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.”