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GSU Notebook: Injuries force Eagles to play youth
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    With numerous injuries plaguing the Eagles, several youngsters found their way into starting roles Saturday during Georgia Southern’s Southern Conference opener against Chattanooga.
     New faces included sophomore outside linebacker Harland Bower, who recorded six tackles (four solo) in his first career start. Bower missed significant time during spring and fall camp with a torn triceps but returned sooner than expected and played in GSU’s season opener.
    Sophomore David Lewis started for the first time this season at middle linebacker, replacing an injured Quentin Taylor, who joined banged-up cornerback Henry Chubb on the sidelines in street clothes. Lewis finished with five tackles (two solo) and one tackle for loss.
    True freshman running back Chris Teal also had his first career start, carrying the ball eight times for 40 yards. GSU’s top two backs, Lamar Lewis and Mike Hamilton, played but didn’t start after missing significant practice time this week with injuries.
    The Eagles dropped the game 45-38 in overtime, and GSU coach Chris Hatcher didn’t blame the loss on injuries.
    “That’s part of football,” he said. “You are going to have people get hurt.”

Hamilton finds the end zone
    Hamilton scored his first touchdown as an Eagle – a 3-yard run in the second quarter - to cut Chattanooga’s lead to 17-14. His 3-yard TD dash with 77 seconds left forced overtime.
The junior returned to the field Saturday after missing the Coastal Carolina game with a sprained ankle suffered in the season opener.
    The Eagles have high expectations for the Oklahoma State transfer, who was named the Big 12 Conference’s offensive newcomer of the year in 2005. Hamilton joined the team in January.

This and That
    Foster recorded his 16th career multi-touchdown game and 14th 100-yard rushing performance… Redshirt freshman Steve Cundari had his first collegiate reception in the second quarter, hauling in an 8-yard screen pass from Foster pass less than four minutes before the half. Cundari grabbed the attention of Eagle fans this spring after catching eight balls for 179 yards and two touchdowns in the Blue/White game…Penalties continue to plague the Eagles, who were flagged six times for 57 yards in the first half alone while Chattanooga was penalized once for 10 yards… Jeff Phillips returned a fumble 63 yards for a score in the third quarter to mark the first time the feat has been accomplished against the Eagles since East Tennessee State did it in 2002…GSU backup linebacker Justin Calloway limped off the field with an unknown injury late in the final quarter.

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