Blocked FG in OT gives Liberty win over No. 12 Coastal Carolina
Quarterback Malik Willis ran for four touchdowns and Liberty used a game-ending blocked field goal in overtime to upend previously undefeated No. 12 Coastal Carolina 37-34 in Saturday night’s Cure Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Brendan Schlittler batted down Massimo Biscardi’s 42-yard field goal attempt after both teams failed to post a first down in overtime. Alex Barbir of Liberty made a 44-yard field goal to complete the first possession of overtime.
Liberty (10-1) snapped a 12-game winning streak for Coastal Carolina (11-1).
Willis, a transfer from Auburn, scored on runs of 5, 6, 10 and 3 yards. He gained 137 yards on 21 carries, and he completed 19 of 29 passes for 220 yards with two interceptions.
On a potential winning possession in regulation, Liberty moved inside Coastal Carolina 5-yard line with about 1:30 to play, and the Chanticleers out of timeouts. The Flames chose to try to not score right away, but then running back Joshua Mack fumbled just inches from the goal line, and Coastal Carolina recovered and kept the ball until time expired.
Coastal Carolina quarterback Grayson McCall threw a 5-yard touchdowns pass to Greg Latushko with 3:01 remaining and then ran in the two-point conversion to tie the game at 34.
McCall was 21 of 32 for 318 yards and three touchdowns and one interception. He gained 96 yards on 15 carries. Coastal Carolina’s Jaivon Heiligh made 13 receptions for 178 yards.
Mack rushed for 105 yards on 14 attempts.
The Flames led 14-0 after the first quarter against Coastal Carolina, which a week earlier had its Sun Belt Conference championship game vs. Louisiana canceled because of coronavirus protocols.
The Chanticleers, who were appearing in their first bowl game, bounced back in the second quarter as McCall got the team moving.
McCall’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Latushko came with 4:36 to play in the third quarter. But McCall was on the sideline receiving medical attention during Coastal Carolina’s failed two-point conversion, leaving the score 24-19.
Willis scored his fourth touchdown on a 3-yard sprint and dive toward the pylon with 13:22 remaining. Coastal Carolina responded on its next possession, with McCall’s 1-yard run finishing the drive.
Barbir booted his second field goal of the game — this one from 32 yards with 5:03 left — to push the margin to 34-26.
These teams, who had a Dec. 5 regular-season matchup canceled, were former Big South Conference rivals in the Football Championship Subdivision before moving up in classification. The series was tied 7-7 entering the bowl meeting.
–Field Level Media