Eagles fall short in comeback rally

Hayden Boudreaux

In what was nearly one of the greatest Georgia Southern comebacks in recent memory, the Eagles came back from a 35-10 deficit to be defeated by the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 42-38.


The Yellow Jackets came out of the gates swinging, scoring on a three play drive made possible by a 63 yard run on the first offensive play of the game. A three and out drive showed the Eagles had no answer to the quick start. Georgia Tech then went on a 10 play 84 yard scoring drive to go up by two scores. The Eagles managed to find life on their next possession on a third and long when sophomore running back Matthew Brieda took off for a 69 yard touchdown run.

Again the Eagle defense could not hold the Yellow Jacket offense, eating up the rest of the first quarter. They ended the drive with their third touchdown of the day to go up 21-7. The Eagles could not duplicate their prior performance and gave the ball back to Georgia Tech whom made use of it, driving the ball down the field again and scoring on a quarterback dive on fourth and goal from the one yard line.

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Ellison did not return to the field, instead sophomore Favian Upshaw took the field. Upshaw completed a deep pass to senior receiver Zach Walker setting up a field goal from junior kicker Alex Hanks, making it 28-10 Georgia Tech.

With three minutes left in the half the Eagles forced a third and eight. A controversial pass and catch on the sideline gave Tech a first down at midfield. The play set up a 57 yard touchdown pass for the Yellow Jackets with under two minutes in the half, 35-10.

Ellison came back on the field at quarterback but couldn’t get the job done. After a stuffed run, a dropped pass, and a sack they were forced to punt with 1:14 left in the half. The Yellow Jackets moved the ball on a few plays but punted back to Georgia Southern. The half ended with Eagle Head coach Willie Fritz running out the clock.


The Eagles opened up the second half with the ball and Brieda grinded out two runs totaling for 19 yards. After marching down the field Ellison pulled off a 32 yard run on fourth and one. Georgia Tech were forced to a three and out and the Eagles regained possession. Ellison carried the ball on a 38 yard scamper to set up a 42 yard pass to Kentrellis showers at the two yard line. Brieda pushed through the pile for a Georgia Southern touchdown, 35-24.

When the Eagles regained the ball Ellison aired it out once again for a 68 yard touchdown pass to junior receiver junior BJ Johnson, followed by a failed two-point conversion to put the Eagles within a score, 30-35. The game would move into the fourth quarter with the Yellow Jackets on a second down and 20.

A defensive stand and a punt gave the Eagles the ball at their own six yard line with 14:00 left in the game. Senior running back Devin Scott dug them out of the hole with a 25 yard carry. Ellison then took off on third and five with a heroic 25 yard run. Ellison then flicked a pass to Brieda to get to the 11 yard line. Redshirt freshman L.A. Ramsby took the ball into the endzone to put the Eagles on top. Up by only one point Coach Fritz elected to go for a two point conversion. Ellison rocketed a pass to Johnson in the corner of the endzone, 38-35 Georgia Southern.

The Eagles regained control of the ball after a punt. On a third and long Upshaw completed a pass to Showers near midfield. On the next third down Upshaw lobbed a pass to Brieda on a flare route to pick up a first down at the 50 yard line. Then Coach Fritz began grinding out the clock with short but effective runs.

On a run to the left Upshaw tried pitching the ball but it was deflected and jumped on by a Yellow Jacket. After a long review the officials awarded Georgia Tech the football. They began driving down the field and eating up clock at the same time. With time winding down the Georgia tech quarterback rolled to his right and barely evaded senior linebacker Edwin Jackson before sending a pass to his receiver who broke away from a tackle and walked into the endzone, 41-38 Yellow Jackets.

The Eagles had twenty seconds left to make something happen. Upshaw took the helm at quarterback and scrambled away from pressure to complete a 14 yard pass. The second pass was deflected by the Yellow Jackets, leaving only five seconds on the clock. The final Hail Mary pass fell incomplete at the fifteen yard line, 42-38 Eagles.