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Georgia Southern Slips Past Furman, 32-28

Georgia Southern Slips Past Furman, 32-28

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Jaybo Shaw scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 1:07 remaining in the game to complete a fourth quarter comeback and lift Georgia Southern to a 32-28 Southern Conference victory over Furman Saturday afternoon at Paladin Stadium.

Shaw's game winning score came after Roderick Tinsley pounced on a fumble by Furman quarterback Cody Worley at the Paladin 33 with 2:44 left in the game.  From there the Eagles covered the distance, aided by Shaw runs of 14 and 6 yards, and a 9-yard rush by Robert Brown to the Furman 4.

Furman moved the Georgia Southern 47 in the final minute before Worley's pass into the end zone fell incomplete to end the game.

The win improves Georgia Southern to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in SoCon play. 

Furman completes its season with a 5-6 overall mark and 3-5 league record in the final game under head coach Bobby Lamb, who announced his resignation on Friday following nine seasons at the helm.  Lamb, whose tenure at his alma mater spanned 29 seasons in the capacities of player, assistant coach, and head coach, finishes his head coaching run with a 67-40 record.

"Turnovers late in a game will get you beat, and today that again proved to be case," said Lamb.  "I thought we played hard and with a lot of emotion, but it wasn't enough in the end."

Shaw ran for a game high 101 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 126 yards, which helped offset three fumbles by the junior signal caller. 

Worley paced Furman, completing 16-of-28 passes for 196 yards and two scores in his final game as a Paladin.

Georgia Southern, which trailed 28-17 heading to the fourth quarter, took over possession at its own 7 16 seconds into the final stanza and proceeded to mount the game's most impressive drive, covering 93 yards in 20 plays and consuming 11:14 of clock.  The drive featured four third down conversions of  and two fourth down conversions, including a 1-yard scoring dive by J.J. Wilcox that sliced Furman's lead to 28-23.  The Eagles then turned again to Wilcox, who bulled over the right side for the two-point conversion to make it 28-25 with 3:46 remaining.

Georgia Southern chose to kick off deep, and following two Jerry Williams runs that netted six yards, Worley faked a handoff and kept it but had the ball dislodged by Derek Heyden and recovered by Tinsley at the Paladin 33.

Furman jumped out to an early 14-0 lead following a 71-yard touchdown pass from Worley to Adam Mims on the game's first offensive play and a Jerry Williams 6-yard scoring run, which was set up by a Shaw fumble that was recovered by Furman's Chris Wiley at the Georgia Southern 26 just a little over a minute into the game.

After the Eagles cut the lead to 14-10 on a 41-yard Adria Mora field goal and Shaw 3-yard scoring run, Furman covered 81 yards and in 13 plays for a 1-yard scoring plunge by Tersoo Uhaa that gave the Paladins a 21-10 lead at intermission.

Georgia Southern opened the second half with an 8-play, 82-yard drive that ended with a Shaw 1-yard plunge.

The remainder of the third quarter yielded some of the game's greatest drama. 

Trailing 21-17, Georgia Southern took possession of the ball at the Furman 22 following a high snap sailed over the head of Paladin punter Chas Short.  After gaining a first and goal at the Furman 3, the Eagles were stuffed short of the goal line of four consecutive runs.

Two plays later Paladin running back Jerry Williams fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Eagles' Darius Eubanks at the 5, but Georgia Southern's Robert Brown's fumble on the next play was collected by Furman's Ryan Steed, who returned it 89 yards to the Eagle 8.  Three plays later Worley beat a GSU blitz with a 10-yard scoring strike to Tyler Maples that gave the Paladins a 28-17 lead with 3:43 on the third quarter clock.

Georgia Southern forged a 403-246 advantage in total offense, including 310 yards rushing.  Furman was limited to 36 yards rushing in the contest, and the Paladins managed only three second half downs until moving the chains three times on the game's final possession.

Furman Notes:

Adam Mims' 71-yard touchdown reception on the first offensive play of the game made him Furman's all-time receiving yards leader, surpassing Isaac West (2,338 yards, 2001-04).  Mims finishes his career with a school record 198 receptions for 2,433 yards and 13 TDs.

Ryan Steed's 89-yard fumble return in the third quarter marked the second longest fumble return in Furman history.  The record is 94 yards by Kevin Quinlan vs North Carolina, 1980.