by Hunter Dawkins
Everything went right for the South Alabama Jaguars until the end against the Georgia Southern Eagles, as momentum shifted in the Sun Belt Conference game at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile. The Jaguars (1-5, 0-2) had the lead for a majority of the game prior to the Eagles (2-3, 1-1) scoring a touchdown with 20 seconds left to force extra time, forcing a fumble in the second overtime, and Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass putting it between the uprights for a 20-17 win.
“I had told them this week that they practiced like champions,” said South Alabama Coach Steve Campbell. “I thought our defensive line controlled the line of scrimmage, but offensively we couldn’t generate a running game and that was the difference.”
The Eagles out-gained the Jags by a 388-247 margin, picking up 310 of those yards on the ground while holding the ball for nearly 41 minutes. However, the South Alabama defense kept the Eagles off the scoreboard by blocking multiple field goal attempts from Georgia Southern and five tackles for loss; including Gulfport native Gi’Narious Johnson with a third down sack.
Contributions from the line of scrimmage Harrison Central Alum, Jordon Beaton and Jacob Shoemaker, helped carry the load, but not enough for the Jaguars. Beaton had two tackles from his nose guard position while Shoemaker, along with the rest of the South Alabama offensive line, limited the Eagles to one sack.
Mississippi Gulf Coast natives Tony Brown and Connor Estes both participated on special teams for South Alabama. The South Alabama Jaguars are off until Wednesday, Oct. 16, when they will visit Troy in a match-up that will kick off at 7 p.m. (CDT) and be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.
(Photos by Brian Lamar)