Eagles Roll Over Western Carolina
Senior quarterback Jayson Foster set a
Raja Andrews also put his name in the record book when he returned a 49-yard punt for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. He became the 12th Eagle all-time to record a TD off a punt return. But the Eagles’ defense, a game removed from allowing 45 points, set the tone early on and throughout the game.
Overall Western (1-4, 0-1) rushed for 27 yards, 19 coming on the last play of the game by quarterback Adam Hearns, which is the seventh-lowest total allowed in program history and fewest since
The defense held again and the offense started on its own 31. Foster completed a 27-yard pass to Chris Teal on the first play. It was the first career reception for the true-freshman. Later on 3rd-and-2 from the Western 34, Foster dropped back to pass but raced to the left corner. A downfield block by Teal sprung the senior quarterback for a touchdown and 10-0 lead.
A key stretch in the second quarter broke the game open as Western fumbled the ball away on three consecutive plays and the Eagles put 17 points on the scoreboard.
At the start of the second quarter Dakota Walker forced quarterback Todd Spitzer to fumble, which was recovered by Larry Beard and the Eagles had 1st-and-10 from the Catamount 38. The Eagles got inside the redzone again and took a 13-0 lead thanks to Hartley’s 27-yard field goal.
The defense again quickly forced another turnover. Marcus Brown caught Spitzer’s pass but Brandon Jackson forced a fumble and Branden Daniel recovered. Foster completed a key 3rd-and-11 pass to Lynon Jefferson covering 31 yards. It was the first reception for the senior wide receiver since the
For the third straight possession Western fumbled on its first play when running back Mike Malone coughed up the ball and Beard recovered his second fumble of the game. That turnover led to Teal’s 3-yard touchdown run, the first rushing TD of his career. Hartley’s extra point made it 27-0.
The Catamounts got the ball with 66 seconds left and drove down the field. Spitzer found Eddie Cohen for a 25-yard reception and the senior would have scored had it not been for Chris Covington and Ronnie Wiggins stopping him at the one. On the last play of the half and the ball inches away from the goal line, Willie Harper was stopped by Covington and company as the defense kept the first half shutout alive.
Hartley nailed a season-long 33-yard field goal as the Eagles ate up nearly seven minutes on their opening drive of the third quarter, making it 30-0.
Western got on the scoreboard late in the third when Hearns connected with Cohen on a 52-yard touchdown.
On the next drive Foster found Michael McIntosh for a 29-yard touchdown pass. After Jonathan Loving recovered Western’s fourth fumble of the game, Billy Lowe completed a 2-yard touchdown pass to Steve Cundari to put the Eagles ahead 44-7. Andrews’ punt return with 10:18 left in the game gave the Eagles 50 points, their highest scoring output since pinning 63 points on
Hearns and Cohen connected for touchdowns of 48 and 13 yards for the final margin.
Head coach Chris Hatcher was pleased on how his team bounced back Saturday.
“I’m very pleased with our effort. Of course in the first half we came out firing on all cylinders and all three phases of the game. I’m real proud to see our guys do that... We had a great week of practice and it came out and showed,” said Hatcher. “We pretty much dominated from the get-go. It got a little sloppy there in the fourth quarter, but we were playing everybody that was eligible to play. That may have been the longest fourth quarter that I have ever been associated with in my entire life.”
“I was really proud of Chris Teal; he seems to be getting better and better each and every game. It’s kind of bad, you’ve got your starter in then (fourth quarter), but he’s the only running back we had left that was healthy,” said Hatcher. “Jayson [Foster] managed the game well, we threw the ball well, and we caught the ball well. And more importantly we had a short field to work with most of the night because our defense forced a lot of turnovers.”
Hearns completed 10-of-26 passes for 213 yards and three TDs. Cohen had a career day, making eight catches for 212 yards while accounting for all three TDs.
Quinton Phillips recorded a game- and career-high 19 tackles for the Catamounts.
Western returns home to face Elon next Saturday at 6 p.m. Georgia Southern concludes its three-game homestand next Saturday (Oct. 6), a non-conference game against
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 29 September 2007 00:08