Eagles' unlikely playoff run ends

Eagles' unlikely playoff run ends

NEWARK, Del. --- It was hardly by mistake that Georgia Southern made its best run in years and advanced to the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision.


But mistakes doomed the Eagles on Saturday and they will not be playing for a seventh national championship.

Georgia Southern lost four fumbles and suffered a late interception and lost to Delaware 27-10 at Delaware Stadium.

The Blue Hens (12-2) will play Eastern Washington for the title on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas.

The Eagles, picked to finish seventh in the nine-team Southern Conference during the preseason, ended their season with a 10-5 record.

"Certainly, it could've been different if we didn't have the five turnovers," said Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken.

The Eagles had committed only five turnovers in their previous three playoff games this season.

Georgia Southern had won six in a row and was hoping for its first title appearance since winning the championship in 2000.

Statistically, the Eagles were almost on even terms with Delaware. Georgia Southern gained 310 yards; the Blue Hens had 316.

"They have a tendency to fumble a lot with that offense," said Delaware linebacker Paul Worrilow, who forced two fumbles. "We took advantage of that."

And the Hens did enough offensively while leading from start to finish. Quarterback Pat Devlin, a Penn State transfer, threw for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Mark Schenauer and Phillip Thaxton. Running back David Hayes added a score on a 7-yard run.

Kicker Mike Perry booted field goals of 21 and 20 yards.

Delaware running back Andrew Pierce had 121 of his game-high 186 rushing yards in the second half.

Georgia Southern didn't get on the scoreboard until Adrian Mora kicked a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter after the Eagles trailed 10-0.

KEY STAT: Georgia Southern could not hold on to the ball -- fumbling five times and losing four. The Eagles were also intercepted, while Delaware had no turnovers.


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