Total Team Effort Seals Win for Eagles Over Coastal 43-26
CONWAY, S.C. - It wasn't until the waning seconds of the fourth quarter when Georgia Southern (2-1) felt like the battle had been won. After the teams traded scores in the third and fourth quarters, Coastal Carolina (0-3) fought back to within three points in its home opener before the Eagles sealed the 43-26 win at Brooks Stadium with two late fourth quarter scores.
Neither team scored in the first quarter, but the Eagles took control in the second quarter and took a 19-6 lead into halftime. As Georgia Southern Head Coach Jeff Monken has told his team before, it usually takes more than the halftime score to win.
It took a little of everything on Saturday - the total team effort - offense, defense and special teams - combined as Georgia Southern battled to the road win. In the end, it was sophomore Kyle Oehlbeck's (Gainesville, Fla.) quirky fumble recovery for a touchdown with 2:46 left in the game that provided the Eagles with a 36-26 margin. Junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw's (Flowery Branch, Ga.) broke the plane for Georgia Southern's last touchdown with junior kicker Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) adding the point after for the 43-26 final. Mora had two field goals and five PATs.
The Eagles ran for 209 yards with freshman fullback Robert Brown (Macon, Ga) with a game-high 66 yards and touchdown. Shaw had Georgia Southern's second rushing touchdown and had 48 yards for the game, passing for 160 yards and TD passes to sophomore slotback J.J Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) and freshman Tray Butler (Marietta, Ga.).
Linebacker Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ga.) had his second-straight game with double digit tackles with 10, tying his career best. Oehlback and Derek Heyden (Atlanta, Ga.) each had six tackles with Rowe, Oehlbeck, Heyden and Dion DuBose (Norcross, Ga.) also recording a tackle for loss. Five Eagles had five tackles each. Both Heyden's and A.J. McCray's (St. Marys, Ga.) interceptions were the first of their careers. Freshman linebacker Carlos Cave (Macon, Ga.) blocked Coastal's punt.
In the fourth quarter, the Chanticleers held the Eagles to two straight three-and-out series and then capitalized with 96-second, 95-yard Coastal touchdown drive following a GS turnover to pull within three points. Getting the ball back off a red zone fumble, Coastal Carolina's O'Neal begins the drive with a 30-yard rush to put the Chants at their own 35 yard line. MacDowall completed four of his next six passes, with the Coastal receivers making acrobatic catches for first downs. MacDowall's final pass of the drive was a 34-yard touchdown pass to Marquel Willis to bring Chants within three points, 29-26.
Junior punter Charlie Edwards' 50-yard punt and Coastal penalty after a stalled Eagle series put Coastal at their own five-yard line. The Chants' quarterback Zach MacDowall completed a five-yard pass to Brandon Whitley and then fumbled on the next play with an alert Oehlbeck picking it up for the Eagle touchdown, GS 36-26.
MacDowall, who had surpassed his own record for completions earlier in the quarter with 27, went 0-5 on five attempts on Coastal's drive that started at 2:38 of the fourth quarter. MacDowall finished the night 26-40 for 302 yards and three touchdowns. Georgia Southern converted one of his two interceptions into a second quarter score.
The tide turned with four minutes remaining in the third quarter as Coastal came back with a quick 3:26 scoring drive covering 73 yards. Tight end David Duran pulled in a 12-yard pass for a touchdown to keep the Chanticleers within 10 points, 29-19.
The Eagles added a Mora 36-yard field goal to put the score at 22-6 early in the third quarter, but Coastal Carolina went 74 yards down the field in eight plays and 2:58 to add a touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Eagles kept a 10-point lead, 22-12, with 9:11 left in the third quarter. Shaw was stopped by the Chant defense and backed up to third-and-12 on the Eagles' 30-yard line when he hit Wilcox with a key 19-yard reception. Wilcox carried the ball on three of the next five plays, then Shaw found him again for a 15-yard touchdown reception for a 29-12 Eagle lead.
With just over four minutes left in the first half and Coastal picking up its third first down of its drive at the Georgia Southern 29, Heyden intercepted MacDowall's pass to give the ball back to the Eagles. After a handoff to R. Brown for six yards, Shaw motored to midfield with a 20-yard run. A six-yard run by Wilcox combined with another Shaw rush for eight yards and Darreion Robinson six-yard play, brought the Eagles to the Coastal 29 yard line. R. Brown picked up four yards to the 25 and on the next play, Shaw hit Butler for his first career touchdown reception and the longest Eagle TD reception of 2010 for the 19-6 halftime score.
Coastal Carolina responded with a quick 2:19 drive from its own 33-yard line to the five-yard line in Eagle territory and Eric O'Neal punched it in from four yards out to make the score GS 10, Coastal 6. Sophomore nose tackle Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) blocked the point after attempt, scooped up the loose ball and headed downfield. With a Coastal player approaching, Russell lateralled to Heyden who scored the defensive conversion, Georgia Southern 12, Coastal 6.
Georgia Southern continued its drive from the end of the first quarter and Mora hit a 41-yard field goal at 14:20 for a 3-0 lead. Holding the Chants defense to three and out, Ben Erdman's punt was blocked and junior A.J. McCray recovered the ball at the Coastal five yard line. Five plays later, freshman fullback Robert Brown crossed the goal line to put the Eagles up 10-0.
NOTES: Tray Butler caught his first career touchdown reception on a 25-yard pass from Shaw, the longest TD pass of the 2010 season... Shaw and Sumner connected for the longest pass play of 2010, a 40-yard reception, Sumner's career long and the longest for Shaw in his career as an Eagle... Oehlbeck made his first start today in place of injured Darius Eubanks... Oehlback recorded his career fumble recovery and first career touchdown... the last time the Eagles scored a defensive PAT was on September 5, 2009 vs. Albany at Paulson Stadium when Brent Russell blocked the PAT attempt and Darrell Pasco raced into the endzone in the 29-26 win... Georgia Southern's last fumble recovery for a touchdown was also during the 2009 season when Derek Heyden picked up a loose ball on the Appalachian State 38-yard line to score his first collegiate touchdown... Attendance at Coastal Carolina's 2010 home opener was 8,857.
- Category: Football
- Published on Sunday, 19 September 2010 01:31