Western Illinois advances to meet App State
Conway, SC (Sports Network) - No. 21 Western Illinois forced five turnovers and Matt Barr broke a tie game with a 5-yard touchdown run with 1:50 left as the Leathernecks won at Coastal Carolina, 17-10, in the first round of the FCS playoffs Saturday at Brooks Stadium.
Western Illinois (8-4), the Missouri Valley Football Conference runner-up which finished 1-10 last year, will travel to meet No. 1 playoff seed Appalachian State (9-2) in the second round at noon ET Saturday, Dec. 4.
In the first meeting between the two programs, Coastal Carolina (6-6), the surprise qualifier from the Big South Conference, had tied the game 10-10 on Justin Durham's 34-yard field goal with 4:38 left in the fourth quarter.
But Western Illinois followed with a nine-play, 81-yard drive that Barr capped with his second touchdown run. During the drive, Bryce Flowers caught a 38- yard reception to put the ball at the Chanticleers' 7-yard line.
On Coastal Carolina's final drive, the Chanticleers moved to Western Illinois' 4. But Kieron James intercepted Zach MacDowall at the goal line and returned the ball 35 yards with only 12 seconds remaining.
Barr opened the scoring with a 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter. He finished the game with 278 yards of total offense (233 passing, 45 rushing).
Pat Smith's 38-yard field goal with nine minutes remaining in the second quarter extended Western Illinois' lead to 10-0.
Coastal Carolina's only touchdown came on Dominique Davenport's 17-yard interception return with 4:36 left in the third quarter.
While Davenport finished with two interceptions, the Western Illinois defense came up with four interceptions off MacDowall as well as a fumble recovery. Leathernecks linebacker Kyle Glazier, who entered the game ranked third in the FCS in tackles per game, collected a game-high 17 tackles, while Tyler West had an interception and a fumble recovery.
MacDowall threw for 292 yards and rushed for 71 yards in the loss. The Chanticleers outgained Western Illinois, 462 yards to 385, and had 26 first downs to the Leathernecks' 14.
Western Illinois last appeared in the playoffs in 2003. Coastal Carolina made its first appearance since 2006.
11/27 18:12:07 ET