Two Blocked Extra Points Proved the Difference for the Eagles
STATESBORO, Ga. - Two blocked extra points and a missed field goal in the final seconds proved the difference in Georgia Southern's (8-1, 6-1) 14-12 win over The Citadel (4-5, 2-5) on Saturday, November 5th, at Paulson Stadium. The Eagles made a halftime lead stand after holding the Bulldogs to 121 yards in the second half, forcing two punts and intercepting a pass.
"We feel very fortunate to win the football game and very fortunate to have an opportunity to play for a conference championship next week. That's what we had hoped for and now it comes down to this last [SoCon] game and we've got to go up there and try to win the football game. If we do, we are outright conference Champions," said Head Coach Jeff Monken.
The Eagles totaled 320 yards of total offense with a balanced attack of 191 yards rushing and 129 yards through the air. Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries, while Jerick McKinnon (Marietta, Ga.) totaled 46 yards and Nico Hickey (Columbus, Ga.) amassed 41 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the second quarter. Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) completed four passes including a 63-yarder to Darreion Robinson (Bishop, Ga.) in the first quarter.
"The first thing I did was tell our team congratulations, anytime you win is a cause to celebrate. We have very high expectations, there are six flags hanging up there," said Monken. "Those are the standards that have been set for this program. I don't think we lived up to those standards today, it's not taking anything away from The Citadel."
The Citadel scored two first half touchdowns, but were held to 264 total yards due in part to a stingy second-half Eagle defense. Darien Robinson carried the ball nine times for 92 yards for a 10.2 average. One of their quarterbacks, Aaron Miller, rushed a team-high 19 times for 80 yards and completed one pass for 17 yards.
"What a good job the Citadel coaching staff did. I have a tremendous amount of respect for their kids. The way they played, the way they fought, they certainly had a chance to win that game," said Monken.
The Bulldogs got off to a quick start due to a 50 yard kickoff return to open the game, and a 15 yard personal foul to start the opening drive on the GSU's 31 yardline. Two plays later, Robinson crossed the goal line for the opening touchdown. The Eagles blocked the ensuing point after attempt and quickly responded with a touchdown of their own.
"Blocked kicks are big plays. It keeps points off the board and changes field position dramatically. Obviously it's a different football game if we don't block those two kicks," said Monken.
Georgia Southern went ahead 7-6 with a one-play drive just two minutes into the game. Shaw completed a pass to Robinson, which he busted for a 63-yard touchdown. Neither team would score again until the second quarter when a 17-play drive ended in a two yard run by Miller. The Eagles blocked the extra point again, and went ahead by the final score 14-12 with 3:53 remaining in the first half. Hickey capped off a seven-play drive with a 14 yard rushing touchdown which was set up by a pass interference penalty.
Junior defensive tackle Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) did not dress for the contest due to a one-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
The Eagles will play for the Southern Conference Championship next weekend at Wofford. Kickoff for the clash between the SoCon's top squads was moved up to 1 p.m. to accommodate a Republican Presidential Debate being held on campus later that evening. Fans are invited to head to nearby Converse College following the game for a 6 p.m. volleyball match between Georgia Southern and Wofford.
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- Category: Football
- Published on Monday, 07 November 2011 08:06