Eagles on the Chanticleers’ next drive, snagging a pass out of the air on Coastal’s first play from scrimmage. Eastern’s drive stalled on the nine-yard line, but sophomore Chad Ryland (Lebanon, Pa.-Cedar Crest)knocked home a 26-yard field goal to put the Green and White ahead 17-13.

As Eastern forced a three-and-out on the next Coastal possession, the Green and White responded quickly with a second Glass-to-Drummond connection from 19 yards out. The second touchdown catch of the day put the Eagles ahead 23-13 and, for Drummond, marked the first time in the Cleveland, Ohio native’s career that he hauled in two touchdown receptions in a game.

After Coastal used a six-minute drive to bring the score back to 23-20, Eastern’s offense rose to the occasion to make it a two-score game once again. Facing a third and long, Glass connected for his third touchdown of the day with Quian Williams (Oklahoma City, Okla.-Southmore), putting EMU ahead 30-20 with 5:46 remaining.

On the second-to-last CCU drive of the contest, the Chanticleers moved the ball inside the red zone and were threatening to score when junior Turan Rush (Charleston West Side, W.Va.-Capital-Antelope Valley) came up with EMU’s first sack of the campaign to halt the drive. Though Coastal connected on a 38-yard field goal to bring the score to 30-23, Eastern was able to hold on for the win.

Eastern was led by Glass, who had an efficient 188 yards and three touchdowns on 20-of-22 from the pocket. Vann led the way on the ground with his 108 yards, and Drummond led a balanced attack through the air with 52 yards. Joining the aerial assault was senior Matthew Sexton (Clinton, Mich.-Clinton), who had 48 yards on four catches, and Williams, who finished the game with 42 yards and two catches.

Defensively, Kobie Beltram (Antioch, Calif.-Antioch (City College of San Francisco)) and Terry Myrick (Austell, Ga.-Woodward Academy) were all over the field for the Eagles, finishing with 12 and 11 tackles, respectively.

Coastal Carolina was led by quarterback Fred Payton, who had 304 yards through the air to go along with two touchdowns and four interceptions. The four picks marked the most in a game since 2017. Receiver CJ Marable pulled down seven catches for 84 yards.

EMU’s win over CCU marks the first win over a Sun Belt Conference member since defeating Arkansas State in 1976, 32-30. Eastern’s only other appearance in the Palmetto State was to take on the University of South Carolina, Sept. 16, 2000.