Eagles defense, Tyler Bass hunker down in gritty 15-13 win over Texas State

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  • The Eagles held their helmets high for the Georgia Southern alma mater. 

  • Redshirt-junior kicker Tyler Bass gets congratulated by head coach Chad Lunsford after making a field goal against South Alabama. Bass had two field goals in the 15-13 win over Texas State.

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Ryan Kostensky

Georgia Southern narrowly edged Texas State 15-13 but improves to 5-1 and remains undefeated within the conference.

The Eagles relied on their defense throughout the duration of the game, but the biggest play, perhaps, took place on the first drive of the game.

After driving the ball all the way to the one-yard line, TSU faced a fourth and goal with inches to go. It was Chris Harris Jr., sophomore inside linebacker, who busted through the line and stopped the Bobcats in their tracks, forcing a turnover on downs.

GS and TSU were tied at the end of the first quarter, with the teams trading punts, but Wesley Fields, senior running back, scampered in for a five-yard score in the beginning moments of the second quarter.

Both offenses continued to sputter around in the second quarter, but the GS defense continued to be stellar, forcing punt after punt, keeping the score 7-0 in favor of the Eagles.

Midway through the second quarter, TSU would take over at their own 40-yard line with prime field position and an opportunity to tie the game. They also got help from the GS defense. Deshon Cooper, redshirt-senior defensive end, came around the line almost unblocked and tackled the Bobcat quarterback.

The officials threw the flag, and with replay confirmation, Cooper was ejected from the game. The defense would force a punt later on in the drive and keep TSU scoreless.

With less than three minutes left, senior safety Joshua Moon brought in his first interception of the season, nearly returning it to pay dirt, but he was tackled short. GS would be unable to capitalize with a touchdown, but they trotted out the redshirt-junior kicker Tyler Bass, who would give the Eagles a 10-0 advantage.

GS received the ball after the half and failed to score as the offense appeared to continue to have problems, but just as it was the story in the first half, the defense came to shine in the second half. Just a few drives later, Raymand Johnson III, sophomore defensive end, came up with one of the plays of the night when he sacked the Bobcat quarterback inside the end zone for a safety, giving GS a 12-0 lead.

The Eagles had a little bit of an offensive sighting when they got into field goal range during the ensuing possession. Needing a 43-yard field goal to extend the lead to 15, Tyler Bass came out and drilled it, extending the lead to 15.

The fourth quarter got wild.

After a quarterback change for TSU, the Bobcat offense came to life, scoring on GS, making what was a comfortable two-score lead into just one, 15-7.

The GS woes continued, even losing Shai Werts due to injury for a few series, which gave TSU multiple opportunities to come back.

The would-be nail in the coffin for the Bobcats came in the final few minutes of the game when GS stopped TSU on fourth down, but a huge defensive pass interference penalty by Moon gave TSU a chance. TSU would score on the very next play, go for two and fail on the conversion, making it 15-13 GS.

TSU failed to recover to onside kick at the end of the game, and as a result, GS left the game 3-0 in conference.

GS returns to action next Saturday when they travel to New Mexico State for their final non-conference bout. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. Eastern time.

Ryan Kostensky, The George-Anne Sports Reporter, gasports@georgiasouthern.edu