Eagles take home victory over South Alabama

Hayden Boudreaux

Georgia Southern took a road trip west to Mobile to take on a South Alabama team that was riding high. While the Eagles were beating down Savannah State, the Jaguars took down a Mississippi State team that had hopes of making noise in the SEC. Despite a close start, the Eagles were able to succeed on the ground and through the air to pick up their second victory of the season, 24-9.

The Jaguars came out determined to attack the Eagle secondary. A couple quick passes picked up three first downs and put them deep in Georgia Southern territory. The defense bent but didn’t break and held the offense to just a field goal. Once the Eagles took the ball back, they began to march down the field with great efficiency, running on nearly every play and picked up four first downs. Facing a third and long, Favian Upshaw dumped off a pass under tremendous pressure to Wesley Fields to pick up the first and get inside the 20-yard line. South Alabama was unable to move the ball on their next drive and were forced to punt. A Georgia Southern bounce gave the Eagles excellent field position across midfield. Upshaw checked back into the game after Ellison took a hit on the sideline. Upshaw battled the Eagles inside the five-yard line where L.A. Ramsby checked in and boomed into the endzone for the first Georgia Southern touchdown. The next drive would be stalled by great play in the Eagle secondary and the first quarter would end with the Jaguars trailing, 10-3.

Starting the second quarter, Upshaw and his offense were forced to begin the drive at their own one-yard line. Favian weaved around the defense to dig his offense out to the 17-yard line. The rushing attack continued to push into Jaguar territory and wear away at the defensive front. The drive would be stalled after advancing across midfield and South Alabama would take over. They took to the air immediately and worked down the field with a couple passes into Eagle territory. They were set up inside the five-yard line with a fresh set of downs when the Eagles were able to stall them on three consecutive plays to force a short field goal. The Eagles could have run down the minute off the clock to end the half but Coach Summers elected to keep the offense going forward. Upshaw led his offense with his legs and his arm down to the five-yard line with only ten seconds left. Upshaw took a run up the middle and was downed, the clock would run out before the Eagles could call a timeout and they would leave the field with no new points.

The Eagles started the second half with the ball and were able to string together a solid drive. Ellison checked back into the game but seemed to be nursing his arm, leaving after a hit on a short run play. On the ninth play of the drive, Wesley Fields pranced into the end zone for his first score of the night and put the Eagles up on top, 17-6. South Alabama didn’t roll over quite yet, as on their next drive they marched across midfield, putting themselves in scoring position again. They were unable to convert on a fourth and short and turned the ball back over to the Eagles. On third and ten of the ensuing possession, Upshaw fired a pass deep downfield to Crockett who went up and over a defender to pull down the first down catch. Later on the drive, Upshaw dropped back facing heavy pressure and was hit. The hit jarred the ball loose and the Jaguars scooped up the ball and brought it down to the 25-yard line. The defense was able to keep the momentum shift to a minimum and stop the Jaguars on fourth down. Ellison was back into the game to start the next drive for the Eagles and his arm appeared to be fine. He took an option around the outside and a mixture of great running and even better blocking allowed him to walk into the end zone for his first touchdown.

South Alabama failed to get anything out of their next drive and were forced to give the ball back to the Eagles. After a couple first downs with Upshaw at the helm, a failed fourth down attempt gave the Jaguars possession at the Eagle 40-yard line. A couple quick passes advanced the Jaguars into the redzone but the Eagles were able to keep them out of the end zone. The field goal brought South Alabama within two score, 24-9. The next drive featured Ellison back in the lineup with 7:35 remaining in the contest. A few short plays resulted in the first punt of the night for Georgia Southern with just under six minutes to play. The Jaguars were faced with a fourth down and two yards to go when the Eagles jumped offside and allowed a first down, the 10th penalty of the night for Georgia Southern. On the next fourth down, the Jaguars wouldn’t get so lucky. The Eagles rushed four defenders on fourth and five and three of the four linemen brought down the Jaguars quarterback for the sack, regaining possession. With the clock winding down South Alabama was able to force a punt and get the ball back with just over a minute remaining. They fought down inside the five yard line but redshirt freshman corner Liptrot went up and grabbed his first interception to seal the game, 24-9.