Eagles Win Finale Against The Citadel
STATESBORO, Ga. - Georgia Southern Football held The Citadel scoreless for 59 minutes, then recovered an onsides kick attempt to seal the 13-6 Southern Conference win on Saturday (Nov. 21). The Eagles close out the 2009 campaign at 5-6 and 4-4 in the SoCon.
The Eagles held Citadel (4-7, 2-6) to a 3-and-out to start the game. Mitchell Williford caught the punt and on a reverse to Laron Scott the sophomore picked up a team season-best 41 yards into Bulldog territory. GS drove inside the 20 and put points on the board thanks to an Adrian Mora 31-yard field goal.
On the ensuing drive Tommy Edwards found Andre Roberts for a 37-yard reception into GS territory. On the next play Van Dyke Jones caught the Edwards pass, but lost the ball when Darius Eubanks laid a hit and the freshman defensive back recovered. However, the Eagles could not capitalize - the first of two first quarter turnovers the Eagles had but could not convert into points.
Five minutes into the second quarter Mora connected from 25 yards out, extending the Eagles' lead to 6-0.
Sophomore Tavaris Williams stepped in front of an Edwards pass and raced 36 yards to the Bulldogs' 32. The Eagles needed six plays for Lee Chapple to find Williford for a 10-yard TD reception. Mora's extra point in the final minute of the half made it 13-0.
GS out-gained The Citadel 168-129 in total yards, forced three turnovers and scored in all three trips inside the redzone.
Opponents entered the game successful 67 percent on fourth down (10-of-15). Midway through the third, Citadel went for it on 4th-and-7 from the Eagles 35. Sophomore J.B. Shippy recorded his fourth sack of the year and GS took over on downs. Later in the quarter, The Citadel looked at 4th-and-1 but was flagged for a false start. Edwards' pass attempt to Scott Harward near the endzone was broken up by K.R. Snipes and once again the Eagles took over on downs.
Edwards found Andre Roberts on a 5-yard touchdown pass, but Brent Russell blocked the extra point attempt. Jamere Valentine recovered Sam Keeler's onside attempt and the Eagles took two knees to close out the win.
In all the Eagles held The Citadel to 1-of-5 on fourth down, 5-of-13 on third down conversions.
"We played outstanding the entire afternoon. We haven't won a whole bunch this year and we sure didn't want to mess it up. We weren't looking for style points here today, we were looking to have one more point than the other team. I'm very proud of our team," said GS head coach Chris Hatcher. "All season long they stuck together with no finger pointing. They fought every single game to the final whistle and today we did a lot of the same.
"Offensively we controlled the ball most of the game Again we look back on what has been our Achilles heel all season. We have had a hard time punching it in when we get down there. We missed a field goal and a throwback to the quarterback. That would have made it a little easier at the end of the game," stated Hatcher. "The defense time and time again came up with a big stop. It wasn't just one guy it was a great team effort. To our guys credit we blocked that extra point to take away a little bit of momentum. What a great way to end a season."
Chapple completed 20-of-32 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown. He also led the rushing attack with 47 yards on 14 carries.
Valentine caught a season-high seven passes for 36 yards. Brandon Nolley caught four passes for 48 yards and rushed for another 12.
Eubanks shared game-high honors with eight tackles, one off his season-high. Shippy finished with seven solo tackles.
Edwards completed 23-of-38 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown to go with his two interceptions. Roberts totaled 81 receiving yards on five catches. Rod Harland also recorded eight tackles.
GAME NOTES: As part of the Military Appreciation Day, seniors David Lewis and Garryon Taylor were selected to carry the American and Georgia Southern flags while leading the team onto the field... Lewis made his first start of the year at middle linebacker and first since the 2007 season... The Eagles honored the 16 seniors prior to the game... During the first quarter senior Terrione Benefield recorded his fourth career interception and first since the 2006 season... Williford's TD reception right before halftime was the first of his career, and Chapple's first TD pass since the fourth quarter of the Chattanooga game, a span of four games... Opponents had out-scored GS 132-49 in the second quarter this year, however, this time the Eagles held a 10-0 edge... GS was 1-of-5 over the previous four games converting on fourth down. Chapple's 1-yard sneak on 4th-and-inches picked up a first down early in the third quarter... The last time GS held an opponent scoreless through three quarters came September 2006 when the Eagles held Western Carolina scoreless through three in a 24-14 win in Cullowhee, N.C... Chapple moved into fifth place on the GS career 'Top 10' list for passing yards, moving past Chaz Williams (2,561). His eighth TD pass of the year ties him for eighth on the season list, and he moved to third place with 1,774 passing yards... Valentine finished second on the season 'Top 10' with 45 receptions. Adam Urbano was third with 45 and Patrick Barker was fourth with 40... Mora finished with 16 field goals on the season (16-of-22), one shy of the season record done on two occasions... Charlie Edwards finished with 61 punts (fifth-most in GS season list) for a 39.6 average, good for 10th-best on the season 'Top 10'... The last time GS shutout an opponent was September 6, 2003 against Savannah State (a span of 78 games), a 35-0 win.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 21 November 2009 17:15