Eagles defeat the Aggies, 22-19

Hayden Boudreaux

It would be the final road game of a four-game stretch for the Eagles as they faced off in Las Cruces against the New Mexico State Aggies. After a rough three quarters, Georgia Southern was able to snap their three-game losing streak after winning, 22-19.

The Eagles opened the game on offense with Ellison picking up a first down in a third and long situation on a pass to Williams. On the next third down Ellison hit B.J Johnson in the middle of the field to move the chains again. The drive would end with a 25=yard field goal from Younghoe Koo to put the Eagles up 3-0. The first Aggie drive would end in a three and out to set a great tone for Georgia Southern. After a huge 58-yard run from Ellison, a throw to the end zone would result in an interception for New Mexico State. The Eagles would keep the Aggie offense on their own side of the field and force another point. When the offense took the field again, freshman quarterback Shuman had taken the field for the first time. Shuman hooked up for two crucial first down passes to put his team into the red zone to set up another field goal from Koo.

The Aggies took the next drive and established themselves on offense. They worked down the field through the air and on the ground to pick up a short touchdown pass. A failed extra point kept the game tied, 6-6. Ellison checked back into the game and picked up a big run, but a sack would end the drive around midfield. What followed was a 63-yard drive that allowed the Aggies to take a three-point lead on a short field goal. Shuman took the field again for the Eagles on the next drive. A 20-yard run from Fields would be followed by a pass from Shuman that was tipped at the line and intercepted at midfield. The defense was able to hold the Aggies and force a punt with the short field. New Mexico State held the Eagles as well and got the ball back after a punt. They marched down the field as time begin to tick down in the half. The Eagle defense came up big and forced a fourth down, which they stuffed to help end the half.

Coming out of half time, the Aggies were firing on all cylinders. The Eagle defense couldn’t slow them down and after three minutes they were backed into the red zone. Then, they dug in their heels and forced another field goal from New Mexico State. The next drive would open in disaster as Ellison would get clobbered from behind and lose the football, giving the Aggies possession in the red zone. The Eagle defense would hold again and a missed field goal would result in no points. Shuman would check back into the game on the next drive but it would go for a three and out. The Aggies would lose the ball on a fumble in the next drive to give the Eagles a huge break. Ellison took the field and worked into the red zone before getting hit hard again and having to leave the game. Ellison would re-enter the game but would not be able to get the ball into the end zone and they settled with a 31-yard field goal from Koo. In a gutsy call, the kickoff team managed to execute a surprise onside kick and recover, but an offside penalty would negate the Eagle recovery. When they re-kicked, the return man fumbled the ball into the hands of the Eagles who regained possession in the red zone.

Breida would open the fourth quarter with a receiving touchdown from Ellison to put his team up on top, 15-12. The Aggies would shoot themselves in the foot again as they couldn’t move the sticks on their next drive and the Eagles were able to block a punt. On third and long Ellison flipped a screen pass to Field who took the ball 40-yards into the end zone to go ahead, 22-12. With about half of the fourth quarter remaining, Eagle defensive back Boone came up big with an interception to halt the Aggie march downfield. Ellison and Shuman were tasked with running down the clock and managed to shave four minutes off the time. A failed fourth down conversion attempt gave the Aggies the ball with just over two minutes to play. They took five plays to get into the end zone to pull themselves within three points of the Eagles. The onside kick from the Aggies would be recovered by Georgia Southern who would hold on to win.