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GS outlasts South Alabama
Tyler Bass
Georgia Southern kicker Tyler Bass watches his game-winning field goal sail through the uprights during Thursday night's victory against South Alabama in Mobile, Ala.

Georgia Southern entered Thursday’s game having never lost a game to South Alabama or in Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium.  South Alabama put up plenty of fight, but Georgia Southern walked off with a 20-17 victory in overtime after trailing in the second half until the game’s final moments.

Georgia Southern’s All-American kicker Tyler Bass missed a field goal in the first overtime, but Raymond Johnson III was able to block a potential game-winning field goal on the Jaguars’ first OT possession. The Eagles forced a fumble early in the second overtime and Bass made good with another chance, blasting through the uprights for an OT victory.

Georgia Southern had its chances to sink teams late in games early in the 2019 season, but fell short against both Minnesota and UL Lafayette. The Eagles were fighting uphill before tying Thursday’s game late in regulation when Wesley Kennedy III barged in from a yard out to force overtime in the dying moments.

South Alabama made its hay with a couple of huge plays. While the Jaguars were bottled up on the ground throughout the night, Kawaan Baker and Jalen Tolbert each raked in deep balls and broke loose for touchdowns.

An early field goal by Bass had the Eagles up 3-0 before Cephus Johnson found Baker on a deep post for 75 yards and a 7-3 lead. Georgia Southern answered with a 1-yard plunge by J.D. King to carry a 10-7 advantage into halftime.

Another lapse in coverage by the Georgia Southern secondary allowed Tolbert to get behind the defense for a 60-yard strike that reclaimed the lead for the Jaguars with 5:11 to play in the third quarter. With the Georgia Southern offense still spinning its wheels, Frankie Onate put the Jags up 17-10 with 4:24 left in regulation on a 45-yard field goal.

The Eagle offense was as streaky as ever, but found one final drive to tie the game in the dying moments to force overtime with Kennedy’s run. Prior to the scoring run, the Eagles' option attack finally hit high gear. Shai Werts hit the right corner for a 14-yard gain to get to midfield. Two plays later Matt LaRoche ripped off a 16-yard rush and Werts backed that up with a 22-yard scamper to reach the USA 4.

Kennedy was stopped short on his first try, but powered in on a second attempt and Bass' extra point with 20 seconds remaining sent the game to overtime.

The Eagles’ record in the Sun Belt now stands at 1-1. Georgia Southern heads into a bye week before hosting Coastal Carolina on Oct. 19 at Paulson Stadium..