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Domination: Leathernecks slaughter Chanticleers 52-10, remain undefeated

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Domination: Leathernecks slaughter Chanticleers 52-10, remain undefeated

Steve McShane heads for the outside last season at home.

Steve McShane heads for the outside last season at home.

File Photo

Steve McShane heads for the outside last season at home.

File Photo

File Photo

Steve McShane heads for the outside last season at home.

Devon Greene, Assistant Sports Editor

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The Western Illinois University Leathernecks are off to a hot start and have cruised to an unprecedented 3 straight road wins to start the season. The Leathernecks dominated their final road game against the Coastal Carolina University Chanticleers with a 52-10 victory.

 After two punts on the first two possessions for both teams, the game began to heat up quickly. CCU quickly hit a 52-yard field goal, their second longest in school history. Western responded with the play of the night. A double reverse play left the ball with junior wide-receiver Isaiah LeSure with the ball in his hands and junior quarterback Sean McGuire streaking downfield toward the end zone. Costal Carolina’s freshman linebacker Silas Kelly tipped LeSure’s pass and it landed in the hands of McGuire for the touchdown.

The Chanticleers answered right back with a 24-yard run right up the gut for an easy touchdown to end the first quarter. This was their final score of the game. Western ended the first quarter with a punt, which was their last until their final possession.

The rest of the game was all Leathernecks. After a punt by CCU, Western’s offense got rolling with a big pass to Isaiah LeSure and two snaps later, an underneath pass to Brandon Gaston gave Western a 14-10 lead. The big plays continued in the second quarter as McGuire hit Adam Conrady with a 57-yard pass putting them in the red-zone. Sophomore running back Max Norris, who had a huge game last week, found the end zone to stretch the lead out before halftime. The Chanticleers had two minutes left on the clock but couldn’t get anything going and headed into the locker room down 21-10 at halftime.

Western opened up the first half with all the momentum and it showed. McGuire lead the team down the field and handed the ball to fellow Summit League Player to Watch Steve McShane. McShane has had a slow start to the season mostly due to an ankle injury. He was out last game and hadn’t gotten into the end zone before tonight.

“It felt great, that’s what I was looking for the whole game,” McShane said. I needed to get into that end-zone. It was a great feeling and it’s a team win today.”

The Leatherneck’s defense has improved dramatically this season and they showed it in the second half. Coastal Carolina’s first possession of the second half was stopped early with a big defensive stop. A big hit from defensive bac, Tyrin Holloway lodged the ball loose on a pass to the sideline. Linebacker Riggs Baxter made a spectacular catch to give the offense favorable field position. One play later, McGuire hit Conrady with a wide-open touchdown and extend the lead to 35-10.

“Defensively,  Tony [Grantham] called another great game. Once we got a feel for the speed of the option offense, they played really well,” Head coach Charlie Fisher said. “If we play great defense, we always have a chance. If you play great defense and you run the ball, you have an even better chance. We didn’t turn it over on offense. We took it away on defense. I love the way we’re playing and the execution and the X-factor in there is the effort and execution.”

The defense continued to cause problems for the Chanticleers as their final possession of the third quarter ended with a fumble and lead to another touchdown pass from McGuire to freshman running back Clint Ratkovich.

The final quarter was the final nail in the coffin for Coastal Carolina. Western began the quarter with a field goal from sophomore kicker Sam Crosa that pushed the lead to 45-10. CCU’s first possession ended in a punt.  The gut-punches kept coming for the Chanticleers. The Leathernecks started from their own 20-yard line and running-back Devon Sanders busted free for an untouched 80-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 52-10. The Chanticleers’ final two possessions ended in interceptions from Justin Fitzpatrick. Western only punted the ball three times on the night as they converted eight of their 11 drives into scoring and scored 45 unanswered points to take down the formidable FBS opponent on the road.

The Western football team has all the momentum heading into their home opener against South Dakota State University this Satuday.

Twitter:devondeadlysins

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Domination: Leathernecks slaughter Chanticleers 52-10, remain undefeated