McCall leads No. 15 Coastal Carolina over App State, 34-23

Reese White scored on a late go-ahead 4-yard touchdown run and undefeated No. 15 Coastal Carolina remained atop the Sun Belt East Division with a 34-23 win over visiting Appalachian State on Saturday in Conway, S.C.

Grayson McCall threw for 200 yards with two touchdowns and ran for a 62-yard score as the Chanticleers (8-0, 6-0 Sun Belt) continued their special season by beating Appalachian State (6-2, 4-1) for the first time in seven tries. Coastal outscored the Mountaineers 25-6 in the second half.

App State’s Camerun Peoples ran 27 times for 178 yards with a touchdown, but gained just nine of those yards in the second half.

Trailing 23-21 in the fourth quarter, Coastal’s Alex Spillum intercepted Zac Thomas (17 of 29 for 211 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) with about seven minutes left to play. The Chanticleers capitalized when White spun himself into the end zone with 2:24 remaining to make the score 27-23 after a failed 2-point conversion try.

The hosts put the game away when D’Jordan Strong picked off another Thomas pass and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown.

Trailing 17-9 at halftime, Coastal got back into the game with McCall’s touchdown scamper out of the gate in the third quarter. Appalachian State made it 20-15 after Chandler Staton’s 36-yard field goal capped its first drive of the second half.

McCall, though, put Coastal ahead 21-20 after he connected with CJ Marable on a 19-yard touchdown pass play. Staton, however, put the Mountaineers back on top 23-21 on a 45-yard field goal with 11:47 to play in regulation.

While Appalachian State took eight plays to score on the game’s first drive, capped by Peoples’ 1-yard run, Coastal answered in a much quicker fashion. On the Chanticleers’ first play of the day, McCall connected with Isaiah Likely for a 75-yard touchdown play through traffic.

Massimo Biscardi then made a 51-yard field goal to give the hosts a 9-7 lead. Staton made good from 44 yards out to give App State the lead back at 10-9 with a little less than five minutes to go in the first half.

The Mountaineers expanded their lead to 17-9 when Thomas connected with Christian Wells for a 25-yard scoring play with nine seconds left before the break.