ORANGEBURG, S.C. — Quinn Backus’ blocked field goal return for a touchdown and a defensive goal-line stand were the game-changers Saturday as Coastal Carolina beat South Carolina State 27-20.
Backus scooped up a third-quarter field goal try which was blocked by LaDarius Hawthorne and raced 56 yards to score. Dalton Demos tied it at 20 with a 2-point conversion run and Coastal Carolina’s defense, largely manhandled in the first half, stepped up to shut down the Bulldogs’ next drive with a goal-line stand.
Coastal Carolina scored the final 15 points, including a game-winning 99-yard drive capped by a 1-yard run by Lorenzo Taliaferro, who also scored in the first quarter on a 3-yard pass from Alex Ross.
South Carolina State led 13-12 at the half and Richard Cue threw a 74-yard score to Tyler McDonald for a 20-12 lead. The Bulldogs were threatening again when Hawthorne blocked the kick.
MERCER 40, REINHARDT 37
In Macon, Ga., Josh Shutter kicked a 31-yard field goal with 3 seconds left to give Mercer its first win in 72 years after the school revived the program.
Shutter had made a 28-yard field goal with 3:17 left to tie it at 37.
John Russ threw for 218 yards and three touchdowns, two to J.T. Palmer, for the Bears. Payton Usher ran for 115 yards on 18 carries.
CHARLOTTE 52, CAMPBELL 7
In Charlotte, N.C., Charlotte’s football debut couldn’t have gone much better as the 49ers defeated Campbell.
Matt Johnson threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns for Charlotte.
BAYLOR 69, WOFFORD 3
In Waco, Texas, Bryce Petty threw for 290 yards and two touchdowns and Lache Seastrunk ran for 111 yards and two scores as Baylor overwhelmed Wofford.
CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 32, THE CITADEL 29
In Charleston, S.C., Cameron Mitchell kicked a 29-yard field goal with 6:01 left to give Charleston Southern a victory.
Malcolm Dixon threw touchdown passes to Kevin Glears and Donte Sumpter and Zachary Frazier ran for two touchdowns as the Buccaneers rallied from a 16-0 deficit.
GARDNER-WEBB 28, FURMAN 21
In Boiling Springs, N.C., Lucas Beatty threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Cook with 9:49 to play and Garnder-Webb held on to beat Furman.
Beatty, who threw a pass to Seth Cranfill following the touchdown, finished with 276 yards passing and two touchdowns, both to Cook.
Dillon Woodruff ran for a touchdown and threw for another for Furman.