By Myron Hosea
CSN So South Columnist
College Sporting News
Georgia Southern survived – beating Old Dominion 55-48 – to advance to another home game against CAA member Maine. The Black Bears handed Appalachian State a 34-12 defeat in Boone. That’s the first time the Mountaineers have lost in their initial game of a postseason since 2002. Wofford ventured north and came close before falling to Northern Iowa 28-21. And Stony Brook’s best season ever came to disappointing end as top-seed Sam Houston State won 34-27.
Georgia Southern 55, Old Dominion 48
Running back Dominique Swope continued his amazing late-season run by rushing 31 times for 255 yards and a pair of scores to lead the Eagles to a close victory over the Monarchs. It was Nico Hickey’s recovery in the end zone of Swope’s fumble with 2:03 to go in the game for GSU’s final touchdown, however, that proved to be the key points.
The Monarchs fought back five times to tie the game. With the score tied at 35-35, however, Georgia Southern (10-2) scored 14 unanswered points to get the edge that would prove vital. ODU (10-3) trimmed it to one score again, before Hickey’s recovery. The Monarchs posted one last touchdown with 39 seconds remaining, but a penalty kept them from keeping the onside kick.
Georgia Southern rushed for 477 yards and outgained the Monarchs 607 to 560. Taylor Heinicke threw for 341 yards and five touchdowns, and Prentice Gill caught eight passes for 154 yards and two scores for ODU.
Maine 34, Appalachian State 12
Maine broke open a close game in the second half and defeated Appalachian State (8-4) on its home field. The Black Bears held the Mountaineers to just three yards rushing and 275 overall while gaining 466 of their own.
Appalachian State had gained only 22 yards late in the second quarter yet barely trailed 7-6. The Maine (9-3) lead grew to just 13-7 in the third quarter before it pulled away.
Maine’s Pushaun Brown ran for 111 yards and a touchdown, and Warren Smith threw for three touchdowns and 250 yards.
The Mountaineers punted on eight their first 10 offensive possessions, scoring their touchdowns on the other two. However, their last three possessions – all in the fourth quarter – ended with two interceptions and a lost fumble.
Northern Iowa 28, Wofford 21
In one of the stranger situations you’ll see, Northern Iowa scored twice at the 14:56 mark of the fourth quarter to defeat Wofford.
David Johnson had just scored at that point on a one-yard run to break a tie and give the Panthers a 21-14 lead. Wofford’s Stephon Shelton fumbled the kickoff in the end zone without downing it, and UNI's Phil Wright got on it to give Northern Iowa (10-2) a 28-14 advantage.
Eric Breitenstein – who gave Wofford (8-4) a 14-7 halftime lead with touchdown runs of three and 46 yards – added another three-yard scoring run with two minutes remaining. But Wofford could get no closer than the final of 28-21.
Wofford outgained Northern Iowa 478 to 238 and gained 457 yards on the ground. Quarterback Mitch Allen ran for 164 yards on 28 carries. Breitenstein added 132 yards rushing.
Turnovers hurt the Terriers. They lost a fumble in the third quarter and two more on back-to-back possessions in the fourth.
Sam Houston State 34, Stony Brook 27
Stony Brook scored 17 points over three consecutive possessions in the second half, tying the game twice, but it was the Bearkats’ Tim Flanders who scored the winning touchdown on a seven-yard run with 1:01 left in the game.
The Seawolves (9-4) took a 10-3 second quarter lead on Kyle Essington’s 37-yard pass to Matt Brevi and Wesley Skiffington’s 32-yard field goal. Two third-period touchdowns gave Sam Houston State the lead before Stony Brook kept fighting back.
Brock Jackolski ran for 86 yards, and Miguel Maysonet added 73 for Stony Brook. Essington threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Flanders ran for 102 yards for the Bearkats. Brian Bell threw for 161 yards and rushed for 39.