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Another late letdown dooms Eagles against Georgia State
Logan Wright
Georgia Southern running back Logan Wright breaks loose on a 63-yard touchdown run during the first quarter of Saturday's game against Georgia State in Atlanta.
ATLANTA – Cornelious Brown IV completed 28 of 39 passes for 372 yards and a touchdown, and Georgia State scored the final 17 points of the game to down Georgia Southern 30-24 in Sun Belt Conference football action Saturday afternoon in Center Parc Stadium.

With State trailing 24-13 early in the fourth, Brown hit Sam Pickney with a 19-yard pass and competed 13-yard strikes to Aubry Payne and Matlin Marshall before Destin Coates rushed into the end zone from four yards out. The Panthers elected to go for two, but the Eagles sniffed out the screen pass to keep the lead at 24-19. 

The Eagles (6-3, 4-3) drove down to the State 31-yard line where they were stopped on 3rd-and-7, and their 48-yard field goal try came up just a hair short of the cross bar. Brown went to work again, finding Terrance Dixon for a 31-yard pass over the middle, as State moved the ball down to the 1-yard line. Brown went in on the sneak and then hit Pinckney in the corner of the end zone for the two-point conversion and a 27-24 State lead with 2:54 to go.

The Panthers (5-4, 4-4) forced a fumble on Georgia Southern's next possession and ultimately turned it into a Noel Ruiz 35-yard field goal, his third of the game, and a 30-24 cushion with 1:53 remaining.  Justin Tomlin completed two passes and ran for a first down for Southern, but his deep pass down the left sideline was intercepted by Quavian White to seal the win for the Panthers. 

Eagles of the Game: Logan Wright ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns to lead Southern, while Raymond Johnson III collected seven solo tackles, including five for loss, and recovered a fumble.

Key Moments:
With the Eagles leading 17-13 late in the third quarter, Kenderick Duncan Jr. picked off a Brown pass and took it back 25 yards to the State 37-yard line. Matt LaRoche ran through the right side for a 27-yard pickup on the next play, and Wright ran it in from five yards out for his second touchdown of the game, pushing the margin to a 24-13.

Georgia Southern scored twice in 2:56 to open up a 14-3 lead early in the second quarter. Shai Werts capped a 75-yard scoring drive with a 7-yard touchdown just four seconds in the second frame. After the Eagle defense forced a 3-and-out, Wright burst through the line on 3rd-and-4 with nothing but 63 yards of green turf in front of him. 

Georgia State trimmed the margin to 14-13 just before halftime when Brown found Cornelius McCoy for a 45-yard touchdown pass with 45 seconds left in the second quarter.

Key Stats: The Panthers held the Eagles to 3 of 12 on third downs and were 5 for 5 in the Red Zone.

Notes: Johnson III recovered his sixth career fumble in the second quarter, which ties the school record. The Eagles played three different quarterbacks in the game.

Scoring Plays:
STATE – Ruiz 35-yard field goal – 5:55 1st, 0-3
SOUTHERN – Werts 7-yard run – 14:56 2nd, 7-3
SOUTHERN – Wright 63-yard run – 12:00 2nd, 14-3
STATE – Ruiz 29-yard field goal – 5:35 2nd, 14-6
STATE – Brown 45-yard pass to Cornelius McCoy – 0:45 2nd – 14-13
SOUTHERN – Alex Raynor 29-yard field goal – 12:08 3rd – 17-13
SOUTHERN – Wright 5-yard run – 14:56 4th – 24-13
STATE – Coates 4-yard run, PAT failed – 12:13 4th – 24-19
STATE – Brown 1-yard run, 2-pt pass to Pinckney good – 2:54 4th, 24-27
STATE – Ruiz 35-yard field goal – 1:53 4th, 24-30

Up Next: The Eagles are slated to play host to FAU in their final home game next Saturday in Paulson Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. on ESPN+.