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Coastal Carolina stays hot despite record Montana lows

By Shane Gillette, News and Sports Reporter, sgillette@keci.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:12:15 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 07 2013 06:09:17 PM MST
Quarterfinal matchup Montana vs. Coastal Carolina
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Subzero temperatures weren't enough to stop Coastal Carolina as the Chanticleers put up 35 first half points and pulled off the 42-35 win over the Grizzlies inside Washington Grizzly Stadium on Saturday.

After a 35-14 halftime deficit the Grizzlies put together a valiant second half effort which would bring them within 7 points but that's as close as things would get.

A record breaking freeze was in effect for this afternoon's game. Kickoff registered -2 degrees, breaking the previous Washington Grizzly Stadium record of six degrees set back in the 1995 playoffs.

Both teams seemed to shrug off the freezing temperatures as the Grizzlies started the game with an 84 yard touchdown drive headlined by a Jordan Canada 39 yard run.

After a three and out from the Chanticleers, Coastal Carolina's ensuing drive would be result in an 86 yard catch and run from quarterback Alex Ross to wide receiver DeMario Bennett.

The Grizzlies offense would keep marching though and registered an 11 play, 74 yard touchdown drive which ended with an 15-yard Jordan Johnson TD pass to Chase Naccarato.

The rest of the half was all Chanticleers as CCU jumped out to a 35-14 lead heading to halftime.

The hometown Grizzlies would not let their season come to end without a fight though. 

A controversial call ended up being a deciding factor in this one.  Down 42-21 with under nine minutes left to play in the third quarter, a 12 yard screen play to Jordan Canada would take the Grizzlies to 1st and goal from the two yard line. But that play was erased after the referees huddled and ruled that the play should not have been allowed on the field because a buzz from upstairs had been issued to review the previous play.  The Grizzlies were unable to score any points on the drive and trailed 42-21 at the conclusion of the 3rd quarter.

Montana would go on to score 14 unanswered points in the final quarter with touchdown receptions by Mitch Saylor (9 yards) and Jamal Jones (72 yards) but the Grizzlies were unable to keep CCU from getting first downs and running the clock out in the final minutes of play.

Montana finished the game 3-for-6 on fourth down. They also gave up 274 yards on the ground. CCU quarterback Alex Ross finished with an impressive 123 yards rushing and Lorenzo Taliaferro racked up 104 yards on the ground as well.

The Grizzlies finished with 557 total yards and 338 yards passing. Jordan Canada was the leading rusher with 104 yards on 17 carries.

Coastal Carolina will head to Fargo, North Dakota next Saturday for a quarterfinal matchup against the two time defending FCS champion North Dakota State.