When the door of opportunity knocks, kick it in.
Charleston Southern quarterback Darius Douglas did just that on Saturday night as the Buccaneers hosted Hampton University.
Douglas, who starred at nearby Berkeley High School and transferred to CSU from South Carolina during the summer, waited all season to get on the field. He got his chance on Saturday, subbing in for starter Jack Chambers in the second quarter with the Buccaneers trailing, 13-3.
Douglas provided a huge spark for the Bucs, scoring twice on runs and tossing a game-winning touchdown in overtime as CSU won its second straight game, 27-20, over visiting Hampton University.
Douglas completed 10 of 21 passes for 174 yards and added 45 yards rushing in his first live game action since high school.
“It’s really been since 2016 when I graduated high school that I’ve been waiting for this,” Douglas said. “It’s really indescribable. You wait for situations like this and when your number gets called, you have to respond. Next man up. It’s a really good feeling.
“When he (CSU head coach Autry Denson) called my name, my mind was on a million different things. It was a lot to take in at one time. But I have been in these situations in high school. I knew what to do and how to handle it.”
Douglas entered the game and delivered a 53-yard pass to Demetrius Jones on his second series, capping the drive with one-yard run to trim Hampton’s lead to 13-10 with 5:28 before halftime.
In the third quarter, Douglas delivered a beautiful deep ball to Tyree Baptiste to the Hampton 17-yard line. On the next play, Douglas scampered 17 yards for a touchdown, giving CSU a 17-13 lead with 4:35 left in the period.
Chambers completed just two of nine passes for 57 yards before giving way to Douglas.
“You kind of go with what your gut is and it worked out for us,” Denson said of his decision to insert Douglas. “He came in and gave us a little spark. He showed up to work this week. What it does, it builds confidence in you as a coach when you see them making plays throughout the week.”
Hampton quarterback Deondre Francois, the Florida State transfer, threw for 298 yards and three touchdowns but also was intercepted three times. CSU’s defense also sacked Francois seven times, including a school record four sacks by Shaundre Mims. CSU also tallied 15 tackles for loss with end Anton Williams recording 4.5 hits behind the line of scrimmage.
Linebacker J.D. Sosebee had 13 tackles and an interception, which he returned for a touchdown. The score was nullified due to a penalty on the return.
Francois was hurt by drops in the game, three for sure touchdowns. One drop came in the end zone with 15 seconds left in regulation that would have won the game.
“Our defense is lights out every week,” Denson said. “They show up every week. They have a lunch pail mentality and they go to work. They play well every week.”
In the overtime, Douglas hit Garris Schwarting with a 24-yard dart on third down, giving CSU the 27-20 lead. On Hampton’s possession, CSU sacked Francois on first and fourth down to secure the victory.
“It was a great team win and we’re very grateful to get it,” Denson said. “Our team has heart. The one thing we never question is their heart.
“I will put it on my coaches as well. Every situation we were in, we practiced. It’s refreshing when you have a reference point for the guys. When you have that type of preparation, you should get this result. Kudos to the coaches. Kudos to the players for getting it done.”
CSU, 4-6 overall and 2-2 in the Big South Conference, will hit the road for the last time this season, traveling to Presbyterian College next Saturday.