STATESBORO – Matt LaRoche rushed for 154 yards and his first career touchdown, and Tyler Bass kicked a career-high four field goals to lead Georgia Southern to a 26-18 football win over Maine Saturday evening in Paulson Stadium in the Eagles’ home opener.
GS Players of the Game: LaRoche, Justin Tomlin (132) and Logan Wright (114) all ran for over 100 yards, marking the first time an Eagle trio has done that since 2012 at Western Carolina and the 12th time it has happened in school history.
Key Moment: Trailing 13-3, Maine (1-1) looked ready to cut into the deficit after a 53-yard pass from Chris Ferguson to Earnest Edwards helped set the Black Bears up at the GS 5-yard line. Gavin Adcock stripped Emmanuel Reed of the football on the next play, and Reynard Ellis recovered it at the 3 for the Eagles (1-1). LaRoche broke a 75-yard run down the left sideline on the Eagles’ first play to help set up a third Bass field goal and extend the margin to 16-3.
GS Play of the Game: Tomlin squirted up the middle for a 45-yard touchdown run 2:36 into the second quarter to give the Eagles a 7-3 lead, their first of the game. The redshirt freshman quarterback made his first career start for the Eagles.
Key Stats: GS outgained Maine 395-52 on the ground, including 274-13 in the second half. GS had seven fumbles, including a number of errant snaps, but only lost one as each team lost a fumble inside the Red Zone.
Key Scoring Plays:
Kenny Doak, Kenny 26-yard field goal with 7:47 left in the 1st, Maine 3-0
Tomlin 45-yard TD run with 12:24 left in the 2nd, GS 7-3
Bass 37-yard field goal with 6:16 left in the 2nd, GS 10-3
Bass 20-yard field goal with 7:41 left in the 3rd, GS 13-3
Bass 31-yard field goal with 3:01 left in the 3rd, GS 16-3
LaRoche 11-yard run 1:27 into the 4th, GS 23-3
Ferguson 21-yard TD pass to Devin Young with 11:47 left in the 4th, GS 23-10
Bass 40-yard field goal with 3:46 left in the 4th, GS 26-10
Ferguson 46-yard TD pass to Jaquan Blair with 2:19 left in the 4th – Ferguson to Blair 2-point good, GS 26-18
Up Next: The Eagles travel to Minneapolis and TCF Bank Stadium to take on Minnesota in their first meeting against the Golden Gophers. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.