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Defense dominates in second scrimmage
GS Football
Georgia Southern defensive end Dillon Springer celebrates a sack on quarterback Shai Werts during a scrimmage at Paulson Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 22. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Georgia Southern head coach Chad Lunsford put the Eagles through their second scrimmage of the pre-season Saturday morning at Paulson Stadium. Lunsford was pleased with the team’s progress, and the amount of quality time they were able to get in on Saturday.

“It was a really great day of work,” Lunsford said. “We got a lot of situational stuff, we were able to get into some four-minute offens, some two-minute situations for offense and defense. A lot of times with these kinds of scrimmages you really have to get guys going, but I thought our guys did a great job of focusing out there today, and playing situational football.”

“If you told me we had to play tomorrow, I can’t say we are ready to play but we are getting closer,” Lunsford said. “I feel a lot better than I did a week ago at our scrimmage. I am excited about where this team is heading, we still have a lot of work to do, but I think their hearts and minds are in the right place.”

The Eagle defense set the tone throughout the scrimmage delivering quite a few hard hits, including 18 hits for losses. Safety Javon Jackson, who transferred to Georgia Southern from Duke, has two interceptions.

“Last week we challenged them as we didn’t think we were physical enough,” Lunsford said. “We are getting closer to playing Georgia Southern football. We talk about playing through the whistle, and I think guys are starting to get there.”

“We wanted to come out and bring energy and fly around today and get to the ball,” said junior defensive end Dillon Springer. “Every day we want to come out and get better at something, and today we wanted to bring energy, be around the ball and dominate.”

On the offensive side of the ball Shai Werts, J.D. King and Matt LaRoche all scored during the goal-line offensive sessions. Werts also had 62 yards passing, including a 40-yard reception by Darius Lewis. Freshman running back Jalen White, who led the Eagle offensive production in the first scrimmage, had 56 yards rushing to lead the Eagles Saturday morning as well.

“I know we have a long way to go to get on that field and execute the way we know we can execute,” said senior running back J.D. King. “The defense was pretty physical with us today, but that is good in the long run because we have some tough teams to play.”

“If the defense is making tackles for a loss and getting the offense behind the chains, that’s good for our defense,” Lunsford said. “If it’s happening to the guys we are counting on on offense that is not good. We have to make sure we are establishing that line of scrimmage.”

With recent announcements that Appalachian State and Lousianna Monroe both had to halt football operations due to positive testing, Lunsford responded to questions regarding how the team is continuing to try and stay safe.

“I’m not allowed to comment directly as to test results, but the last two weeks everything has been really favorable,” Lunsford said. “Throughout the summer we tried to teach and preach about how to beat the virus, according to what has been told to us by CDC Guidelines and our medical staff. So hats off to our guys and our staff because with the whole team and the staff testing we have gotten the results that we have wanted.”

“One thing we have to be cautious of now is that we don’t get complacent,” Lunsford said. “It’s really easy if you start getting favorable test results to relax, and that’s what we can’t do.”

The Eagles continue practice this week as they prepare for their season opener Sept. 12th at home against Campbell.