Coastal Carolina and UNC-Wilmington advanced to the Southern Conference final with semifinal wins on the weekend. The Chanticleers upset Appalachian State 43-22 and the Seahawks walloped Elon 66-22.
Coastal Carolina entered the playoffs as the conference’s fourth seed and Appalachian State as the top seed, making that result a fairly big upset.
App State scored a try almost immediately after opening kickoff when its outside center picked off a pass and ran in from 40 meters out. The conversion attempt was failed, leaving the favorite up 5-0.
Coastal struck back quickly, scoring a try on an offload to its inside center. Converted, the score put Coastal up by two. Each team scored one more try a piece to knot the score at 12-12 going into halftime.
The upset factor was compounded when a Coastal player was hit with a red card for failing to wrap in a tackle just before intermission, leaving the underdog short handed for the remainder of the game.
Within the first few minutes of the second half, Coastal proved undeterred by the injection and put up two fast tries. App State threatened to score on more than one occasion, but tough defense kept the lead safe. The Chanticleers then extended the advantage, scoring two more tries to make the score 36-12.
App State threatened a comeback in the last 12 minutes with two unconverted tries. As the game was ending, they were once again on the goal line working on setting up a third try when, but knocked on. Coastal Wing Eric Cortez picked up the ball and ran 100 meters for a game-ending score under the posts.
Coastal and UNC-Wilmington meet Sunday at Furman to decide the SoCon Title and the league’s automatic bid to the DII Sweet 16. The Seahawks and Chanticleers met very early in the season, and UNCW won 11-0.