Football Outlasts Second-Half Comeback Attempt
STATESBORO, Ga. - The Georgia Southern Football team (5-0, 4-0) outlasted a second-half comeback attempt by Chattanooga (2-4, 0-3) to win 28-27 on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles defense stepped up and denied a two-point conversion attempt in the final two minutes of the contest to preserve the victory.
"We're all thrilled to get a win, that's why they keep score," stated Head Coach Jeff Monken. "It wasn't pretty, but we got the win today. The things that are the most disappointing are the missed tackles, missed assignments, and missed opportunities to prolong drives. With that said, our guys found a way to win and that is the important thing. We're certainly are not going to be disappointed with a win."
The Mocs rebounded from a 21-7 deficit and mounted a second-half comeback attempt with 20 points in the final two quarters. Chattanooga drove nearly the length of the field to score the equalizer with just 1:44 remaining in the contest. The Mocs elected to attempt a two-point conversion instead of kicking the game-tying extra point on the game's deciding play. Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ala.) pressured the quarterback to force an incomplete pass on the conversion attempt.
"You always feel like you could have played better, but I credit our guys with their effort in the fourth quarter and especially on that 2-point conversion. Chattanooga has got a good football team and we knew that coming into today. They are a well coached group that ran the football well in the second half," said Monken.
The two teams finished with nearly identical yards of total offense with the Eagles out-gaining Chattanooga on the ground by less than 100 yards. Georgia Southern tallied 383 yards of total offense with 326 coming on the ground. The Mocs ran for a season-high 238 yards and posted 325 yards of total offense. The majority of Chattanooga's ground game came from backup quarterback Terrell Robinson, who finished with 114 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) and Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) both carried the ball 18 times with Brown amassing 169 yards rushing and Shaw 67 yards. Shaw also completed four passes for 57 yards and a score.
Eagle punter Charlie Edwards (Tifton, Ga.) passed Daniel Jordan to become the school record holder in career punts with 181 punts. He booted three punts for 128 yards total in the game and averaged 42.7 yards due in part to a 52-yard punt.
After a scoreless first quarter, Georgia Southern tallied three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-7 lead at halftime. A 22-yard run from Dominique Swope (Buford, Ga.) opened the scoring less than four minutes into the second half. J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) caught a 20-yard pass from Shaw on the next Eagle drive, but Chattanooga responded with an 11-play 82 yard scoring drive that ended with a five-yard run from Robinson. The Eagles moved 67 yards in a 1:36 on a two-minute drill to go into the break up 14 points.
The Mocs rallied out of the halftime break outscoring the Eagles 20-7 in the second half. Behind freshman quarterback Terrell Robinson they recorded 209 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the second half. The Mocs tied the contest at 21-21 early in the fourth quarter on an 11-yard run by Robinson.
The Eagles responded with a five-play 66 yard drive to jump back ahead 28-21. Shaw capped off the 2:15 drive with a one-yard dive from under center. Chattanooga was not done yet a methodical 11-play drive that ate five minutes off the game clock ended with a five-yard touchdown run by Robinson. However, the Mocs were unable to complete the two-point conversion attempt and the Eagles ran out the clock to remain undefeated.
The Georgia Southern Football team continues a three-game homestand next Saturday against Furman. Kickoff for the SoCon TV Network televised game is set for 3 p.m. at Paulson Stadium.
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- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 08 October 2011 20:20