Senior Day Superiority

The seniors line up for a photo after the 52-0 victory over South Alabama at Paulson Stadium.

Thomas Jilk

Georgia Southern football captured its first win of the season as the Eagles steamrolled South Alabama, 52-0, at Paulson Stadium on Senior Day.

The win moved the Eagles to 1-9 on the season and gave Chad Lunsford his first win – a dominant one – as the head coach at GS.

“This is the first game where we’ve put it all together in all three phases,” Lunsford said. “They’ve been working toward it.”

High-flying start

GS senior running back L.A. Ramsby, a former high school quarterback, took the Eagles’ first offensive snap and picked up 11 yards. Seven plays later, he pounded the ball into the end zone from two yards out.

Clearly, Ramsby wanted to leave Paulson Stadium after his last home game knowing he did all he could do to help his team.

“Coming in here on Senior Night and being able to do what I did today feels great, especially in front my family,” Ramsby said.

Two GS drives later, Ramsby took a direct snap keeper into the end zone from eight yards out on 1st and goal after the Jaguars clumsily fumbled deep in their own territory. Ramsby said after the game that the GS offensive line was “magnificent.”

On his second touchdown run, Ramsby ran into defenders, broke two tackles, ran backwards, then sideways, then upfield dodging the entire USA defense and eventually scampering into the end zone as the Eagle fanbase lost its collective mind.

Meanwhile, the GS defense stood strong against the Jaguars’ attack. GS sophomore cornerback Kindle Vildor got a crushing sack that cost USA yardage and eventually forced a punt.

The Eagles took advantage and drove down the field, capping the drive with an 8-yard rushing touchdown by junior Wesley Fields. The Eagles were up 21-0 after the first quarter.

Early in the second, quarterback Shai Werts capped an 80-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for a touchdown. Up 28-0, the Eagles did not look like an 0-9 team.

First half dominance

South Alabama’s top-50 ranked rushing defense was absolutely gashed. GS picked up 211 rushing yards in the first half, only allowing 11 to USA. The Eagles gained 361 total yards and only gave up 72 in the half. The Eagles averaged 5 yards per carry, and held the Jaguars to a 1.6-yard average.

GS sophomore Monquavion Brinson broke up three passes in the half, while Vildor had a sack and a breakup as well. Werts and Brown spearheaded the passing attack with 102 and 48 yards, respectively, going 5-of-10 passing collectively in the half.

Finishing the job

Early in the third quarter, Werts broke loose for a 40-yard run that put GS in the red zone and Werts over 100 rushing yards for the fourth time in his career. Two plays later, Werts hit junior receiver Malik Henry on the 1-yard line, and Henry turned and lunged for the pylon.

After a official review, it was ruled a touchdown and GS went up 38-0 after about four minutes had gone by in the second half.

Junior quarterback Kado Brown pulled back with about 7 minutes left in the third and hit freshman receiver Darion Anderson for a 40-yard pass. Two plays later, Fields caught a 25-yard touchdown from Brown, and it was 45-0 Eagles.

Redshirt senior running back Demarcus Godfrey scored his first career touchdown early in the fourth quarter from one yard out to make the score 52-0.

GS players and Lunsford acknowledged after the game that avoiding critical self-inflicted wounds was a key to victory.

“The Eagles didn’t beat the Eagles tonight, and it was a great game,” senior linebacker Chris DeLaRosa said. “We knew how good we could be.”

Eye-popping statistics

GS gained 583 yards of total offense, 356 rushing and 227 passing. The Eagle defense held USA to less than four yards per play.

Of the seven GS touchdowns, five were rushing and two passing. Werts finished with 113 yards rushing on 15 carries and a touchdown and 107 passing yards and a touchdown, going 7-of-13 through the air.

After his team’s first win, Lunsford downplayed the suddenness of the 52-0 blowout win. 

“There has been a progress from Troy, Georgia State, App to this one,” Lunsford said. 

Next Up

The Eagles will take momentum to Lafayette, Louisiana where they will take on Louisiana next Saturday.