Arkansas State defeats Georgia Southern 27-26
Five turnovers. Two dopey blocks in the back. Some puzzling play calling. The Red Wolves didn’t care. When A-State was on its last down and needed 16 yards, Justice Hansen didn’t care. He ran for 17. When Omar Bayless had a Georgia Southern hand in his face in the end zone, he didn’t care. He just grabbed the pill from out of the damn sky and scored the winning touchdown.
“These guys just don’t quit,” said Coach Anderson to the ESPN2 crew.
Georgia Southern force five turnovers, three in the first quarter.
Warren Wand dropped it thrice and lost it twice. Justice Hansen fumbled and was picked. Cameron Echols-Luper muffed a punt so bad it nearly set the entire game of football 100 years. So? The Red Wolves defense, which looked less-than-mediocre all season long, didn’t produce a single turnover, but constantly forced three-and-outs on the Eagles stout rushing D.
The Red Wolves ran the ball like Eagles
If you asked anyone after the game which team had 343 yards on the ground, and which had 162, you’d bet good money on the Eagles. But you’d be wrong. Warren Wand (140-yds) and Johnston White (126-yds) led the attack, but it was Hansen’s 26 and 17 yarders (the latter assisted by a tremendous block delivered by Echols-Luper) that yanked victory from the butt-cheeks of defeat this night. Incredible.
Two incredible TD passes sealed the victory
Hansen passed for a ho-hum 182 yards, and gave up an ugly pick. But man, his receivers worked end zone magic on Wednesday night, starting with a sweet back of the goal pass to Canadian giant Justin McInnis.
But the drama reached its shrieking climax 59 minutes and 51 seconds into the game, when Hansen, down 26-20, found Omar Bayless in corner of the end zone, completely blanketed by Eagles defense.
Holy hell! Did that just happen? Is this real? Referee confirmed it after replay. JD Houston nailed the XP, and the banged up Georgia Southern Eagles left without the Sun Belt Sheriff’s badge.
Stats and Stuff
Georgia Southern’s Kevin Ellison passed for an uncharacteristic 203 yards and a score (he had passed for a total of just over 400 for the entire season).
The Eagles converted only 3 of 15 3rd down opportunities. The Red Wolves ranked near the bottom of the nation for defending third down.
Eight Red Wolves collected a pass, led by Kendall Sanders 52 yards, including a 4th down grab that put the Red Wolves on the ten for the final drive.
Red Wolves are 1-4, and 1-0 in conference play. The Eagles drop to 3-2, 2-1 in conference.