Eagles break two game losing streak with first conference win on the road

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  • Defensive end Raymond Johnson III (92) recovered a South Alabama fumble in double overtime, allowing for the Eagles to take possession and win the game.

Kaitlin Sells

MOBILE, AL– The Georgia Southern football team was able to break a two-game losing streak in a nail-biter of a game against South Alabama, winning 20-17 after taking the game into double overtime.

It was a slow game from the start, with the score going into the second half being 10-7 led by the Eagles. USA came out with somewhat of a fire in the third quarter and held GS to no scoring.

It wasn’t until redshirt-sophomore running back Matt LaRoche had a 16-yard carry with just over four minutes left in the game that the Eagles found their stride against the Jaguars. This play pushed the momentum for GS to go on a 65-yard drive and score a touchdown in order to tie up the game and send the match into overtime. Overall Laroche ran for 46 yards on the night, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.

During overtime nether teams scored on their first drive, as both kickers missed their field goals. Redshirt-senior kicker Tyler Bass missed two field goals on the night, but was able to redeem himself by scoring the game-winning field goal in double OT for the Eagles.

“Definitely happy about winning the football game,” Head Coach Chad Lunsford said. “Still got a lot of things to clean up as far as being able to score more points when we get down there in the red zone… I’m not going to downplay what our kids did tonight because they kept fighting, they kept battling.”

Redshirt-junior quarterback Shai Werts returned to the field for the second time this season since injury, and finally honed in a win for the Eagles- his first of the season. Werts ran for 102 yards and passed for 78 yards against USA, but fell victim to two sacks. He also completed nine passes on 17 attempts, but threw four passes that were nearly intercepted. It was noted tonight that the GS offense has the second worst passing rate in the nation. 

Another player who found success for the first time this season is junior running back Wesley Kennedy III. Kennedy finally found his way back to the gridiron after serving out his four-game academic suspension, and he came back with a vengeance. The junior ran for 52 yards as well as scoring the touchdown that allowed the Eagles to tie the game and send the two teams into overtime. 

With this win, GS was able to break their two-game losing streak and improve their conference record to 1-1. The Eagles don’t play for another 16 days as they face another bye week, giving them plenty of time to prepare for their next conference opponent in Coastal Carolina.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu