Eagles' homecoming lacks festive feeling

STATESBORO, Ga. --- A time for celebration became a time to commiserate for a Georgia Southern homecoming crowd of 17,922 at Paulson Stadium.


Georgia Southern fell behind by 24 points during the first 23 minutes and lost to rival Furman, 30-22, in a game not nearly as close as the final score.

Fans swarmed the exits early in the third quarter. Two remaining in attendance broke out signs that read, "Fire Sam Baker" and "Bring Back The Triple Option."

No one could do anything about Furman's players who chanted, "Whose House? Our House" during a loud locker room celebration.

The Eagles (4-6, 3-4 Southern Conference) lost their third game in a row and assured themselves of only the third losing season since restarting the program in 1982.

Furman (5-5, 4-3) had problems of its own heading to the final games of the season. But Saturday, quarterback Jordan Sorrells threw for 244 yards and a touchdown, and receiver Adam Mims caught seven passes for 139 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles had touchdown drives of 93 and 80 yards during the final six minutes and 46 seconds to close a 30-7 deficit. The second fourth-quarter touchdown -- a 16-yard pass from Kyle Collins to Johnathan Bryant -- finished the scoring with one second remaining.

Georgia Southern coach Chris Hatcher tried to shake things up by starting Kyle Collins at quarterback. Collins had moderate success, throwing for 124 yards and a touchdown and running for a team-high 53 yards.

But the Eagles, who entered the game averaging just 18.9 points a game, didn't score in the first half.

Lee Chapple, Georgia Southern's starting quarterback during the first nine games, ran for a touchdown and caught a touchdown pass while sharing time with Collins in the second half.

The Eagles' night was bad right from the start. Furman displayed precision passing during touchdown drives of 84 and 80 yards, and added 10 points on Georgia Southern miscues to take a 24-0 lead at halftime.

Sorrells completed all six passes and had a key 8-yard scramble on a third-and-four situation during the game's opening march. Tersoo Uhaa completed the possession with a 16-yard touchdown run.

Five plays into Georgia Southern's first possession, cornerback Ryan Steed picked off Collins' sidelines throw and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.

Furman stretched its lead to 21-0 when Mims outraced the Eagles' secondary across the field for a 29-yard touchdown reception six plays into the second quarter.

On the Eagles' next possession, punter Charlie Edwards could not handle a low snap and was dumped for a 10-yard loss at the Georgia Southern 29.

Furman converted the mistake into a field goal for a 24-0 lead at halftime.


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