Eagles fall in rivalry, 34-10

Hayden Boudreaux

Georgia Southern was back at home for the first time in over a month to play their archrival, the Appalachian State Mountaineers. Despite going into halftime with a tie game, the Mountaineers would go home with the victory, 34-10.

Eagle quarterback Kevin Ellison started off the Eagle offense in the first quarter. They were unable to pick up a first down after three straight run plays and were forced to punt to the Mountaineers. A quick pass picked up 13 yards for App State. On the next set of downs, App State’s quarterback Lamb threw a pass that was tipped and fell into the hands of Eagle defender Darius Jones for the interception. With help from a personal foul, the Eagles found themselves inside the ten-yard line on their second drive of the night. A bad snap over the head of L.A. Ramsby forced the Eagles to attempt a 32-yard field goal that was nailed by Younghoe Koo.  The Mountaineers opened their next drive by getting to the Eagle 30-yard line in three plays. A crucial fourth down was converted by App State to keep their drive alive. Later in the drive, the Mountaineers were faced with another fourth down from the four-yard line and this time they elected to kick a field goal. A bad snap was scooped up by Ukeme Eligwe and returned 90 yards for the score to put the Eagles on top 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The Mountaineers opened the second quarter with a three and out, then punted the ball back to the Eagles. App State’s next drive saw them work their way into Eagle territory but the defense held and forced them to punt without giving up any points. True Freshman Seth Shuman entered the game at quarterback for the Eagles to change things up for the offense. He started his drive with a 14-yard completion on third down to move the chains. The Mountaineers would make the most of their next drive, in five plays they would drive the length of the field and cap it off with a 14-yard touchdown run from Lamb. The lead was cut to just three with six minutes left in the first half. A penalty started the Eagle drive on their own nine-yard line. After punting the ball away, App State had the ball and threw deep down the Eagle sideline. The pass would be picked off by Eagle safety Jay Bowdry for his first career interception. Shuman came into the game for the Eagles again but his pass would be intercepted by the Mountaineers deep in Eagle territory. The Mountaineers would leave the field with a field goal. After a bizarre ending of the half which featured both teams having to be pulled out of the locker room on two separate occasions, the Eagles blocked a long field goal attempt to officially end the half.

App State opened the second half with the ball but would be forced to punt after picking up just one first down. Ellison and his offense took the field for their first drive of the half and faced similar results after being held to a three and out.  The Mountaineers had the ball again and passed midfield after two plays but were forced to punt it away after a bad snap put them back on their side of the field. A roughing the kicker penalty ended up giving App State 15 yards and a first down to reinvigorate their drive. Inside the red zone, the Eagles were able to stop App once again and force a 28-yard field goal. The kick gave the Mountaineers the lead with time winding down in the third quarter. Shuman came into the game for the Eagles. The freshman threw deep down the sideline but his pass was picked off for the second time in the game. The Mountaineers would take advantage and score on a 30-yard run to take a 20-10 lead. App State would force a three and out and get moving down the field again as the bell sounded on the third quarter.

The fourth quarter opened by continuing their drive into the red zone. The drive would end with a 12-yard option play for another score. Shuman was back into the game at quarterback for the Eagles and they had plenty of time to mount a comeback. The offense failed to pick up a first down and had to punt it away again. App State went to work again and crossed midfield on a big run. The Eagle defense forced a fourth down with the Mountaineer offense at the 32-yard line and they punted it away. Ellison took the field and completed a 19-yard pass. On the next play, he picked up a 13-yard run to keep the chains on the move. Unfortunately, Ellison’s next pass was picked off by the Mountaineers with six minutes left to play. App substituted in their backup quarterback on the next drive but they took to the ground with two big runs to get deep into Eagle territory. Another run from 20 yards out would result in another App State score. Shuman checked back into the game for the Eagles with little time left on the clock. He began hooking up with receivers to work the team down the field and into the red zone. Unfortunately, the offense would not be able to get another one into the end zone and the score would remain the same.