Eagles Advance to Quarterfinals with 31-15 Win Over Tribe
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. -- Georgia Southern (9-4) held fourth-ranked William & Mary (8-4) scoreless in the second half and did not allow an offensive touchdown in the Eagles' 31-15 win Saturday at Zable Stadium. Junior quarterback Jaybo Shaw (Flowery Branch, Ga.) tied a career-best with three rushing touchdowns and freshman fullback Robert Brown (Macon, Ga.) ran for a career-best 178 yards in the victory. It was the Eagles' first road playoff win since Georgia Southern's 27-18 win at Delaware during the 2000 national championship season.
The Eagles will play at Wofford in the quarterfinals next weekend. The game date, either December 10th or 11th, and time, will be announced Sunday.
Down 15-14 at the half, Georgia Southern scored on its first drive of the third quarter to retake the lead, keyed by a 44-yard carry down the sideline by Darreion Robinson (Bishop, Ga.) on the first play of the possession. J.J. Wilcox (Cairo, Ga.) leapt for a 19-yard pass, his only reception of the day, to put the Eagles at the WM 13. A false start penalty brought the ball back to the WM 18, but great blocking cleared the path for Shaw to the goal line, ending the 81-yard drive with his second touchdown of the day. Georgia Southern led 21-15 after Adrian Mora's (Dalton, Ga.) point after touchdown.
The Eagle defense, helped in part by a holding call on the Tribe, held William and Mary to three and out on the next series, putting the ball back in the hands of the offense just 1:24 later.
Shaw started Georgia Southern's next drive with an eight-yard pass to Brown, but went to the ground for the next 11 plays. Using 7:36 on the drive, Adrian Mora (Dalton, Ga.) hit a 21-yard field goal to put the score at 24-15, Georgia Southern. Senior Tobi Akinniranye (Atlanta, Ga.) who played in his first game since October 23rd, had 23 yards rushing on the drive with Brown totaling 19 and Brian Wilcher (Dublin, Ga.) adding a carry for nine yards.
Penalties were the enemy of the Tribe in the third quarter as its biggest threat, a 44-yard pass play from William & Mary quarterback Mike Callahan to Ryan Moody, a play that would have put the Tribe at the Georgia Southern eight-yard line, was called back due to holding. Running back Jonathan Grimes picked up two yards on the next play. A Callahan pass intended for Moody fell incomplete and sophomore defensive end Terico Agnew (Stockbridge, Ga.) sacked Callahan for a loss of 12 yards.
Georgia Southern began its next drive on its own 31, getting two plays off before the start of the fourth quarter. On third-and-five, Brown picked up the Eagle first down with an eight-yard rush. Wilcox moved the chains again with his 12-yard carry. After a six-yard rush by Brown, Wilcox brought the Eagles to the William & Mary 15 with a 23-yard dash. At third-and-three, Shaw kept for an Eagle first down at Tribe three, then scored on the next play. Mora hit his fourth point after of the day and kept his streak of consecutive PATs made intact.
Defense stifled William & Mary's last drive. The Tribe had moved downfield and deep into Eagle territory as Callahan hit six different targets. William & Mary converted four times on third down attempts and settled at the GSU 25 when Callahan threw two incomplete passes before connecting with Grimes for a five-yard gain. The Tribe would not convert the most critical third down as Brent Russell (Comer, Ga.) sacked Callahan for a loss of 11 to turn the ball over to Georgia Southern on downs.
Sophomore linebacker Josh Rowe (Opelika, Ala.) topped the Eagles' tackle list with career-best 12 tackles (5U, 7A) with a sack. Lavelle Westbrooks (Riverdale, Ga.) and Derek Heyden (Atlanta, Ga.) had six tackles each. Agnew finished with three tackles and led the Eagles with two sacks. The staunch Eagle defense held William & Mary to only 214 yards of total offense after The Tribe averaged 476 per game over its previous two games against Richmond and James Madison.
The Eagles' final possession used 5:49 of clock and took the ball 52 yards to the William & Mary 17. Brown added 30 yards to his total on the drive to push him past his previous career best of 153 in the Western Carolina game. Wilcox had two carries for nine yards each in the final series.
Brown put Georgia Southern on the board first with a six-yard score to cap an all-Brown series on the Eagles' first possession. Brown opened the drive with a 45-yard run to the William & Mary 16, then had carries of seven and three yards before the touchdown. Mora added the PAT for the Eagles 7-0 lead.
Two penalties on the William & Mary drive, plus the tenacity of the GSU defense, forced the Tribe to settle for a field goal after getting the ball on its own 40. The Tribe capitalized on a Georgia Southern pass interference call for one first down, then had another on a Grives 29-yard run. A false start followed by an illegal substitution backed up William & Mary five yards on each. Courtland Marriner took two shots at the end zone, but Rowe sacked Callahan back at the 15-yard line on third down. Drake Kuhn kicked the 32-yard field goal to put William & Mary on the scoreboard, 7-3 Georgia Southern.
After Georgia Southern went three-and-out on its next possession, the Tribe would get in the red zone again, but again taking away only a field goal. Callahan scrambled for 26 yards past midfield. Mixing pass and run plays, William & Mary got to the GSU 18 before two Tribe passes fell incomplete. Kuhn kicked a 36-yard field goal to bring the Tribe within one, 7-6, with five seconds remaining in the first quarter.
With the ball at the GSU 46 at the start of the second quarter, the Eagles ran the ball on every play, with Brown and Darreion Robinson rushing for 13 yards on back-to-back carries. From the WM 16, Brown had nine yards to bring the Eagles to the seven. Shaw picked up six on the next play. Stopped at the one on second and goal, Shaw kept for his first touchdown of the afternoon. Mora completed the effort with a PAT for a 14-6 Georgia Southern lead.
The defense helped William & Mary go three and out on its next series. Georgia Southern began from its own 39, but Evan Francks intercepted Shaw's pass attempt and went 48 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion pass fell incomplete, but the Tribe pulled within striking distance, down only two points, 14-12 Eagles with 6:25 remaining in the first half.
After a three-and-out series by the Eagles, William and Mary took the 15-14 lead after Kuhn hit his third field goal, for 33 yards, after a 12-play, 60-yard drive. Callahan completed a 10-yard pass to Chase Hill and Grimes had rushes of eight and 15 yards. Callahan hit Ryan Moody for an 11-yard gain and then Ryan Woolfolk had a 16-yard reception to put the Tribe inside the GSU 20. Darius Eubanks (Harlem, Ga.) stopped Grimes at the line of scrimmage and Callahan's next two passes were incomplete.
NOTES: Georgia Southern last won five straight games during the 2004 season... with the win over #4 William & Mary, the Eagles have defeated four top-25 teams... the Eagles beat three top-25 teams during the 2007 season (#5 Appalachian State, #25 The Citadel and #10 Wofford)... the Eagles last won four straight on the road during the 2008 season... Adrian Mora hit his 92nd consecutive point after attempt and remains perfect at 92-92 for his career... Laron Scott had five kickoff returns for 110 yards, adding to his single-season record with 956 kickoff return yards on the year. Scott surpassed Nay Young's 1986 record of 33 kickoff returns in a single season and stands at 36 for 2010... attendance at Zable Stadium was listed as 8,243.
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 04 December 2010 17:57