BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- Alex Ross passed for 342 yards and three touchdowns in his first start and Coastal Carolina broke open a tight game with 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Gardner-Webb 55-33 Saturday.
The Chanticleers (5-4, 3-1 Big South Conference) led 34-20 with 11:43 left in the third quarter after Ross connected on scoring passes of 60 yards to DeMario Bennett and 81 yards to Niccolo Mastromatteo.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (2-7, 1-3) surged back, cutting the deficit to 34-33 with a 5-yard pass TD from Lucas Beatty to Kenny Cook followed by Juanne Blount's 6-yard run with 4:30 to go in the period.
The fourth quarter was all Coastal Carolina. After Lorenzo Taliaferro's 7-yard TD rush, interceptions on consecutive Gardner-Webb drives set up Marcus Whitener's scoring runs of 10 and 39 yards.
Both teams had season highs in total offense, Coastal Carolina with 596 yards and Gardner-Webb with 547.