CSU pulls away from Gardner-Webb
Charleston Southern held Gardner-Webb to 207 total yards and posted 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat the visiting Bulldogs 28-10 in a Big South Conference game on Saturday at CSU.
The win moves CSU to 5-5 overall and 3-2 in conference play, while GWU falls to 2-8 and 1-4 in league play.
The win gives the Bucs a 4-1 home record this season and sends the CSU seniors out with a four-game home winning streak.
The CSU seniors played a big part in the win. Safety Austin Wald had a fourth quarter interception to set up the Bucs for a two-possession lead, and senior Charles James intercepted his 12th career pass to set the CSU all-time record for career interceptions.
CSU head coach Jay Mills praised his defenses performance, which kept the Bucs close until a late offensive explosion.
“Fantastic performance (by the defense),” said Mills. “We came off a game last week where we allowed a lot of yards to Liberty, which was uncharacteristic of how we had been playing. Our defense just kept hanging in there and they kept us in the game.”
Quarterback Malcolm Dixon ripped off touchdown runs of 69 and 15 yards, while Teddy Allen added a 31-yard touchdown run as the Bucs blew the game open in the fourth quarter.
Wald’s interception and return set up Dixon’s second run as the Bucs piled up 212 yards of offense in the final quarter after just 121 through three quarters.
Allen finished the game with 16 carries and 107 rushing yards, his third 100-plus yards rushing performance on the season in the victory, while Dixon had 56 yards and two scores on the ground. He was 7 of 10 passing for 90 yards.
Larry Jones III had 55 yards on four receptions, while James put the Buccaneers offense in prime position all afternoon with 74 punt return yards in his final game at Buccaneer Field.
Linebacker Matt Hardy led the Bucs defense with six tackles and two tackles for loss. Defensive tackle Isaac McKenzie added four tackles and a sack.
The Bucs travel to Coastal Carolina on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. With a win, CSU would finish with a winning season for the first time since 2009.