Coastal Carolina stuns Montana

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Updated: December 8, 2013

Missoula, MT (SportsNetwork.com) – All the talk about Coastal Carolina not
being able to handle the single-digits temperatures at the University of
Montana …

It turns out the Chanticleers were red hot in the second round of the FCS
playoffs Saturday.

Quarterback Alex Ross threw for three first-half touchdowns and had 325 total
yards, and Coastal Carolina built a three-touchdown halftime lead en route to a
42-35 victory over eighth-seeded Montana at Washington-Grizzly Stadium.

The Chanticleers (12-2), out of the Big South Conference, will next play at
top-seeded North Dakota State (12-0) in the quarterfinals next Saturday.

Saturday’s first meeting between Coastal Carolina and Montana represented the
first time the Chanticleers played outside the Eastern Time Zone. They were
met by wind chills near zero degrees, about 50 degrees colder than what was
being enjoyed back on their campus in Conway, S.C.

But coach Joe Moglia’s Chanticleers had a lot to enjoy while they reversed a
14-7 deficit with four unanswered touchdowns over the final 17 minutes of the
first half, building a 35-14 halftime advantage. Ross threw a pair of
touchdowns to Niccolo Mastromatteo during the run.

Lorenzo Taliaferro scored on his second touchdown run – a 51-yarder – to push
the Chanticleers’ lead to 42-21 with 9:33 left in the third quarter.

Montana closed within 42-35 on a pair of Jordan Johnson touchdown passes in the
fourth quarter, but Coastal Carolina ran out the final 5:01.

Ross opened Coastal Carolina’s scoring with an 86-yard touchdown bomb to
DeMario Bennett, which answered Montana’s game-opening scoring drive capped by
Travon Van’s 1-yard run.

Ross, the Big South leader in passing yards and total offense, was 16-for-21
for 202 yards and had 123 yards on 21 carries. Taliaferro added 104 yards on 16
carries.

Montana (10-3) had entered the game as the Big Sky Conference leader in scoring
defense at 21.3 points per game, but that number was doubled. The Grizzlies
relied on their passing game in the second half and Johnson finished with 388
passing yards and four touchdowns and one interception.

The Grizzlies appeared in the FCS playoffs for the 22nd season, although their
NCAA violations during the 2011 season have put their official total at 21.