By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Eagle players dont blame the kicker
Placeholder Image
    The life of a kicker is never easy, and Jesse Hartley knows that all too well.
    A week after his 44-yard field goal provided the deciding points in a monumental road upset at Wofford, the Georgia Southern junior’s 33-yard game-winning try was ruled wide right on the final play against Furman Saturday.
    “They’ll love you when you do good, hate you when you do bad,” Hartley said. “It’s unfortunate, and I’ll work my butt off to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
    If there was blame directed at Harley after the 24-22 loss at Paulson Stadium, it wasn’t coming from the Georgia Southern locker room.
    “There were a thousand different plays we could have made as an entire offense or maybe as an entire defense that would have overcome that play, and we wouldn’t have even had to kick a field goal,” said senior running back Dusty Reddick, who reeled in his first-career touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter to cut the GSU deficit to two. “Hartley’s all right. Hartley is a great kicker.”
    Said senior offensive lineman Russell Orr: “It should have never come down to a kick, but the offense struggled a little bit.”
    Though his first field goal Saturday was blocked and the second missed left, Hartley was eager to get another shot.
    “I was pumped up for that kick,” he said. “It’s stuff I live for. I love those kinds of situations. I guess I just lined up wrong or something. We’ll have to look at the film and see what happened.”
    Hartley’s hit 68.2 percent (15 of 22) of his field goals this season and owns the school record for consecutive extra points made (43).
    “I want these coaches and these players to count on me,” he said. “I probably lost a little bit of that (Saturday), and I’m going to have to gain it back, that’s for sure. It’s just something extra to work on.”
    The potential game-winning kick sailed over the right upright, close enough to cause Georgia Southern coaches and players to mistakenly think they’d won the game.
    “I thought it went in, but they called it no good, so we’ve got to live with it,” said senior quarterback Jayson Foster, who was the holder.

Up Next
    Georgia Southern will have a final shot at convincing the FCS selection committee it’s worthy of an at-large playoff bid Saturday in Ft. Collins, Colo. The Eagles will be up against a struggling Colorado State team (1-9) in a 2 p.m. game, and a win over the FBS school would make GSU 8-3 on the year.     Only one 8-3 Georgia Southern team has been left out of the playoffs, the 1984 squad, which was the school’s first season in Division I-AA.
    The Rams fell at New Mexico 26-23 Saturday on a last-second 43-yard field goal. They’ve lost three in a row since their only win of the season, a 48-23 victory at UNLV last month.
    The Eagles haven’t played an FBS team since the 2004 season opener at Georgia and have never beaten a full-fledged FBS school.
    It’ll be the first meeting between GSU and Colorado State, and weather shouldn’t be much of a factor. Game-time temperatures are forecasted in the mid-60s. Colorado State will cut Georgia Southern a $200,000 check for making the trip.

He said it
    “It’s a game of inches, and we didn’t get that one inch we needed,” GSU coach Chris Hatcher said. “It’s been an uphill battle all season for us, coming off all of the things that have happened to these boys. (Saturday) we didn’t get it done, and it was very disappointing, especially for those seniors who have worked so hard, been so good to me and helped us build the program back to hopefully where we all want it to be someday.”

Containing Foster

    The Paladins stuffed eight men in the box to stop Foster, but the key was tackling better than they had all year long, Furman coach Bobby Lamb said. The visitors kept Foster from breaking loose and held the speedy senior to 82 yards on the ground and no rushing touchdowns.
    “He’s going to make you look silly, so go ahead and get that out of your system,” Lamb reiterated to his team last week.

    Alex Pellegrino can be reached at (912) 489-9413.