Eagles Defeat Chattanooga 30-20
STATESBORO, Ga. - Sophomore running back Adam Urbano rushed for a career-high 153 yards and two touchdowns leading Georgia Southern to a 30-20 Southern Conference win over Chattanooga at Paulson Stadium Saturday night (Oct. 17).
The Eagles, dealing with a steady rain and temperatures in the 50s, improved to 4-3 overall and 3-1 in the SoCon while snapping Chattanooga's (4-2, 2-2) three-game win streak.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff on their own 40 when Craig Camay kicked it out of bounds. Jamere Valentine picked up 21 yards on a double-reverse, and thought to have a touchdown reception but it was called back on a holding call. Two plays later Urbano got the Eagles in the endzone again, scoring from nine yards out. Adrian Mora converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead.
Georgia Southern forced a UTC punt on the Mocs' first drive. When the Eagles took over, Urbano fumbled the ball and the Mocs recovered on the GS 32. On the first play B.J. Coleman found Chris Pitchford down the middle for a touchdown with 6:41 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter Mora converted a 20-yard field goal to cap a 10-play drive, his 20th career field goal, to make it 10-7.
Camay kicked a 40-yard field goal during the final minute of the second quarter to tie the score at 10-all. Senior Tobi Akinniranye took the Mocs' squib kick and returned it 27 yards into UTC territory, his first collegiate return. Urbano rushed 19 yards on a draw to get into field goal range. With 3.9 seconds remaining Mora nailed a 45-yarder to put the Eagles up 13-10.
Chattanooga took the opening kick of the second half and drove inside the GS 10. The defense held on three straight pass plays as the Mocs settled for a 25-yard field goal from Camay to tie the score.
On the Eagles ensuing drive and facing 3rd-and-5, Lee Chapple scrambled and found J.J. Wilcox for 37 yards. GS wasted no time capitalizing as on the next play Urbano took the handoff and scored from two yards out capping the 10-play, 65-yard drive.
Early in the fourth quarter, Chapple faced 3rd-and-short again and this time found a wide open Tyler Sumner for a 9-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 27-13. Later in the quarter Mora extended his career-high nailing his third field goal of the game, a 20-yarder.
Coleman's pass to Terrance Davis for an 8-yard touchdown with 1:16 left proved to be the final margin.
Head coach Chris Hatcher and the Eagles were able to nearly double the points allowed by UTC's defense coming in (16.0 ppg) and held the Mocs under their season-average (26.2 ppg).
"I thought we did a nice job, especially early in the game, of mixing in our quick passes with our run game. Adam Urbano did a great job of finding the holes and we just did a good job of executing. We were in good rhythm all night long," said Hatcher.
Urbano's previous high came last week at North Carolina (93 yards) and twice rushed 17 times. For the third time in his career he scored two touchdowns.
Chapple completed 16-of-24 passes for 132 yards and the TD. With 154 completions he now stands two shy of matching the season record. Valentine caught four passes for 21 yards and Patrick Barker also hauled in four passes totaling 18 yards. Urbano added 37 receiving yards on three catches.
Sophomore punter Charlie Edwards averaged 48.2 yards on four punts, including a 62-yard punt and a 61-yarder into the wind.
Redshirt-freshman Brent Russell, who entered the game with three sacks on the season, recorded two sacks on the same drive and finished with three tackles.
The Eagles out-gained UTC 320-241, the third straight week holding an opponent to under 320 yards, including 188-33 on the ground.
"Defensively we have played well all season. Right now we are playing with a ton of confidence on the defensive side of the ball. It really makes it easy for (defensive coordinator) coach (Ashley) Anders to call plays and dial up defenses when he knows the guys are going to execute. He had a great game plan to get the guys ready to play and they went out and played extremely well," said Hatcher. "We were one play away from having our second straight second half shutout. In the first half our offense put our defense in a bad situation and they scored after two turnovers, which is something that is still plaguing us. At least after those initial turnovers we held on to the ball the rest of the game and again it was a complete effort. Our special team has continued to play solid. That was a big kick there at the end of the half by Mora. Those three points came back to be pretty big as far as how many possessions they had to have to score at the end of the game."
Coleman completed 23-of-43 passes for 208 yards and two scores. Blue Cooper caught seven passes for 60 yards. Chris Awuah rushed for 41 yards but the Eagle defense sacked Coleman twice totaling 22 yards.
Jordan Tippit and Joseph Thornton had 12 tackles apiece.
Chattanooga travels to Elon next Saturday (Oct. 24). The Eagles travel to Appalachian State next Saturday (Oct. 24), for a 3 p.m. kickoff scheduled to be televised on SportSouth.
GAME NOTES: Georgia Southern scored on its opening drive for the second time this year... True-freshman J.J. Wilcox returned from an injury, having missed the previous three games. His 37-yard reception in the third quarter was his longest this season... When Mora kicked the extra point on the Eagles' first touchdown that marked his 100th career point. He previously hit two field goals in a game six times... This marked the third straight game the defense allowed fewer total yards than the previous week... For the third time this year the Eagles held an opponent to 85 or fewer rushing yards... Valentine moved up to seventh place among the season 'Top 10' leaders in receptions... Chapple is five passing yards shy (1,188) of 10th place among the season 'Top 10'... Sumner's touchdown reception was the first of his career and seventh thrown by Chapple... Edwards had only one career punt of 60-plus yards and accounted for two in the game - both coming in the second half... Georgia Southern improved to 20-3 all-time against Chattanooga, as the 11 wins against UTC in Paulson are the most by the Eagles against any opponent... Saturday's game marked the first home game for the Eagles since September 19 and they do not return to Paulson until the final two weeks of the regular season (Nov. 14 and 21).
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 17 October 2009 22:58