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Blue beats White in GSU Blue-White game

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Blue beats White in GSU Blue-White game

White team linebacker Brent Gordon, right, gets credited for a sack on quarterback Lee Chapple during Saturday's Blue-White Game.

    The Blue team scored two first half touchdowns to beat the White 14-0 before heavy rains and the threat of lightning shortened Georgia Southern’s annual spring scrimmage at Paulson Stadium Saturday.
     Quarterback Lee Chapple hit Chris Ashkouti on a 31-yard touchdown pass and defensive back Chris Rogers returned an interception over 100 yards for the Blue squad — all after a light shower started and chased away a sizeable crowd.
    As halftime dwindled away, the heavens opened, leaving only a few hopefuls left in the concourses and diehards in the parking lot.
    “This was more for the fans and you hate it for them,” said GSU coach Chris Hatcher. “I thought we had a really good crowd out there today and you hate that we had to cut it short.”
    Those fans had reason to stick around for the second half  that never happened as both of the Blue’s scores came in the final 2:29 of the first half.
    Each squad traded punts for the first eight possessions until the Blue’s Chapple led his side on a three-play drive — connecting with Ashkouti on a seam route right down the middle of the field for 6.
    “We just put that (play) in about two weeks ago,” said Chapple. “(Ashkouti) hit the seam and I just had to buy some time, step up and throw it. All we had to worry about was the backside safety and (Chris Covington) almost got there — but it was too late. (Covington) always gets on me so I had to get back on him for it.”
    Chapple was named the starter on Thursday and will be the starter when fall camp opens up. The redshirt freshman went 7-for-3 for 118 yards.
    His counterpart Kyle Collins answered the Blue’s score on the ensuing possession for the White, going 10 plays almost the length of the field inside the Blue’s 10. On third down he scrambled to his left and fired to the endzone. The ball was tipped right into the arms of Chris Rogers who took it 100 yards in the other direction.
    “I just caught it, saw a hole and had to go,” he said.
    Collins ended the day 12-for-20 with 94 yards and two picks.
    “I think I did okay,” said Collins, a sophomore. “I forced the ball a few times when I shouldn’t have. We moved the ball pretty well on certain drives — I threw two picks — that’s unacceptable. Obviously I didn’t get it done.”
    Chapple beat out Collins for the starting job after sophomore Billy Lowe was taken out of the equation due to injury.
    “He’s the starting quarterback until someone beats him out,” said Hatcher. “He’s very consistent. He does a great job of sitting in the pocket, throws a really nice ball and doesn’t make a whole lot of mistakes.”
    The underlying story of the game was the defense. Each team’s unit was dominant through 1 3⁄4 quarter. They combined for eight sacks, seven tackles for loss, two interceptions and one score.
    “A couple of small mistakes turned into big plays for the offenses,” said linebacker E.J. Webb. “If we work on the small things we can cut out the big things and we’ll do well.”
    The Eagles went with three down lineman the majority of snaps, showing an array of blitzes from the backers and secondary.
    “We just want to get real comfortable (with the three-man front) so we can run it properly,” said defensive end Larry Beard. “I like it. I feel like we do get more people around the ball.”
    In his second season with GSU, Hatcher was pleased to see progress at every possession and the increased toughness of his squad.
    “We’re a lot looser bunch,” he said. “The guys know what’s expected out of them now. They know what we expect and we kind of have a better understanding of what they do well. We’re not anywhere we need to be to play a game. If we can improve off the improvement we made this spring come fall practice — we got a chance to be a pretty good football team.”
    Georgia Southern opens at Georgia on August 30.
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