CHARLESTON, S.C. – If it’s the final time Charleston Southern and The Citadel meet for a while, Jamey Chadwell and the Bucs ended the series between the Holy City rivals on a dominant note. CSU rattled off 17 unanswered fourth quarter points and completely controlled the second half to beat The Citadel, 33-20, on Saturday night at Johnson Hagood Stadium. The victory is the Bucs’ third straight over the Bulldogs.
CSU (3-1) overpowered The Citadel (2-2), 27-3, over the final 30 minutes and scored on its first five drives to erase a 17-6 halftime deficit. The Bucs rolled up 312 yards in the second half and 494 overall, and rode junior running backs Mike Holloway and Darius Hammond to seal the victory.
CSU’s defense also kept The Citadel’s triple option attack in check, limiting the Bulldogs – who led the country in rushing entering play – to just 181 yards on the ground.
CSU had been 1-5 against The Citadel prior to Chadwell’s arrival, but is a perfect 3-0 against the Bulldogs under their third-year head coach.
“We were going for the sweep this week, 3-and-0,” Chadwell said after celebrating on the field with his team. “There’s probably not a chance we’ll ever play again, at least while I’m here. Out of conference, this game means more, I’m not going to lie. This game means more.”
Holloway racked up a career-high 172 yards rushing and three touchdowns, while Hammond added 129 yards and a score. Senior quarterback Austin Brown rebounded from a costly pick six right before intermission to complete 17-of-29 passes for 183 yards. Colton Korn came through with a big game against the rival Bulldogs for a second straight year, recording eight catches for 67 yards, as well as a two-point conversion to account for the final score.
CSU converted a 4th-and-6 with just over eight minutes remaining to turn the game in its favor for good. Brown hit Hammond out of the backfield for ten yards to move the chains, and Hammond moved the Bucs in front of the next snap, bursting 21 yards up the middle to give CSU a 25-20 lead.
The Bucs’ defense kept the momentum rolling by forcing a three-and-out, capped by redshirt freshman Mike Taylor’s first career sack. Holloway then put the game away with an exclamation point, sprinting 73 yards for his third touchdown of the night.
“To play badly (in the first half) and really dominate the second half, I’m proud of my team,” Chadwell said. “I give glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, especially for keeping me sane in the first half. Listen, we played about as poorly as we could, had two turnovers and gave them some points there just before the half. I said, ‘if we’ll go play and be mistake-free in the second half, we’ll be ok.’ We felt like we had a great plan. We just needed to calm down.”
CSU freshman Tyler Tekac calmed some of the nerves in the kicking game with a pair of field goals, connecting from 37 and 32 yards out to help the Bucs hang around.
CSU fell behind 10-0 but closed the gap to four points on Holloway’s eight-yard score with 2:15 left in the opening half. Sixth-year senior Nathan Perera, who finished with five catches, snared a 14-yard grab for one of the bigger plays of the march.
The Bucs got the football back quickly courtesy of Solomon Brown’s fumble recovery, and were set up at the Bulldogs’ 40-yard line with a little over a minute remaining. It was The Citadel that came up with points, instead, though, as Dee Delaney intercepted a Brown passed and raced 44 yards into the end zone.
The Citadel struck first as Dondray Copeland snagged the ricochet of an Austin Brown pass to turn back an early CSU threat at the Citadel 39. A 61-yard run around the left end by Vinny Miller would set up a somersault TD run by Bulldogs’ quarterback Dominique Allen from seven yards out gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead.
CSU has an off week ahead before hosting Monmouth on Oct. 10 at Buccaneer Field to open Big South play.
The Bulldogs will have a week off before returning to action on Saturday, Oct. 10 to host Wofford. It will be a 2 p.m. kickoff for Parents Weekend.