Eagles Roll Past Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - Michael McIntosh and Adam Urbano scored two touchdowns apiece, and the defense and special teams also scored a TD, as Georgia Southern defeated Chattanooga 52-28 Saturday night (Oct. 4) at Finley Stadium. The win snaps the Eagles’ (3-3 overall, 1-2 Southern Conference) two-game overall losing streak and two straight to the Mocs.
In fact, the 52 points were the most by a Georgia Southern team since defeating Morehead State in the 2005 regular season finale (63-17), and the most versus Chattanooga since scoring 70 back in 2001.
The Eagles lost the coin toss and UTC (1-5, 0-2) elected to receive. The defense held the Mocs shy of a first down on a three-and-out and forced a punt. GS then struck early and often.
On third down Antonio Henton scrambled and launched a throw downfield, which Marcus Russ caught inside the 10. Three plays later McIntosh went 1-on-1 with his defender and caught a jump ball in the endzone for his first TD this year, a 6-yard reception. Adrian Mora converted the extra point for a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game.
Less than a minute later, the Eagles’ defense forced another three-and-out. Mike Hammonds went back to punt, but true-freshman Roderick Tinsley blocked the kick then David Arnold, another true-freshman, scooped up the loose ball on the Mocs 26 and raced into the endzone for his first collegiate score. For Arnold, he became the 13th player in GS history to return a punt for a touchdown (18th occasion).
GS forced another punt, however, when Urbano signaled for the fair catch he could not make the catch. The ball bounced past Urbano, and the officials ruled the ball touched him. Thanks in large part to the short field Jare Gault hit Patrick Wilkinson for a 14-yard touchdown, cutting the Eagles’ lead in half with just under five minutes left in the first quarter.
Mora kicked a 41-yard field goal late in the first quarter, matching his season-long completion.
Early in the second quarter Gault scored from five yards out on 3rd-and-goal. Craig Camay made it 17-14 after his extra point.
The Mocs fumbled on their next drive, and Quentin Taylor recovered the first fumble of his career. Raja Andrews went over 1,000 career receiving yards midway through the second quarter, thanks to a 30-yard catch down to the three. Urbano ran it in untouched for a 24-14 lead.
Henton threw an interception that UTC caught on the one-yard line. Three plays later, Gault had his pass tipped by Larry Beard and Damon Suggs caught it in the endzone for his first collegiate interception and touchdown for a 31-14 lead heading into the locker room.
On the Eagles first drive of the second half, Henton rushed for 21 yards and capped it off with a 6-yard TD pass to a diving McIntosh in the corner of the endzone.
Chris Covington sacked Gault on third down to force a punt. The Eagles took over on the Mocs 47. Zeke Rozier scored his first touchdown of the season, a 29-yard run up the middle to extend the lead to 45-14 midway through the third.
Gault scrambled on third down and as he was hit by three Eagles he launched a pass to Jordan Hazard, who caught it over a defender and raced 76 yards for a touchdown.
Urbano, who earlier in the same drive had a 29-yard run, scored for the second time in the game - a 15-yard scamper late in the third to make it 52-21. Chattanooga scored a TD late in the game for the final margin.
“I’ve been proud of our guys all season long. They never quit and have played hard all season long. Tonight we wanted to get off to a big start. (Marcus) Russ made a big catch and (Michael) McIntosh made the biggest catch of his career for that touchdown,” said head coach Chris Hatcher. “We made a great defensive stop to follow. Special teams can turn the momentum of a game faster than any other phase. When we blocked that punt and returned it for a score it really energized our team.”
Henton finished 17-of-24 through the air for 177 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for a game-high 88 yards.
Demarcus Watts caught three passes for 51 yards, and Russ also caught three passes totaling 43 yards. In all nine different receivers caught a pass for the Eagles.
Covington paced the defense with eight tackles, including two for a loss and one sack. Taylor also had two stops for a loss. Ronnie Wiggins picked off Sloan Allison late in the game for his team-leading third interception of the year.
Gault completed 17-of-32 passes for 205 yards and two scores. Thomas Hinton caught six passes for 78 yards.
The Eagles have next week off before playing host to Appalachian State (Oct. 18). Kickoff at Paulson Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m. and will be televised live on SportSouth.
GAME NOTES: Senior defensive lineman Casey Wingard made his first collegiate start... The blocked punt for a touchdown was the first by GS since the 2005 regular season finale against Morehead State, a span of 29 games. Tim Camp recorded his second blocked punt of game, landing on the ball in the endzone. The last time GS had a blocked punt return for a touchdown and interception return for a touchdown in the same game came during that same Morehead State contest (A.J. Bryant 74-yard INT, Camp blocked punt, recover in endzone)... The last time GS returned a punt for a touchdown was last year when Andrews did so against Western Carolina... The 17 points scored in the first quarter were the most since the Eagles scored 21 last year at Appalachian State... In the second quarter on 4th-and-5 from the GS 35, Darrel Pasco broke up Gault’s pass attempt and the Eagles took over on downs. GS held Chattanooga to just 1-of-4 on fourth down conversions in the game.. Urbano’s 29-yard run late in the third quarter was a season-long... The Eagles scored 21 points in the third quarter. They had scored a combined 21 points during the third quarter all season long... Georgia Southern out-gained UTC 425-406, but the Mocs accounted for many of those yards late in the game... This marked the first time GS has not scored in the fourth quarter all season long (58-13 entering the game).
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 04 October 2008 00:23