QUICK HITS: GS earns first conference win in double overtime against South Alabama

Kaitlin Sells

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.

Top performers

Along with the rest of the defense, senior cornerback Kindle Vildor played a key part in the Eagle victory. Vildor logged two tackles on the night with one of those being a tackle for loss.  The senior also broke up two passes throughout the game. Vildor had ample coverage throughout the game and stopped multiple possible touchdown passes, playing a key role in minimizing USA scoring. 

Redshirt-sophomore running back Matt LaRoche started a fire streak for the Eagles when he had a 16-yard carry with just over four minutes left in the game, allowing for a first down. This play pushed the momentum for GS to 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.

Key stat

The Eagle offense came out flat in the third quarter, with a stagnant GS offense and a “puntapolooza” from both benches. 

It wasn’t until a big run from LaRoche late in the fourth quarter that the offense began to pick up momentum. In their last drive of the fourth quarter, the Eagles dominated the field for 65 yards in eight plays to score the last touchdown to send them to overtime.

Key play

The defense has definitely been a huge strength for the GS football team so far this season, pushing hard and finishing games now. In the first overtime drive by USA, senior nose tackle Ty Philips blocked a field goal, allowing for GS to take the game into double OT. Heading into double OT gave redshirt-senior Tyler Bass the chance to redeem himself for two previous missed field goals to win the game.

Notables 

It was proven tonight that a huge difference maker on the GS football team is in Wesley Kennedy III, and the Eagle offense missed the running back’s speed in the first four games of the season. Kennedy rushed for 52 yards as well as already adding a touchdown to his 2019 statistics. His touchdown put the Eagles in position to take the game into overtime.

Redshirt-junior quarterback Shai Werts has been back for two games for the Eagles since injury, and finally claimed a victory for GS. The redshirt-junior rushed for 102 yards and passed for 78 yards against USA, but fell victim to two sacks. Werts 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. 

With this win, the Eagles have broken their losing streak and now sit at a 1-1 conference record. GS now has 16 days to prepare for their next match up against Coastal Carolina at home.

Kaitlin Sells, The George-Anne Managing Sports Editor, [email protected]