Eagles Win Another OT Thriller in Record-Setting Fashion
The two previous longest games both went double-overtime (loss in 2006 to Appalachian State and loss last year at Elon). Georgia Southern has now played seven overtime games in its last 21 contests, including a record four this season alone (3-1).
That win also marked the 250th in Georgia Southern program history (250-92-1 in 27 years).
Late in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs drove deep into GS territory setting up for a potential game-winning field goal. However, when Jordan Panter missed from 32 yards (the team’s fourth missed FG)
During the decisive third OT, Terrell Dallas rushed for 16 yards on first down, then another five to set up 2nd-and-goal from the four. The Eagle defense held firm along the line, keeping quarterback Bart Blanchard out of the endzone on two consecutive rushes. Facing 4th-and-goal from the one, the Bulldogs decided to go for a 19-yard FG converted by Sam Keeler.
Antonio Henton rushed for five yards, then connected with Michael McIntosh for seven yards and a first down. True-freshman Adam Urbano ran for six yards then redshirt-freshman Zeke Rozier gained four yards and another first down at the three. On the very next play Urbano dove up the middle and scored, capping the come-from-behind win.
“I really thought that early on our defense played outstanding and of course in overtime they were wore out. The bad things was that offensively we couldn’t ever get in any rhythm and that really hurt us. We had opportunities to score, put points on the board and get us a comfortable win very early on but could not do it,” said head coach Chris Hatcher. “To Citadel’s credit I think they are one of the best coached teams in the SoCon. They came out in a defense they hadn’t run all year and so it took us a little while to adjust.”
During the first OT, Citadel had first possession and needed three plays for
In the second OT, Henton and Raja Andrews connected on the first play for a 25-yard score. That reception was the 10th in the game by the senior wide receiver, not only a career-high total but one that also broke the program’s single-game record. The Citadel scored when Blanchard found Taylor Cornett for a 2-yard score, tying the game at 38-all.
Once again the Eagles found themselves down early in the game due to a miscue. The Eagles held The Citadel on its opening drive but the punt was downed on the five. Facing 3rd-and-long from the five, Henton went back to pass but Tolu Akindele broke through the line and recorded a safety. That was the first time an opponent recorded a safety since
Two plays later Blanchard connected with Andre Roberts on a screen pass. Thanks to two blocks on the corner, Roberts was able to go 52 yards for a touchdown, making it 9-0 with 9:45 remaining in the first quarter.
The turnover bug hit GS again on the ensuing drive as Henton fumbled in Citadel territory, however, was able to escape without any harm when a bad snap led to Keeler’s missed field goal from 37 yards.
GS converted on 4th-and-inches late in the first quarter but was flagged for holding. That brought on the punt team. Charlie Edwards received a clean snap, but Mel Capers blocked his third punt of the year, and The Citadel eventually recovered on the Eagles 11. An 8-yard tackle for a loss, holding penalty and two incomplete passes forced a field goal attempt from 45 yards but Dakota Walker broke through the line for his first career blocked kick.
In the second
Later in the quarter the Bulldogs drove down the field and scored when Roberts scored from five yards out to make it 16-7.
Keeler missed from 40 yards out at the end of the half to keep it 16-14.
Andrews started the second half with a career-long 66 yard kickoff return, down to the 19. Henton took over and three rushes later scored from a yard out as the Eagles took a 21-16 lead.
Panter missed a 27-yard field goal on the ensuing drive, but the Eagles were flagged for leaping which gave the Bulldogs 1st-and-goal on the five. Blanchard needed three plays but eventually completed a TD pass to Alex Sellars, then converted the 2-point conversion on a pass to Cornett to go ahead 24-21.
With 3:42 left in the game, Mora hit a 37-yard field goal which tied the score at 24-all.
“We got down early in the game and of course there was no panic. Nine points isn’t anything to us right now. All in all you have to be proud of this team. They keep fighting through adversity each and every week, and they just find a way to win,” said Hatcher. “It’s always nice to win big but if you know you’re going to win those close ones it builds a lot of confidence and you can’t say enough about the character of our team.”
Andrews now holds the
He finished with 102 yards in the game, the fourth time this season and career he reached the century mark. Andrews now holds sole possession of both the season and career records in that category as well. Those 102 yards push his season total to 677, setting another season record for most reception yards (Chris Johnson had 673 in 2000).
Andrews’ two touchdown receptions tied a career-high. He is now tied for eighth-most TD receptions in a season (4) and holds sixth place all-time (8).
Henton completed 21-of-35 passes for 261 yards and a career-high three touchdowns passes. That yardage marked the fourth time this year the sophomore quarterback threw for at least 200 yards in a game, tying him with Tracy Ham (1984) for most 200-yard games in a season.
He also added 43 yards on the ground and scored a TD.
Urbano matched a personal-high scoring twice while gaining 37 yards on eight carries. McIntosh caught a career-high four passes totaling 71 yards.
Chris Covington paced the defense with a game-high 12 tackles, including 3.0 for a loss. Quentin Taylor registered nine tackles.
The Eagles were able to win their second straight and third of their last four despite going 0-for-8 on third down conversions. The Eagles rolled up 350 yards of offense compared to The Citadel’s 497.
Blanchard threw for 358 yards, the fifth-best passing performance in Citadel history and 12th-most by a
Roberts caught nine passes for 165 yards (fourth-highest total in Bulldog history) and Scott Flanagan recorded eight receptions totaling 105 yards. Asheton
Defensively Terrence Reese and Kevin McCaskill had nine tackles apiece.
The Eagles travel back to Paulson Stadium next Saturday (Nov. 8) for the regular season home finale against Samford. Kickoff, which also highlights Homecoming Weekend festivities, is slated for 12 noon.
GAME NOTES: Senior center Lewis Brooks made his first collegiate start...
- Category: Football
- Published on Saturday, 01 November 2008 00:22