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Shaw leads Georgia Southern past Wofford

Eagles now advance to FCS semifinals

POSTED: December 11, 2010 7:00 p.m.

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Georgia Southern's Jaybo Shaw, a Flowery Branch High graduate, ran 15 times for 60 yards and threw for a touchdown as the Eagles beat Wofford 23-20 on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Georgia Southern (10-4) led 20-3 at half and was able to withstand a furious comeback by the Terriers (10-3) to win their sixth straight game.

The Terriers hurt themselves with mistakes. They turned the ball over on their first two possessions, leading to touchdowns. And they lost a chance for a final drive with a face mask after appearing to stop the Eagles on third down with 2 minutes left.

Georgia Southern advances to the semifinals for the first time since winning its sixth national title in 2002. The Eagles travel to No. 3 seed Delaware next week.

The win continues Georgia Southern rise back to national prominence in the FCS. The Eagles were 4-4 at one point, but ended a five-year playoff drought by winning their last three in a row, including breaking Appalachian State's 26-game Southern Conference winning streak.

Eagles fans, which packed Wofford's Gibbs Stadium, rushed the field after the game, chanting "One more time!"
First-year Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken reinstalled its traditional option attack this season, as the Eagles ran for 168 yards Saturday.

But they can pass when they need to. Georgia Southern's first touchdown came on a 25-yard pass from Shaw to a wide open Tray Butler.

Shaw also completed a couple of key throws in the final minute of the second quarter that led to a field goal that put the Eagles up 20-3 at the break. And on third-and-6 late in the fourth quarter, Shaw threw a 13-yard pass to J.J. Wilcox to keep Wofford from getting a chance for a final drive.

The Terriers outgained Georgia Southern 343 yards to 246 yards. But mistakes killed them. Wofford fumbled six times, losing two of them, including one scooped up by Eagles defensive end John Douglas for a 20-yard touchdown. A 50-yard pass on Wofford's first drive got called back because of a block in the back.

Eric Breitenstein ran 23 times for 102 yards to extend his season rushing record. But no one else for the Terriers ran for more than 25 yards. Quarterback Mitch Allen was 8-for-12 for 160 yards and Brenton Bersin had five catches for 99 yards as Wofford had to pass more than usual to try and come back.

Robert Brown ran 17 times for 50 yards. Shaw was 5-of-11 passing for 78 yards and Butler caught two passes for 39 yards for the Eagles.

The Terriers held Georgia Southern to just six yards in the third quarter and 55 yards in the second half. But they needed a perfect second half to climb from the 17-point halftime hole and couldn't quite get it.

Wofford was stopped on a fourth-and-1 from the Georgia Southern 4, down 10 points in the fourth quarter. Then they couldn't stop the Eagles until almost the last play of the game after Alex Goltry returned a fumble 19 yards for a touchdown to cut the Georgia Southern lead to 23-20 with 5:13 left.


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