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  • Eagles beat Wofford, 23-20

    SPARTANBURG, S.C. – In a tale of two halves, the Wofford College football team was defeated 23-20 by Georgia Southern on Saturday afternoon at Gibbs Stadium. The Eagles took advantage of fumbles on the first two drives of the game by the Terriers and built a 20-3 halftime lead. Wofford scored 17 points in the second half, but the Eagles added a field goal in the fourth quarter for the winning margin.

    The Terriers end the season at 10-3. The Eagles are 10-4 overall and advance to the semifinals against Delaware next weekend. Wofford was led by Eric Breitenstein with 102 yards on 23 carries. Mitch Allen threw for 160 yards and a touchdown, while Brenton Bersin had 99 receiving yards. The Eagles were led by quarterback Jaybo Shaw with 60 rushing yards and 78 passing yards.

    On the opening drive of the game, the Terriers drove to the Georgia Southern 20-yard line before a fumbled exchange was recovered by the Eagles. Georgia Southern went 69 yards in nine plays and capped a drive with a 25-yard pass from Jaybo Shaw to Tray Butler for a 7-0 lead at 3:59 in the first quarter. With the ball back, Wofford fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and it was recovered by John Douglas who returned it 20-yards for a touchdown. The Eagles had a 14-0 lead with 3:44 left in the first quarter.

    The Terriers went three-and-out on their next series. Georgia Southern was able to add to the lead on their next drive as Adrian Mora hit a 33-yard field goal for a 17-0 advantage with 13:56 on the clock in the second quarter. Wofford went three-and-out again and the Eagles took over at midfield. After a touchdown by Georgia Southern was called back by penalty, a 28-yard field goal attempt went wide right.

    Wofford had the ball with 8:01 on the clock in the second quarter and put together a 13-play drive that was capped by a 21-yard field goal by Christian Reed. The Eagles were able to answer as they drove 56 yards in the final minute of the half and took a 20-3 lead with a 21-yard field goal by Adrian Mora.

    To open the second half, the Eagles went three-and-out and punted. Wofford picked up two fourth down conversions on their next drive as Mitch Allen found Brenton Bersin for a 37-yard touchdown reception to make it a 20-10 game.

    The Wofford defense forced another three-and-out by the Eagles. The Terriers picked up a fourth-and-two with a 22-yard reception by Jeremy Marshall. Despite another fumble, Wofford was able to get points on the board with a 27-yard field goal by Christian Reed for a 20-13 score with 13:07 left in the fourth quarter.

    Georgia Southern used a 58-yard kickoff return by Laron Scott to set up a 37-yard field goal by Adrian Mora with 10:43 left in the game for a 23-13 lead. Wofford hit a big play as Brenton Bersin caught a 38-yard pass from Mitch Allen to move the ball to the Eagles’ 12-yard line. On fourth-and-one from the three, the Georgia Southern defense held and the Terriers turned the ball over on downs.

    With the ball back, the Eagles gained a first down but then Preston Roseboro knocked the ball loose and it was recovered by Alex Goltry and returned 19-yards for a touchdown. After the point after, the score was 23-20 with 5:13 left in the game. Georgia Southern gained two first downs on the next drive and were able to run the clock down to under ten seconds before punting back to Wofford. The Terriers had one play left, but were unable to keep the ball alive and the Wofford season came to an end.

    Wofford had 343 total yards, with 211 on the ground. Georgia Southern had 246 yards, 168 of which were rushing. Wofford had the time of possession advantage, but had two lost fumbles. Wofford was 6-of-15 on third downs and 3-of-4 on fourth down. Georgia Southern was 6-of-13 on third down.

    Wofford vs. Georgia Southern Post-Game Notes

    The road team has won the last six meetings in the series. Wofford lost at home for the second time in the quarterfinals (2007 to Richmond, 2010 to Georgia Southern).

    Eric Breitenstein had 102 rushing yards in the game. He had eight 100-yard rushing games this season, tied for the most in school history. Breitenstein had 1639 total rushing yards this season, the most in a single season in school history. The school record was previously 1483 yards in 1989 by Shawn Graves.

    Mitch Allen threw for a career-high 160 yards.

    Brenton Bersin had five catches on the day for 99 yards and one touchdown. He finished the season with 703 receiving yards, the third most in a season in school history. His nine touchdown receptions tied the school record set by Jerry Richardson in 1958.

    Game captains were Keaton Thompson, Clark Bishop and Devin Reed.

    Attendance was 11,823 at Gibbs Stadium. It was the third largest crowd in stadium history.

    Georgia Southern Head Coach Jeff Monken
    “We said all along we feel privileged to be a part of this tournament and to still be a part of it is an amazing feeling. I am so proud of our players for fighting all the way through. Nothing has been real easy for us all year long, but we have been able to battle through and put some games together here at the end of the season. It was a tremendous effort by our team today to hold on and win. That was an outstanding Wofford team. We have so much respect for them and them having beaten us earlier in the year. They are very well coaches and an outstanding team and we congratulate them on a great season.”

    “I think the Southern Conference is a great league. There are a lot of really strong teams in this league and a lot of evenly matched teams in the league. I know everyone likes to talk about parity and how that makes the league stronger. You can be dead average and have parity too. I don’t think this is an average league this is a very good league with a lot of teams that can beat any other team on any Saturday. It is a great league and that was a great team we played today.”

    Wofford Head Coach Mike Ayers
    “First and foremost, I thought Jeff and his team were well prepared and ready for the game. They came out and they are a good football team. We just made too many mistakes in that first half. We dug ourselves a hole and it was one of those things were we thought we had an opportunity in the game if we executed. They played hard defensively and did a few things that created some problems for us. Their nose guard is probably the best in the country. I thought both teams match-up well. In the second half, we came out and showed what kind of team we really are. We executed well and did a nice job of throwing the football. Brenton made a ton of plays and Mitch was throwing it on the money in the second half. It was a tale of two halves. We talked to our kids at halftime that we had 30 minutes to prove that we were the better time. I would have liked to of seen us have the ball one more time, but the penalty towards the end was a killer and we were out of time. I am as proud as I can be of our kids. I think us and Georgia Southern were picked sixth and seventh in the league and we end up here. The crowd was outstanding and there was a great atmosphere. Both teams laid it on the line and it was a great except for the final score.”