Georgia Southern Defeats Top-Ranked Appalachian State 21-14 in Overtime
STATESBORO, Ga. - Freshman Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) ran for a four-yard touchdown in overtime and then junior linebacker Darius Eubanks (Harlem, Ga.) forced an Appalachian State fumble on the Mountaineers fourth play in their OT series to capture a 21-14 win over the top-ranked team in the Football Championship Subdivision.
Georgia Southern (5-4, 3-3 SoCon) handed Appalachian State (8-1, 6-1 SoCon) its first loss of 2010 and the Eagle win snapped Appalachian State's 26-game conference win streak, fittingly as Georgia Southern was the last Southern Conference team to defeat the Mountaineers in a 38-35 win at Kidd Brewer Stadium in 2007. The Eagles last beat a number-one team at Paulson Stadium in 2005, recording a 27-24 win over Furman.
"I'm just thrilled for our kids," said Georgia Southern first-year Head Coach Jeff Monken. "I'm so proud of their effort and the job that our coaches did. Brent Pry called the defense and he shut down a great offense in the second half. Brent Davis called a great, great game, just an unbelievable job. Our kids fought, and they believed, and I was so impressed with their poise, and the look in their eyes. There wasn't any doubt. There wasn't any fear. They really were determined that they were going to try and find a way. It's really a great effort by our team. I'm really proud of them and proud to be the coach."
Appalachian State got on the board early with a pair of touchdowns in the opening quarter for a quick 14-0 lead. With five seconds left before halftime, Georgia Southern junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) ran one in from one yard out to cut the Mountaineer lead in half. The Eagles knotted the game at 14-all on the opening possession of the second half, a 16-play, 76-yard drive that ate up a season-long 9:27, capped off by a two-yard run by sophomore slotback Darreion Robinson (Bishop, Ga.).
In the overtime period, Brown's game-winning touchdown was set up by back-to-back rushes from Shaw that gave the Eagles a first and goal from the ASU four-yard line.
"Well, it was a big, big win, and anytime you win it's important," Monken said. "To come off a loss and then win makes you feel so much better. To beat a rival, a team that's just a battle every year, and with them being ranked number one, and us sitting here with some disappointing losses in the league, and not in position to be the league champion, this is a huge win for us and a great win for our kids and for our football program. That's a big win. I mean, let's call it what it is, that's a big win. So it was exciting. It was exciting for our kids. We're just going to enjoy this one and celebrate this great program. I'm proud of our team."
A Georgia Southern fumble set up Appalachian State's first touchdown drive as Bobby Bozzo recovered it and ran 23 yards to the Eagle 12-yard line. The Mountaineers needed only three plays to convert the turnover into a score as Presley kept the ball for an early 6-0 lead. Jason Vitaris added the extra point to make the score 7-0 at the 11:12 mark of the first quarter.
On the Mountaineers next drive, Presley used five passes and a couple of rushing plays to move Appalachian State 73 yards downfield. Devon Moore took the ball eight yards on first-and-goal to the Georgia Southern one. Moore then went up the middle for the one-yard score and Vitaris added the extra point, giving Appalachian State a 14-0 lead within the first 12 minutes of play.
Presley's rush for 40 yards was the Mountaineers most productive play of the first drive in the second quarter, but Sam Martin wound up punting the ball back to the Eagles. Georgia Southern went three-and-out, taking less than a minute off the clock. Appalachian State didn't fare better on its next series, getting to the Georgia Southern 19-yard line before Laron Scott (Warner Robins, Ga.) picked off Presley's deep pass on the goal line for a touchback.
After Shaw completed a pass to Robert Brown for 16 yards and then Nico Hickey (Columbus, Ga.) ran for a 19-yard gain, Shaw ran three straight times and picked up a Georgia Southern first down. His pass intended for touchdown territory, wound up in the hands of Appalachian State's Dominique McDuffie. The Mountaineers would go three and out, with the Eagles beginning their drive on their own 44.
Shaw directed the Eagles to the Mountaineer side of the field, first by gaining on the ground, then with an eight-yard completion to Mitch Williford (Duluth, Ga.). Converting third-and-11 with a sideline pass to Darreion Robinson for 21 yards, Shaw scrambled three plays later for 11 yards to pick up the first down and put the Eagles at first and goal on the ASU three. McKinnon stepped in to call the signals for a play, picking up two yards to bring the Eagles to the one. Shaw returned after a Georgia Southern timeout and ran in for the one-yard touchdown to cut the Mountaineer lead in half, 14-7 ASU, with just seconds left before halftime.
Receiving the kickoff in the second half, the Eagles used the longest drive of the year with 16 plays and 9:27 off the clock to tie the score at 14-all. Robert Brown ran five straight plays for 23 yards bringing the Eagles to their 44 yard line, then Shaw held onto the ball for the next play, picking up five yards and the Georgia Southern first down. Brown added nine more yards on the next two plays before Shaw picked up another first down with a five-yard carry.
At the Appalachian State 31, Shaw completed an 18-yard pass to J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) for the fourth first down of the drive to put the Eagles at the Mountaineer 13-yard line. Darreion Robinson took the pitch for nine yards and then two plays later scored the two-yard game-tying touchdown, 14-14.
Both teams were held scoreless in the fourth quarter with the Eagles' Charlie Edwards (Tifton, Ga.) punting three times in that period. Appalachian State threatened in its first full drive of the quarter, but Presley's pass was intercepted by junior linebacker Michael Butler (Stone Mountain, Ga.) at the Georgia Southern 14-yard line. Butler returned it for 22 yards.
Georgia Southern got the ball back on its own 25, with 1:41 on the clock. Sacked on the first two plays and facing a third-and 21, Shaw ran for 18 yards to put the ball at the 32 and with a fourth-and-three down and distance. The final Edwards punt backed up the Mountaineers to their own 31. Appalachian State ran two plays before regulation ended.
Shaw finished as the game's leading rusher with 86 yards on a career-high 23 carries. Brown tied his career high of 20 carries and had 61 yards on the afternoon. Shaw also had his career high completions and passing attempts with nine and 21, respectively, for 106 yards. Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) continued his career consecutive streak of made PATs with three more for a 77-77 mark to date.
Defensively, Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.), Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ga.) and Derek Heyden (Atlanta, Ga.) shared the team lead with six tackles each. (Roderick Tinsley (Soperton, Ga.) posted his third-straight game with multiple tackles for loss, following two games registering 2.5 with Saturday's 3.0 TFL. Brent Russell had 2.5 TFL and recorded a half sack.
NOTES: Saturday's win was the sixth overtime win in program history and third straight... the forced fumble by Darius Eubanks was the second this season (first in 2010 at The Citadel) and fourth in his career... Georgia Southern held Appalachian State, which came into Saturday's game with a 39.1 points per game average, scoreless for three quarters, the only team to manage that feat so far this season... The Eagles allowed the only two Mountaineer touchdowns in the first quarter and limited Appalachian State to 114 yards on the ground, an ASU season low, as well as a season-low 325 yards of total offense... Attendance was 20,073.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 OT O1 Total
Appalachian State 14 0 0 0 0 0 14
Georgia Southern 0 7 7 0 7 7 21
Qtr Time Scoring Play V-H
1st 11:12 ASU - DeAndre Presley 3 yd run (Jason Vitaris kick), 3-12 1:08 7 - 0
04:29 ASU - Devon Moore 1 yd run (Jason Vitaris kick), 10-80 4:18 14 - 0
2nd 00:05 GSU - Shaw,Jaybo 1 yd run (Mora,Adrian kick), 14-56 4:20 14 - 7
3rd 05:33 GSU - Robinson, Dn 2 yd run (Mora,Adrian kick), 16-76 9:27 14 - 14
OT 15:00 GSU - Brown,Robert 4 yd run (Mora,Adrian kick), 4-25 0:00 14 - 21
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 06 November 2010 17:10