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Georgia Southern, Elon, Furman and The Citadel Post Wins
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 10/21/2007
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GSU quarterback Jayson Foster led the Eagles to a 38-35 win at Appalachian State
Courtesy: Georgia Southern University Athletics
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Football Recaps of October 20, 2007

 

GEORGIA SOUTHERN 38, APPALACHIAN STATE 35

BOONE, N.C. Despite 557 yards of total offense and a furious fourth-quarter rally, Appalachian State University’s 30-game home winning streak came to an end with a heartbreaking 38-35 loss to Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

No. 5 Appalachian (5-2, 2-2 SoCon) fell behind by two touchdowns just over two minutes into the game and trailed 38-20 with under eight minutes to play. On only his fourth play of the game, senior quarterback Trey Elder scored from on a 19-yard run to bring ASU within 11 points at 38-27.

The Mountaineers forced Georgia Southern to punt on its ensuing possession, but took over on their own nine yard line. However, On the strength of 58- and 21-yard passes from Armanti Edwards to Hans Batichon and Kevin Richardson, the Apps marched 91 yards in eight plays and 1:41, capped by a one-yard touchdown plunge by Devon Moore that cut the deficit to 38-33. Elder came back into the contest and completed a pass to Batichon for a two-point conversion that made it 38-35 with 2:02 left to play.

ASU stuffed GSU on three-straight plays and took all three of its timeouts to force the Eagles to punt again with 1:10 remaining on the clock. Dexter Jackson fielded the Daniel Jordan kick at the ASU 46 and returned it inside the GSU 20, seemingly setting up at least a game-tying field goal. However, the return was called back due to an illegal-block penalty and six plays later, Edwards came up a yard short on fourth-and-11 to end the ballgame.

Making only his third start of the year and first since Sept. 22, Edwards became the first quarterback in ASU history to rush for over 200 yards with 220 yards on 29 carries. The sophomore broke his own school record for rushing yards by a quarterback (172 last Nov. 25 versus Coastal Carolina) by 48 and also threw for 178 yards to match his career high with 398 yards of total offense (also set last season against CCU).

Edwards’ counterpart, Jayson Foster, was almost as spectacular for Georgia Southern. The senior lined up at three different positions (quarterback, running back and wide receiver) and finished the afternoon with 175 yards on 20 rushes, 41 yards on three receptions and 14 yards on 3-of-3 passing. GSU complemented the do-it-all Foster with a pure passer in Billy Lowe, who completed 8-of-11 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown in the victory.

With its first home loss since a 14-13 setback to Maine in the first round of the 2002 NCAA Division I-AA playoffs, Appalachian put itself in a precarious position to defend its back-to-back Southern Conference championships, as only one team with two conference losses (5-2 Furman in 1981) has even shared a SoCon title in the 85-year history of the league. However, there are no undefeated teams remaining in the SoCon this season following Wofford’s 24-13 loss to Elon on Saturday.

 

 

ELON 24, WOFFORD 13

SPARTANBURG, S.C. Wofford College was defeated 24-13 by Elon on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium. Wofford had touchdowns from Josh Collier and Michael Hobbs, but Elon was able to score three receiving touchdowns along with a field goal. The Terriers committed four turnovers in the game.

 

Wofford is now 6-2 on the season and are 3-1 in conference play. Elon is 5-2 overall and are also 3-1 in the Southern Conference.  Wofford was outgained 442 to 400 in total yards. Elon quarterback Scott Riddle was 41-of-51 for 343 yards passing and Terrell Hudgins and Bo Williamson both had 100+ receiving games. Wofford was led by Kevious Johnson with 129 yards rushing.

 

“We had our own issues this week,” said head coach Mike Ayers. “We did not get it done today. We had several opportunities in the game to take control, but we did not get it done. Offense, defense and kicking all had issues. Elon has a great offense and we had to work for everything we got against their defense.”

 

The Terriers had the ball first, but despite a 36-yard run by Kevious Johnson, were forced to punt. The Phoenix wasted little time on their first drive, going 94 yard in just eight plays. Terrell Hudgins capped the drive with a 34-yard touchdown reception from Scott Riddle.

 

Wofford was forced three-and-out on their next drive. Once again, the Phoenix offense was able to drive down the field. Scott Riddle found Michael Mayers for a nine-yard reception at 3:21 in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead.

 

After an onside kick attempt by Elon that was recovered by Wofford, the Terriers took advantage of the short field. On fourth-and-two, Dane Romero gained 26-yards for the first down. Then, on fourth down, Josh Collier kept the ball and scored on a ten-yard touchdown run. The drive was eight plays and went 53 yards to cut the Elon lead to 14-7.

 

Early in the second quarter, Wofford’s defense forced the Phoenix to punt. The Terriers were able to drive 80 yards, including a 25-yard reception by Fenn Allen and a fourth-down run by Josh Collier. The drive was capped by a three-yard run by Michael Hobbs. Pat Mugan missed the extra point, giving Elon a 14-13 edge.

 

After the kickoff, the Phoenix drove into Terriers’ territory, but Andrew Wilcox missed a 47-yard field goal attempt with 2:28 remaining in the half. Wofford gained a first down, but were forced to punt. After picking up two first downs, the Phoenix attempted a 38-yard field goal, but it was wide right as time expired.

 

In the second half, Elon had the ball first and the Terriers defense forced a punt. With Wofford back on offense, Kevious Johnson gained 29-yards before Daronce Daniels forced a fumble, which was recovered by the Phoenix.

 

The Terrier defense forced Elon three-and-out, but after gaining two first downs the Terriers were also forced to punt. Back on defense, the Terriers were led by Kevin Adleman with a pass break-up as Wofford forced a three-and-out.

 

After a three-and-out by Wofford, Elon was able to put together a drive that ended with a 35-yard line drive field goal by Andrew Wilcox with 42 seconds left in the third quarter.

 

Wofford picked up two quick first downs by Kevious Johnson and Justice Joslin. Josh Collier fumbled a lateral, which was recovered by Walker White of Elon to end the drive for the Terriers. However the Phoenix could not convert the turnover into point as Andrew Wilcox missed a 44-yard field goal wide left.

 

The Terriers again were able to move the ball, picking up a couple first downs. However the drive ended with a fumble that was recovered by Corey Weaver of Elon. The Phoenix were able to convert the turnover into points when Terrell Hudgins scored on a one-yard reception from Scott Riddle.

 

Following the touchdown, Wofford was able to gain one first down before turning the ball over on downs. The Terrier defense was able to force a three-and-out and Elon punted with 2:57 left in the game. Again, Wofford was able to gain a first down, but an interception by Chris Bland of Ben Widmyer sealed the game. Elon was able to run out the final two minutes of the game and leave with a 24-13 win.

 

 

 

FURMAN 28, CHATTANOOGA 22

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. --- Furman quarterback Renaldo Gray completed 14-of-23 pass attempts for 146 yards and two touchdowns and wideout Patrick Sprague caught five balls for 75 yards and a score as Furman (3-4, 1-2) defeated Chattanooga (2-5, 2-2) 28-22 in a Southern Conference football game at Finley Stadium Saturday afternoon.

 

After an 18-yard field goal by Chattanooga’s Spencer Nolen (Columbia, Tenn.) put the Mocs ahead 22-20 with 5:15 to play, the Paladins capitalized on a squib kick on the ensuing kickoff, taking the ball back to the UTC 48-yard line.

 

Six plays into the drive, and facing third-down-and-10, Gray found Sprague for a key 12-yard reception down to the Chattanooga 25-yard line. Three plays later, Gray struck again, this time on a 16-yard quarterback keeper down to the three-yard line. That set up a one-yard plunge by fullback Jerome Felton which put Furman on top, 26-22, with 1:25 to go. A successful two-point conversion pushed the margin to 28-22.

 

Chattanooga had a last series for a comeback attempt.  On the first play, quarterback Antonio Miller’s (Charlotte, N.C.) pass attempt was deflected and intercepted on the sideline by Furman cornerback Austin Holmes.

 

In the first half, Furman opened the scoring as senior kicker Scott Beckler converted on a 29-yard field goal at the 9:28 mark before Chattanooga knotted the score at 3-3 on a 43-yard field goal by Nolen with 6:32 to play in the first. For Nolen, who was replacing injured kicker Craig Camay (Marietta, Ga.), it was his first career collegiate attempt.

 

An interception by cornerback Brandon Golder, (Indianapolis, Indiana) on Gray’s first pass attempt of Furman’s next series set up the Mocs at the Paladins’ 42-yard line. It took only four plays before Miller, on fourth-and-one from the 18-yard line, found wideout Blue Cooper (Rome, Ga.) on a slant pattern for an 18-yard touchdown. A failed extra point had the Mocs with a 9-3 lead with 4:31 to play in the first quarter.

 

Furman would respond quickly as Gray led the Paladins down the field on a nine-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with a six-yard touchdown pass to tight end Larry Hedden with 14:53 to go in the first half. Back on top 10-9, Furman’s defense forced a Chattanooga punt on the ensuing drive but could do nothing on the offensive side on the next series and was forced to punt.

 

That would be costly as Jordan Hazard fielded the kick at the 12-yard line and ran it back 88 yards for the longest punt return in Chattanooga history and put the Mocs back on top, 16-10. For Hazard, it was his first career punt return for touchdown and was the first for Chattanooga since Kwento Ikwuezunma ran one back 56 yards against Wofford on September 29, 2001.

 

Patrick Sprague accounted for 61 of Furman’s 80 yards on the Paladin’s next scoring drive, including a key 39-yard catch that took the ball into Chattanooga territory and the go-ahead 13-yard touchdown grab. That score put Furman ahead 17-16 with 1:34 remaining in the first half and would take the two teams into the half.

 

The Mocs opened the second half driving 66-yards downfield before settling for the 34-yard go-ahead field goal by Nolen at the 9:39 mark, making the score 19-17. On Furman’s next drive, Beckler had the same opportunity to give his team the lead and couldn’t capitalize as he banged a 44-yard field goal attempt off the right upright.

 

In the fourth quarter Beckler got another chance, this time from 18-yards out, and split the uprights to give the Paladins a 20-19 lead with 9:50 to play.

 

The Mocs next drive went 10 plays and covered 76 yards, including a career long 46-yard reception by wideout Matt Angeloni (Newark, Del.) that brought the ball to the Furman 18-yard line before Nolen’s go-ahead field goal.

 

For Furman, Renaldo Gray led the passing attack with his 146 yards while Mike Brown led the ground game with 70 yards on nine carries. He was joined by Felton with 53 bruising yards on 16 carries and one touchdown. Sprague led all receivers with his 75 yards on five catches.

 

Defensively, linebacker Andrew Jones led Furman with nine tackles, four for loss, and one sack while Austin Holmes finished with eight total tackles and the game-ending interception.

 

Miller finished with 207 yards on 17-of-32 passing with one interception.  Tailback Bryan Fitzgerald ran for a team-high 62 yards on 13 carries. Hazard paced the receiving corps with four grabs for 29 yards and Cooper finished with two catches for a team-high 38 yards.

 

Safety Chris Camacho (Los Angeles, Calif.) led all tacklers with a game-high 18 tackles, 16 of which were solo, and added a forced fumble and a pass breakup. His total of 18 matches his career best.  Linebacker Chris Johnson (Chattanooga, Tenn.) added 11 tackles while defensive back Ronnie Jackson (Warner Robbins, Ga.) finished with six tackles and three pass breakups.

 

 

 

THE CITADEL 37, WESTERN CAROLINA 31

CULLOWHEE, N.C. - Coming off the bench midway through the third quarter, senior quarterback Todd Spitzer completed 15-of-21 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns - both to red-shirt freshman receiver Marquel Pittman - as Western Carolina scored 21 points in the fourth quarter in a 37-31 Homecoming loss to The Citadel Saturday afternoon at E.J. Whitmire Stadium/Bob Waters Field.

 

The loss was WCU's fourth-straight to the Bulldogs, and 12th-consecutive in Southern Conference play and relegated the Catamounts to 1-7 overall, 0-4 in league play. The Citadel (5-2, 3-1 SoCon) keeps pace in a tight conference race, moving into a three-way tie with Elon and Wofford atop the standings.

 

"We had our opportunities to put points on the board especially late in the game. Overall, I felt that our defense played well but our offense played inconsistently," said WCU head coach Kent Briggs. "Todd (Spitzer) came in for us and played well and that helped boost our confidence and gave us some momentum. We have some things we need to work on and unfortunately we've got a lot we need to do in a short week.

 

Spitzer, who guided the Catamounts on their final six possessions after subbing for red-shirt freshman signal caller Adam Hearns at the 7:07 mark of the third quarter, nearly surpassed the 200-yard passing mark in less than a half of work His favorite two targets were classmate Eddie Cohen, who hauled in seven passes for 104 yards and Pittman, who tallied a pair of receiving TDs. For Cohen, it marked the fourth-straight game he had surpassed the century mark in receiving (212 at Georgia Southern; 177 vs. Elon; 109 at Chattanooga).

 

Senior all-purpose runner Mike Malone set school-history twice on Saturday. With his first kickoff return at the 8:28 mark of the first quarter, the Gainesville, Ga., native became Western's all-time leader in kickoff returns surpassing Otis Washington (1985-88). Also, one week after joining former Catamount great Kerry Hayes (1991-94) as just the second WCU kick returner to eclipse the 2,000-yard barrier, Malone surpassed Hayes for career return yards on his second return.

 

Malone currently stands with 88 career returns for 2,120 yards, first in both categories.

Two Western Carolina turnovers - both coming on its opening possessions of each half - proved to be the difference in the game as it led to 14 Bulldog points. After forcing The Citadel to punt on its opening possession, the Catamounts coughed the ball up as Hearns scrambled to his right, alluding a trio of Bulldogs before Joshua Lawson jarred the ball loose and Tillman Millhouse scooped up the ball and rumbled 21 yards for the early, 7-0 lead.

 

The second turnover was a Hearns' interception on the fourth play from scrimmage after intermission. The Citadel's Mel Capers split two WCU receivers and picked off the pass to switch the field. Four plays later, the Bulldogs scored for an 18-point, 28-10, lead.

"The two turnovers were a huge factor in the game for us, especially the one earlier in the game when they were able to turn it into six (points). They were a huge momentum killer for us. During the last three weeks, turnovers have been a huge obstacle for us. If you take away that turnover earlier in the game, then clearly the result on the scoreboard would read different."

 

Trailing by three touchdowns, 31-10, late in the third quarter, Western outscored The Citadel 21-to-6 over the final quarter in mounting another second half rally. Spitzer capped off a 10-play, 69-yard drive, which featured a pair of double-digit Cohen receptions, with an 18-yard touchdown pass to Pittman to close the deficit to 14, 31-17.

 

On the ensuing possession, the Catamount defense stiffened after the Bulldogs had moved into the red-zone, limiting The Citadel to a 29-yard Mike Adams field goal and a 34-17 advantage.

Spitzer again moved the offense down the field, this time going 69 yards in just seven plays with Hearns finishing off the drive under center with a head-first plunge over the goal line to trim the deficit to 10, 34-24.

 

After The Citadel answered with a third Adams' field goal to pull back in front, 37-24, Spitzer orchestrated his third scoring drive of the quarter. Aided by a 33-yard kickoff return by senior Mike Malone, Spitzer drove the team 54 yards in seven plays, finding Pittman in the purple and gold clad end zone to it to one score, 37-31. However, WCU's on-side kick attempt failed and the Bulldogs were able to run out the final 1:56 of the game clock to preserve the win.

 

WCU junior Quinton Phillips led the Catamount defensive attack with a career-high 20 tackles including 12 solo stops and two tackles for loss. Sophomore safety Chris Collins finished with 10 tackles while Brandon Drumgoole and Levander Thomas each finished with six hits.

 

The Catamount defense limited Bulldog quarterback Duran Lawson to 199 yards passing marking the first time since Nov. of last year an opponent had held the senior under 200 yards through the air. Lawson completed 14-of-20 passes with one touchdown, while red-shirt senior Tory Cooper finished with 99 yards rushing on 25 carries with a pair of touchdowns in the win.

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