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  • Akilah Stroman

Coastal Carolina falls short to ULM, 51-43

Coastal Carolina put on a great performance, but their fourth quarter comeback came up short on the final play of the game. Louisiana-Monroe scored on a fumble to defeat the Chanticleers 51-43 on Saturday, Sept. 30 in Monroe, LA.

Though ULM opened the scoring with a field goal, senior quarterback Tyler Keane completed an 87-yard pass play that resulted in a touchdown for Malcolm Williams that seemed to spark the Chanticleer's offense.

Williams, a Shreveport, Louisiana, native, had 266 receiving yards, setting a new Coastal Carolina single game record. He also became the second Chanticleer to get at least 200 yards in a game.

Williams talked about his performance and what it meant to him.

"It was good to have that happen," said Williams. "I would have preferred to get the win but sometimes we come up short and we as a team can buld off of the effort and utilize it for Georgia State."

ULM responded to the Coastal touchdown by returning the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown, putting the Warhawks back up front 10-7 with less than four minutes to play in the first quarter.

That didn’t stop the Chanticleers as Keane would find Williams again for a Chanticleer touchdown, making it 15-10 after Coastal converted a two-point conversion. The next two drives went well for the Warkhawks, scoring twice in less than a minute to go up 24-15 in the second quarter.

After another great catch by Williams, sophomore running back Alex James scored from a yard out, pulling the Chanticleers within two. James finished with 21 yards on four carries.

ULM would get another touchdown before the half, and the Chanticleers were down at the half 31-22.

The Chanticleers went down by 16 with just over 10 minutes left in the third quarter after a long touchdown run by ULM, but sophomore wide receiver and kick return specialist Ky'Jon Tyler returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards. The return helped set up junior running back Marcus Outlow's first touchdown as a Chanticleer.

Outlow, a Boston College transfer who sat out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, finished with 25 yards on eight carries.

Outlow talked about what that touchdown meant to him after being away from the field for so long.

"It felt so good like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders," said Outlow. "I just want to help the team as much as I can. I was due for a touchdown."

Tyler Keane found Williams for a two-point conversion, pulling the Chanticleers within eight. Keane finished with 329 passing yards, completing 18 of his 31 passes. Keane's 329 passing yards is a career high, and it was the 21st time in Coastal Carolina history that a quarterback threw for over 300 yards.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Chanticleers trailed 45-30, but there was still some fight left in the Chanticleers as Maxwell Kjosa got his first career touchdown, pulling the Chanticleers within nine.

The Chanticleer defense played its best ball in the fourth quarter, getting stop after stop. Kjosa got his second touchdown of the night, bringing the Chanticleers within two with under 3 minutes left in the game.

Defense did their part and forced a punt, but a fumble by the offense led to a quick score by ULM as time expired off the clock, handing the Chanticleers a 51-43 loss.

Outlow talked about the effort that nearly capped off a 15-point fourth quarter comeback.

"We played hard and didn't quit," said Outlow. "We can build off of this. We are a young team so this experience is what we need for our future. I am definitely looking forward to competing again in front of our fans."

This is the first time since the 2012 season that Coastal has lost three straight games. The Chanticleers turned things around that season after starting 2-4, finishing with an 8-5 record and an FCS Playoff appearance.

The Chanticleers, now 1-3 on the year and 0-1 in Sun Belt play, look to turn things around and get their first Sun Belt win next week at home against Georgia State.

Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m. at Brooks Stadium.

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