By: CSU Sports Media
BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. - Charleston Southern held off a second-half Gardner-Webb challenge on Saturday afternoon as the Buccaneers picked up a key Big South football win at Spangler Stadium, 30-27.
The Buccaneers (3-6, 1-2 Big South) raced out to the 24-0 halftime lead thanks to a strong first-half performance from quarterback Jack Chambers and the defensive line. Chambers put up 253 yards of total offense and a pair of touchdowns in the opening30 minutes, while Anton Williams, Nick Salley, and Eishuan Funnye combined for five sacks and 6.0 tackles for loss in building a commanding lead.
Gardner-Webb (3-6, 1-3 Big South) steadily chipped away at the CSU advantage in the second half with Kalen Whitlow connecting on four touchdowns, two to Jameson Turner, to cut the Bucs lead down to 30-27.
The Runnin' Bulldogs had one final possession with 31 seconds remaining on the clock and advanced the ball to midfield on a 32-yard pass from Whitlow to Izaiah Gathings. However, the drive stalled at the CSU 48 as the Runnin' Bulldogs threw four consecutiveincompletions to turn the ball over on downs and essentially end the game in favor of the Bucs.
Chambers was 25-of-37 for 191 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while adding 99 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Isaac Ross (seven catches, 64 yards) and Garris Schwarting (seven catches, 62 yards) led the Bucs receiving efforts, while KameronBrown added a pair of touchdown receptions in the game.
Cody Cline led CSU's tackling efforts with 11 stops and added his first interception of the season. J.D. Sosebee added 10 tackles, while Nick Salley posted two sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss. Overall, the Bucs had six sacks and 9.0 TFL in the win.
Whitlow finished 33-of-52 for 316 yards and four touchdowns, along with two interceptions. Izaiah Gathings was the primary target finishing with a game-high 14 catches for 172 yards and a score.
Charleston Southern returns home for North Charleston Appreciation Day and Military Appreciation Day on November 9 as the Buccaneers welcome Hampton University to Buccaneer Field. Kickoff on ESPN3 is set for 6 p.m.