Eagles Fall in Homecoming Game Against Furman
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern made a fourth quarter run at Furman but ran out of time, losing 30-22 Saturday afternoon (Nov. 14) at Paulson Stadium. The Eagles lost their third straight, matching the longest such streak in three years.
Falling to 4-6 overall (3-4 in the Southern Conference), Georgia Southern will record just its third losing season since football was reinstated in the 1982 season.
Furman (5-5, 4-3) took the opening kickoff and drove 84 yards on 10 plays to get the first score. Tersoo Uhaa found the endzone on a 16-yard run and early 7-0 lead.
Junior quarterback Kyle Collins, making his first collegiate start, got a first down on a pass to Patrick Barker. Three plays later, Collins was picked off by Ryan Steed, who raced in for a 44-yard touchdown and 14-0 Paladin lead with just over seven minutes remaining.
Early in the second quarter Jordan Sorrells hit Adam Mims on a crossing pattern that resulted in a 29-yard touchdown. The Paladins took a 21-0 lead with 11:49 left in the first half. Matthew Cesari kicked a 42-yard field goal five minutes later.
The Eagles finally crossed the Paladin 40-yard line late in the first half. Facing 4th-and-3 in the final minute the Eagles sent Adrian Mora on for a 37-yard attempt, but the sophomore kicker missed just right.
Furman out-gained GS in the first half 166-126. Sorrells completed 11 of his 13 passes for 123 yards and a TD.
Lee Chapple entered the game on the Eagles' second drive of the third quarter. The sophomore quarterback drove down to the Furman 10, facing 3rd-and-9. Chapple threw to Mitchell Williford, and the freshman wide receiver launched a pass across field back to Chapple for a wide-open TD with 9:21 left in the quarter.
The Paladins responded with a 2-yard TD run by Jerry Williams as 6:01 remained in the third but Furman missed the extra point, making it 30-7.
After getting sacked and fumbling on the play, GS responded when sophomore Brett Layson recorded his first career interception, picking off Chris Forcier on the seven. The Eagles needed 12 plays to cap the longest scoring drive of the year as Chapple dove in from a yard out. He hit Barker in the back of the endzone to complete the 2-point conversion.
The Eagles looked to successfully recovered the onsides kick attempt but was flagged for offsides. In the final minute, Collins found Jamere Valentine for 49 yards (the longest pass completion by the Eagles this season), then on the next play threw his first collegiate TD pass, a 16-yard strike to Johnathan Bryant. Mora kicked the extra point. However, the Eagles could not recover the onsides attempt and Furman was able to take a knee and run out the clock.
"We made a great play on the opening kickoff. We were fired up coming out of the gates and then they go and convert a couple of third downs on us. We miss a couple tackles, they go down and score and then we come out and throw a pick six. At the end of the half I wanted to go in with some momentum and put points on the board. (Adrian) Mora has been so great all season long and he hooked that one to the left," said Hatcher. "We came out the second half and had an opportunity to quit, but we fought all the way to the final whistle. And for that I'm proud of the boys."
Collins finished 13-of-22 for 124 yards and a touchdown. He also led the rushing attack netting 53 yards on six rushes. Chapple completed 10-of-16 passes for 75 yards and each QB threw an interception.
Senior Darrell Pasco nearly broke the single-game kickoff return yardage record, finishing with 155 yards on six attempts (25.8 average).
Sophomore K.R. Snipes matched a career-high with 10 tackles, in addition to his forced fumble and fumble recovery. Laron Scott made seven solo tackles, two pass break-ups and recorded his team-leading third interception of the year.
"It is hard to pinpoint our struggles defensively, but offensively we know exactly where we need to improve at. We have got some guys playing hard. I reiterate they didn't quit. We fought all the way there to the end, if we could have gotten that onsides kick to heave one more up and maybe make a play. We just came up short and didn't play well enough to win a ball game against a Furman team that just outplayed us today," said Hatcher.
Sorrells completed 17-of-23 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown. Mims caught seven passes for 139 yards and a TD.
Kadarron Anderson paced the Furman defense with 10 tackles.
Georgia Southern closes out the 2009 season next Saturday (Nov. 21), playing host to The Citadel. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Paulson Stadium.
GAME NOTES: Collins earned the start in his ninth career game played... The last time Georgia Southern was shutout in the first half was October 25, 2008 at Western Carolina. The Eagles went on to win the game 38-31 in overtime. September 2002 was the last time the Eagles were held scoreless at home in the first half, an eventual 14-7 loss to Wofford... Sophomore punter Charlie Edwards handled the kickoff duties, the first time in his career doing so. He averaged 64 yards on his two kickoffs and 40.5 yards on eight punts. Edwards has recorded 62 punts this season, tying for third-most on the season 'Top 10' and 11 away from the record... The last time someone other than a Georgia Southern quarterback threw a touchdown pass came October 30, 2004 when then-wide receiver Jayson Foster found T.J. Anderson on a 54-yard score as the Eagles would defeat South Dakota State 63-7... Pasco finished 12 yards shy of the GS single-game record for returns, set by Andrew Weathers at Furman in 2000... Urbano now moved into second place among the season 'Top 10' reception leaders with 45. Valentine is third with 44 and Barker is tied for fourth with 39... Chapple's TD reception was the first catch of his career... As part of BLUE OUT Paulson Stadium the team wore blue pants. It was the second time this year (at Elon) and first at home since last year's event against Appalachian State.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 14 November 2009 19:19