Fourth Quarter Comeback Falls Short
After finishing last year 3-8, first-year head coach Chris Hatcher and Georgia Southern closes out the regular season 7-4.
Lamar Lewis started the rally with a 19-yard TD run with 8:28 left in the game. On the Rams first play they fumbled the snap and Branden Daniel recovered. However, facing 4th-and-goal from the three, Jayson Foster was flushed out of the pocket and his throw sailed just over the reach of Raja Andrews. CSU punted on its next possession and Foster returned the ball to the CSU 40.
Four plays later Foster scored his third touchdown of the game, a 19-yard run with 3:36 left. Jesse Hartley executed the on-sides kick and the Eagles recovered on their own 41. Foster found Irving Campbell for 12 yards on 3rd-and-13. Needing the points, Hartley came on and nailed a 35-yard attempt. That field goal was his 17th this season, tying the GS single-season record.
This time, the Rams recovered the kick and were able to run out the clock.
GS held the Rams on their opening drive and took over. The Eagles drove deep into Rams territory but for the first time in 23 quarters and overtime periods they committed a turnover.
Fullback Dusty Reddick took a hard hit and fumbled on the three. The Rams took over and marched down the field.
Gartrell Johnson took a handoff up the middle on 3rd-and-2 and scored from 27 yards out, putting the Rams ahead 7-0 to cap the 12-play drive with 2:36 left in the first quarter. With 8:25 left in the second quarter Caleb Hanie hit Johnson for an 8-yard TD reception. The extra point gave CSU a 14-0 lead. That also marked the largest deficit GS faced this season.
Foster ripped off a 39-yard run during the ensuing drive to help set up Hartley’s 35-yard field goal with 4:40 remaining. However, Johnson found the endzone again, a 7-yard run to extend their lead to 21-3.
After the Eagles drive stalled, CSU marched down the field again. Haynie found Luke Roberts on a 27-yard touchdown pass just seconds before halftime for a 28-3 lead.
Those 28 points were the most allowed by GS in a first half since Florida A&M in the first round of the 2001 playoffs. The 25-point deficit was the largest since the Eagles fell behind by 28 points to
Foster broke off a 33-yard TD run to start the second half and Hartley’s extra point made it a 28-10 score. Midway through the third quarter, and facing third down near midfield, Haynie hit Damon Morton on a 57-yard TD pass.
Foster broke through on his second TD of the game, a 12-yard run late in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 35-17. However, the Rams responded again with Kyle Bell’s 3-yard run with 13:20 left.
Playing in what could be his final game, Foster recorded his sixth career 100-yard rushing/passing game 195 rushing yards on 27 attempts and 11-of-17 passing for 107 yards. It was his 18th career 100-yard rushing and 22nd career multi-touchdown game.
He finished this year with the second most rushing yards in program history (and third in the SoCon) with 1,844 yards (7.1 yards per carry) and 24 rushing TDs. He also threw for 1203 yards and six TDs.
Lewis added his fifth career 100-yard rushing game, totaling 115 yards on 24 carries. Andrews caught four passes, giving him 38 receptions this year. The junior wide receiver finished one shy of the program’s season record.
Senior punter Daniel Jordan was called upon twice in the game. He set a program record with 179 career punts.
Johnson rushed for 136 yards and two TDs for the Rams (2-9 overall). Hanie completed 13-of-16 passes for 244 yards and three scores. Morton caught four passes for 100 yards. Jeff Horinek registered a game-high 14 tackles.
GAME NOTES: Senior defensive end Joey Tuttle made his first career start... Hartley finished the year perfect on extra points, 47-of-47. He set a GS record for consecutive extra points made in a season. He also nailed 17-of-24 field goals as well, finishing with 98 points... On his first completion of the game, Foster surpassed 2,000 career passing yards. Foster joined Tracy Ham and Greg Hill as the only Eagle quarterbacks to record 3,200 rushing/2,000 passing yards. The senior QB broke Ham’s season records of total plays (431) and total offense (3,047)... Lewis just missed recording a 1,000 yard rushing season. The senior running back netted 955 yards and five TDs... Foster completed 64.1 percent of his passes this year, the second-highest percentage for a GS quarterback.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 17 November 2007 00:02