How much fun did De'Angelo Henderson and Chad Hamilton have at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Saturday night?
During one play, the Coastal Carolina teammates actually held a conversation.
"I helped him out with a block, and he was like, 'Dude, I love you!'" said Henderson after the No. 6-ranked Chanticleers' 31-16 win over The Citadel.
Henderson, a sophomore running back from Summerville High School, and Hamilton, a senior tackle from James Island Charter, are two of 11 Lowcountry players on the Coastal Carolina roster. It was a sweet homecoming for the Lowcountry Chants.
"A lot of fun playing in front of my friends and family," said Henderson, who ran for 88 yards and scored CCU's first touchdown. "It was a great night."
It might have meant even more to Hamilton, an NFL prospect at 6-3 and 285 pounds. He's well aware of the series of tragic events that have taken place on James Island, including the recent deaths of two former Trojans.
"I have been thinking about them," said Hamilton. "I reached out to the families and gave my condolences. It's a sad time, but the island has come together and I'm proud to be from James Island."
Both Hamilton and Henderson were recruited to Coastal Carolina by Maurice Drayton, now the Bulldogs' defensive coordinator.
"We can rub this in his face a little bit," said Hamilton. "But it's all fun and games. He's like a brother to us."
According to The Citadel's participation chart, three true freshmen played against Coastal Carolina - safety Josh Massey, linebacker Israel Battle and defensive tackle Travis Johnson.
Battle, 6-2 and 213 pounds, had a big hit among his three tackles, breaking up a pass in the process. Massey was credited with two stops.
Sophomore linebacker Tevin Floyd led The Citadel's defense with 12 tackles, including the Bulldogs' only sack. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss. Safety Julian Baxter had 10 tackles, cornerback Walker Smith and linebacker Carl Robinson nine each and linebacker Rah Muhammad seven.
Sophomore Eric Goins handled punting and place-kicking duties, averaging 31.5 yards on four punts. He made a 42-yard field goal but missed an extra point.
Wide receiver Alex Glover made his first career catch, good for 19 yards. It was the Bulldogs' only completed pass of the game.
Former QB Cam Jackson got some action at slotback, but did not have a carry.
Honorary captains for the game were players from Citadel teams of the 2000s. They included Dendrick Gamble and Denny Haywood (2000); Maurice Murphy (2001); Chad Boozer (2001); Len Dawson, Travis Hodge, Kevin Olecki and T.J. Rose (2003); James Greene (2004); Dusty Benefield, Porter Johnson and Fred Townsend (2005); Rontreal Tyler and James Wilson (2006); Duran Lawson and Chris McDowell (2007); and Daniel DeHaven and Dewitt Jones (2009).
Game captains for The Citadel were LB Rah Muhammad, QB Aaron Miller, OT Victor Hill and LB Carl Robinson.
. Sophomore Harrison Davis, listed as a backup tackle, started at center in place of sophomore Ryan Bednar. Junior Vinny Miller, also listed as a backup got the start at slotback.