Delaware 27, Georgia Southern 10
When Pat Devlin left Penn State for Delaware two years ago, this
is the kind of moment he envisioned.
The senior threw two touchdown passes and Delaware forced five
turnovers to beat Georgia Southern 27-10 in the NCAA Football
Championship Subdivision semifinals Saturday.
”It’s why I came here,” said Devlin, who completed 14 of 20
passes for 137 yards. ”I came here to play in big games, I came
here to play for championships. I’m just so excited that we’re able
to get there.”
Delaware (12-2) advanced to the championship game, where it will
face Eastern Washington on Jan. 7 in Frisco, Texas. Eastern
Washington beat 2009 champion Villanova 41-31 in the other
semifinal on Friday night.
Delaware freshman Andrew Pierce ran for 186 yards on 26 carries
to help the Blue Hens reach the title game for the third time since
Georgia Southern (10-5) couldn’t overcome four lost fumbles,
three of which came inside the Delaware 40.
”The fumbles were big,” said first-year Georgia Southern coach
Jeff Monken. ”But turnovers are going to be big, especially when
you play a good team. You can’t have turnovers. ”Those cost us
points. When you do that against a good football team, it’s very
difficult to win.”
The Eagles, who had a six-game win streak snapped, pulled to
17-10 on Robert Brown’s 6-yard touchdown run with 7:37 remaining.
The TD came on a fourth-and-goal with Brown taking a pitch around
right end. It finished off a 16-play, 64-yard drive that took 8:27
off the clock.
But the Hens answered right back, going 60 yards on just three
running plays to stretch the lead to 24-10. Pierce carried the ball
twice for 52 yards on the drive before David Hayes scored on a
7-yard run up the middle with 6:05 remaining.
Delaware added a 20-yard field goal by Mike Perry with 3:32
remaining to account for the game’s final points.
”What a team effort to get a win like this,” said Blue Hens
coach K.C. Keeler.
The Hens pushed their advantage to 17-3 late in the third
quarter when Phillip Thaxton scored on a 24-yard pass from Devlin.
With Georgia Southern blitzing, Thaxton got an initial block after
catching a screen pass and went the rest of the distance
The Hens took a 10-0 lead into halftime after Perry kicked a
21-yard field with 2:06 remaining. The kick capped off a
seven-play, 66-yard march.
Georgia Southern (10-5) got a 40-yard field goal from Adrian
Mora on the first possession of the second half. A 53-yard run by
Jerick McKinnon set up the kick.
Delaware used a 16-play, 85-yard drive to score the game’s first
touchdown. Devlin found Mark Schenauer in the back of the end zone
for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 13:29 left in the second
The drive was aided by a personal foul penalty on Georgia
Southern after a third-down incompletion at the Eagles 24.
Georgia Southern drove 71 yards to the Delaware 1 on its first
possession, but Delaware defensive end Chris Morales recovered a
fumble to end the drive.
The Eagles also fumbled at the end of the first half after
reaching the Delaware 18.
”Getting turnovers was something that we really focused on,”
said Keeler. ”We thought we would have some chances. We knew that
they averaged two fumbles a game and we wanted to be ready. It was
a big boost for our defense to keep them out of the end zone.”