Eagles Sacked by South Dakota State
BROOKINGS, S.D. - Georgia Southern found itself down only by 10 at halftime but South Dakota State pulled away in the second half and handed the Eagles a 44-6 defeat Saturday night (Sept. 12) at Coughlin-Alumni Stadium. The Eagles dropped to 1-1 overall while the 21st-ranked Jackrabbits won their season-opener.
The loss also marked the first time Georgia Southern was held to less than seven points since the second round of the 1995 playoffs, a 45-0 loss at Montana.
Georgia Southern took the opening kickoff and drove into SDSU territory. Lee Chapple converted his first four pass attempts, extending his streak to 19 consecutive completions dating back to the Albany game, but missed on his fifth attempt of the drive. The Eagles eventually had to punt, and despite a muffed return the Jackrabbits were able to recover.
The Eagles defense held on third and short. Sophomore Kyle Harris converted his first career field goal when he nailed a 44-yard attempt with 6:58 remaining in the first quarter.
GS responded with another drive into Jackrabbit territory. Facing fourth-and-long, Adrian Mora converted from 46 yards out, improving on a career-high he set the previous week to tie the game at 3-all.
The Eagles were able to overcome an interception in the second quarter when Brent Russell forced a fumble which K.R. Snipes recovered. However, Chapple was hit and fumbled on the next drive and the Jackrabbits recovered inside the Eagles 20. Kyle Minett scored from two yards out making it 10-3 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the half.
Chapple tried to hit J.J. Wilcox deep across the middle but was hit when he threw and Conrad Kjerstad came up with an interception. He returned it 40 yards putting the ball on the GS 13. J.B. Shippy recorded a sack on first down and the defense forced two hurried passes. SDSU had to settle for a Harris 37-yard field goal and 13-3 lead which would be the halftime score.
SDSU took the second half kickoff and returned it just into GS territory. Ryan Crawford's 4-yard pass to Mike Steffen capped the seven-play touchdown drive, putting the Jackrabbits ahead 20-3.
After a 3-and-out by the offense, SDSU converted on third down when Crawford and Steffen connected again on a 62-yard touchdown pass with nine minutes left in the quarter.
Mora kicked a 36-yard field goal with just over four minutes left in the third, cutting the deficit to 27-6. The Jackrabbits came right back with a 5-yard TD run by Minett and 34-6 lead.
Early in the fourth quarter Harris connected on a 40-yard field goal, his third of the game. Thomas O'Brien found Sam Kavanagh on a 5-yard touchdown for the final margin.
It also marked the largest margin of defeat for the Eagles since a 62-14 loss at Florida in the second game of the 1996 season.
"I thought in the first half defensively we played well, holding them to two field goals and having them miss one. They were a better football team than us tonight, that showed in the second half," said head coach Chris Hatcher. "At times we played hard and executed well. Going into the game I thought they would be one of the best defenses we would face all year. They have a great defensive line... It's only one game and it's a long season. We'll see how we respond come Monday."
Chapple completed 25-of-39 passes for 174 yards but threw two interceptions. Kyle Collins completed 6-of-15 passes for 58 yards and threw an interception.
Freshman Darreion Robinson rushed for 47 yards and caught a game-high nine passes totaling 14 yards. Mitch Williford hauled in six passes for 59 yards.
Crawford completed 15-of-21 passes for 180 yards and two TDs. Minett rushed for a game-high 128 yards and scored twice.
Derek Domino recorded a game-high 11 tackles as the Jackrabbit defense had 10 players get in on nine sacks.
The Eagles return to Paulson Stadium next Saturday (Sept. 19) to open Southern Conference play against Western Carolina. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
GAME NOTES: Redshirt-freshman left tackle Daniel Few made his first collegiate start... Mora extended his streak to 10 consecutive games kicking a field goal, every game of his collegiate career... Darrell Pasco matched a career-long of 45 yards when he took a kickoff and returned it out of his own endzone right before halftime... The Eagles committed three turnovers in the second quarter... SDSU sacked Chapple six times in the first half... The Eagles entered the game 7-1 on the road against FCS competition in the Chris Hatcher era.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 12 September 2009 23:17