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Notebook: Hatcher uses 7-year-old son's play
Eagle defense holds Citadel to 17 points
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Georgia Southern defensive coordinator Ashley Anders celebrates as a Citadel field goal attempt hits the upright in the fourth quarter.
    Surrendering 17 points to the second-highest scoring team it the Southern Conference?
    That alone was enough to make Georgia Southern’s defensive players all smiles following the team’s 21-17 Homecoming win over The Citadel Saturday. While the offense struggled, the defense showed they were strong enough to carry the team, keeping the Eagles within striking distance the entire afternoon. The 17 points were the fewest allowed by Georgia Southern this season.
    “Basically the defense won the game for us,” Eagle quarterback Jayson Foster said. “They came up and played big for us.”
    The unit pulled off the feat despite being shorthanded. GSU’s depth has been an issue all season, and the Eagles lost two more key contributors this week. Starting defensive end Matt Wise is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and free safety Dedrick Bynam was dismissed for disciplinary reasons.
    “Our whole goal was to chop our (mistakes) down, and keep the team together even though big plays,” defensive end Larry Beard said. “I think we did that pretty well throughout the game. They had a couple big plays, but after a while their drives slowed down.”
    Safety Chris Rogers (nine) and linebacker Quentin Taylor (eight) both finished with career highs in tackles, and the Eagles recorded five tackles for loss and six pass breakups.
    “We just played man,” said freshman linebacker E.J. Webb, who recorded his first career interception in the second quarter. “We based up as a defense and came together. We play with a chip on our shoulder every week we come out. Not saying the offense overshadows us, but we came together as a team collectively in hopes of winning big.”

The two-point conversion
    The most unique play of the afternoon came when Foster hit Raja Andrews in the back right corner of the end zone on a two-point conversion play that cut the Bulldog lead to three at 17-14 in the fourth quarter. Foster initially handed off to Chris Teal, who headed left before giving it to Tim Camp, who sprinted right and pitched it back to Foster.
    Eagle coach Chris Hatcher said the only thing that disappointed him about the successful conversion was when they had to use it. He was hoping to pull it out of the hat when the GSU needed a touchdown. Hatcher credited his 7-year-old son with the play.
    “That’s Ty Hatcher’s play,” Hatcher said. “He calls it ‘The Big Boy’ and he’s got a lot like that, they’re just kind of hard to block and coach. But that one was feasible. We’ve been working on it a while. We used it and executed it perfectly. Those were a big two points, not only for the scoreboard but for momentum at that point in the game.”

This and That
    GSU linebacker Harland Bower set up Webb’s interception by breaking up Duran Lawson’s pass…Bulldog defensive end Travar Broughton blocked a Dan Jordan punt in the second quarter. Jordan has been blocked just twice in his career…Rogers had his first career kickoff return, a 30-yard run to open the second half…GSU’s 16-play, 57-yard drive to open the third quarter was the most plays on a scoring drive by the Eagles this season….Jesse Hartley’s 14 field goals this year are most by an Eagle in the regular season since Reed Haley hit 15 of 22 in 1993…Foster had his fifth 100-yard rushing and passing game. He has now accounted for 68 career touchdowns, which ties him for fourth place on the SoCon’s all-time list.