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Hatcher has score to settle with Bennett
Foster named SoCon Offensive POTW
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    Saturday’s game is just the second meeting between Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina, but first-year Eagle coach Chris Hatcher knows all about Chanticleer head man David Bennett.
    The story goes back to 2001 when Bennett’s Catawba Indians knocked off Hatcher’s top-ranked Valdosta State team. That memory has stayed with Hatcher, but it’s a distance thought as he prepares his Eagles (1-0) for Saturday’s 7 p.m. game at Coastal Carolina (1-1).
    “It’s a whole different deal,” Hatcher said. “He’s got a different team and so do I.”
    Bennett is 34-11 (12-4 Big South Conference) since taking over an adolescent Chanticleer program five years ago. Coastal won its third straight league title last year after going 9-3 with wins over Furman and Wofford. Georgia Southern beat the Chanticleers 38-21 in Statesboro last season.
    “He’s a mighty fine football coach and (has) done a heck of a job there at Coastal starting the program and making the playoffs last year,” Hatcher said. “I think they are four-time conference champions, which out of six years playing football is pretty darn salty.”
    Heading into this weekend’s contest, Hatcher’s said he’s looking for more consistency from his team. The Eagles were wobbly in the first two quarters of their season opener Saturday but found stability after halftime and exploded for a 45-21 win over West Georgia. Hatcher wants to see improvements in all phases of the game this week and credited the well-prepared Wolves for keeping the score close for three quarters.
    “We need to improve dramatically if we are going to have a good season,” Hatcher said. “We are capable of doing that. Hopefully we’ll get better this week.”

Foster earns SoCon honor
    GSU senior quarterback Jayson Foster picked up co-offensive player of the week honors for his efforts in the Eagles’ win. Starting his first game at the helm since 2005, Foster ran for a career-high 231 yards and tied a career-best with three rushing touchdowns. He also threw for 124 yards and another score on 6 of 9 passing.
    “He’s a playmaker, and the other night he made some tremendous plays,” Hatcher said. “He’s very good with the football in his hands, and he did a great job of settling our team down and leading us to victory there during the second half.”
    Foster’s 231 rushing yards marked a new school record for season openers, and his 81-yard TD pass to Michael McIntosh was the third longest completion in GSU history. He shared the award with Appalachian State’s backup quarterback, Trey Elder, who was filling in for a banged up Armanti Edwards. Elder completed 9 of 13 passes for four scores and 210 yards and rushed for 90 yards and one TD in a 48-7 win over Lenoir-Rhyne.
    SoCon defensive player of the week honors went to Wofford linebacker Gary Blount. The sophomore intercepted a pair of passes and recorded a game-high six tackles in the Terriers’ 52-24 victory over Charleston Southern. The Citadel’s Johnathan Synovec was named special teams player of the week after the freshman blocked two punts in the Bulldogs’ 76-0 victory over Webber International.
    Elon quarterback Scott Riddle earned his second straight league freshman of the week award after going 23-for-34 for 362 yards and three touchdowns in Elon’s 59-16 win over West Virginia Wesleyan.

Injury update
    Junior running back Mike Hamilton wore a boot to protect a sprained ankle and didn’t practice Monday. He was injured during Saturday’s game and was limited to 21 rushing yards on five carries.
    Hatcher said Hamilton was banged up and should be ready to play by this weekend.

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