Arkansas State football drops fourth straight, falls to Georgia Southern 59-33
STATESBORO, Ga. (KAIT) - On Saturday at Allen E. Paulson Stadium, the Arkansas State football team dropped a 59-33 decision at Georgia Southern.
A-State (1-4, 0-1 SBC) passed for 443 yards, but had trouble stopping the Eagles’ (2-3, 1-1) ground game that churned out 503 yards. All seven of Georgia Southern’s offensive scores came on the ground.
“This performance was unacceptable and we made way too many mistakes,” head coach Butch Jones said. “Everybody will point to the second half, but those mistakes become magnified and they started in the first half. We had an opportunity to seize momentum, but we dropped a touchdown pass, we missed a field goal and we give up a third down conversion. We then gave up an explosive play and it snowballed from there. They dominated the lines of scrimmage and it’s really hard to do anything when that happens and it will not be accepted in our program.”
James Blackman complete 28 of 43 passes for 292 yards and two scores, while Layne Hatcher completed 8 of 18 for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Corey Rucker led 12 different A-State pass-catchers with seven catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Jarius Reimonenq posted a team-high 12 tackles, a career high for the Hattiesburg, Miss., native. Caleb Bonner also tallied a career high in tackles with 10.
Logan Wright led the Eagles’ rushing attack with 208 yards on 10 carries, while Jalen White added 157 yards on 14 attempts.
Georgia Southern opened up the scoring with a 59-yard rushing score by Wright before A-State got on the board via a 31-yard field goal by Blake Grupe. The Eagles led 10-3 after the first quarter, with Alex Raynor drilling a 25-yard kick with just over a minute left in the period.
A-State tied it at 10 when Blackman found Rucker for a short 2-yard touchdown pass, but the Eagles found the end zone on the next drive on a 23-yard scamper by Gerald Green. On Georgia Southern’s next possession, the Red Wolves’ defense forced a punt from the back of the end zone. It was there that Kivon Bennett blocked the kick, resulting in a safety to make it 17-12.
The Red Wolves reclaimed a 19-17 lead on another Blackman-to-Rucker connection, this time for 19 yards. Georgia Southern continued to churn out yardage to score 14 unanswered to end the half, as Wright and J.D. King scored from 41 and 5 yards, respectively, giving the Eagles a 31-19 lead at the half.
Georgia Southern continued to score in the second half with rushing scores by Justin Tomlin (6 yards) and White (59 yards) and a pick-six by Quin Williams to lead 52-19 early in the fourth. Hatcher found Dahu Green (16 yards) and Lincoln Pare (13 yards) for a pair of scores to cut it to 52-33, but a 47-yard score by White closed things out for the Eagles.
A-State returns home for a nationally-televised contest against 16th-ranked Coastal Carolina. Kickoff from Centennial Bank Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. Every Red Wolves football game can be heard live on 107.9 FM in the Northeast Arkansas area. The live radio broadcast can also be accessed on the official A-State Athletics web site (AStateRedWolves.com).
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