Georgia Southern ends 2021 campaign with road loss to Appalachian State

Sports

BOONE, N.C. (WSAV) – A determined Georgia Southern team hung with rival Appalachian State deep into the third quarter, freshly energized after cutting the Mountaineers’ lead to seven.

Then Jalen Virgil happened.

Appalachian State’s return man victimized the Eagles for the second straight year, reprising his kick return TD from the 2020 game by running one 97 yards back to the end zone to put the Mountaineers up 17-3. That paved the way for a 27-3 Mountaineer victory.

It was the second straight year that the Eagles have lost to App State.

The Mountaineers found success through the air against the Eagles, averaging 19.6 yards per completion. Appalachian State got on the board first thanks to just such a chunk play: a 36-yard throw from quarterback Chase Brice to Malik Williams on 4th and 9 with 5:24 remaining in the first quarter.

Prior to that completion, Georgia Southern held the ball for the first 9:36 of the game, but could not get the ball in scoring position.

That would become the theme of the game: the Eagles dominating time of possession while the Mountaineers dominated the scoreboard. Georgia Southern possessed the ball for almost 35 minutes and ran 15 more plays than Appalachian State did, yet managed only 2.8 yards per play.

Georgia Southern went into the locker room still down just 7-0 after Alex Raynor missed a 51-yard field goal to end the first half.

The two teams traded field goals in the third quarter, with Richmond Hill graduate Britton Williams knocking through a 38-yarder in the quarter’s final minute to put Georgia Southern down just 10-3.

Appalachian State followed up Virgil’s kickoff return touchdown with a 68-yard strike from Brice to Thomas Hennigan to put the game away.

Eagles’ starting quarterback Connor Cigelske went 11-of-24 for 107 yards. The redshirt freshman made his second career start after an impressive outing the week prior against Brigham Young.

Georgia Southern ends the year at 3-9 overall and 2-6 in Sun Belt play, which is tied for their worst mark since joining the conference

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