Allen’s four touchdowns fuel CSU rally

Charleston Southern running back Teddy Allen breaks free for his fourth touchdown against Presbyterian on Saturday. Allen ran for 153 yards in the Bucs’ 31-21 victory.

Teddy Allen tied a school record with four rushing touchdowns and Charleston Southern overcame a sluggish, uninspired start to rally for a 31-21 homecoming victory over Presbyterian on Saturday. giving the Buccaneers back-to-back wins for the first time since the 2009 season.

Charleston Southern fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter but dominated the second-half, winning its second straight game to improve to 3-4 overall and 2-1 in Big South Conference play. The Bucs beat VMI, 32-14, last week.

“We didn’t do things differently, we just had to do them better,” said CSU coach Jay Mills. “PC came out and played excellent football early and we came out and did not make plays. I thought it was great poise on our part.

“We’re learning how to win once again. Sometimes you win by dominating from start to finish, as we did last week, and sometimes you win sloppy.”

Charleston Southern rang up 385 total yards, 301 coming over the final three quarters. The Buccaneers rushed for 271 yards, led by running back Allen with a career-high 153 yards and four touchdowns out of the wildcat formation. It was the sixth-highest rushing total in CSU history.

“He’s a force,” said Mills of Allen. “He’s an I-back playing quarterback and he definitely gives us some options there.”

Junior quarterback Malcolm Dixon completed 6 of 8 passes for 104 yards and rushed for 66 yards.

After gaining 262 yards in the first half, Presbyterian was held to 45 total yards over the final two quarters.

Presbyterian (2-6, 0-3) scored two touchdowns in the first 10 minutes, taking advantage of a muffed punt to score on Rouse’s 6-yard run with 12:48 to play for a 7-0 lead. Rouse added a 15-yard run with 4:29 to play to push the lead to 14-0 before CSU woke up offensively.

Allen capped a four-play, 66-yard drive with a 2-yard run with 2:46 left in the first quarter, then busted loose on a 63-yard run with 7:43 to play in the half, cutting the margin to 14-13 after a missed extra point. Allen’s run was a career-long and was CSU’s longest run from scrimmage this season.

Rouse scored his third touchdown of the half on a 5-yard run with 4:44 to play, giving the Blue Hose a 21-13 lead at the half.

CSU took over the game in the third quarter, controlling the ball for nearly 12 minutes of the period and limiting the visiting Blue Hose to 20 yards on 10 plays.

Mark Deboy’s 21-yard field goal with 9:36 left in the third cut the margin to 21-16. The Bucs took their first lead less than four minutes later on Allen’s 6-yard run and a two-point conversion run by Zach Frazier to make it 24-21.

Allen put the game away with 1:27 to play, breaking loose on an 18-yard TD run. Allen had 53 yards rushing on the drive, which chewed up nearly six minutes of the game clock.

The win avenged a 45-14 loss to Presbyterian last season and was CSU’s fifth win in the last six meetings with the Blue Hose.

CSU will go for a third straight home victory Saturday when it hosts Edward Waters at 1:30 p.m.