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Eagles get Maine, Monken gets honor
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Georgia Southern will play Maine at 2 p.m. Saturday at Paulson Stadium in the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals, GSU Interim Athletic Media Relations Director Barrett Gilham said Sunday.
The NCAA on Sunday announced that the game between No. 2 and fifth-seeded Northern Iowa (10-2) and No. 7 and fourth-seeded Montana (10-2) will be televised by ESPN at
8 p.m. Friday. As a result, the other three games, including GSU’s game, will be played Saturday.
Third-ranked and third-seeded GSU (10-2) defeated No. 10 Old Dominion (10-2), 55-48, on Saturday in a second-round game at Paulson Stadium.
Thirteenth-ranked Maine (9-3) beat No. 9 Appalachian State (8-4), 34-12, on Saturday in Boone, N.C.
Tickets for the Maine-GSU game are on sale now and can be purchased online at or by calling the GSU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-GSU-WINS.
Season-ticket holders needed to renew by 4 p.m. Tuesday in order to keep their same seats. Tickets are $25 for reserved seats and general admission grass tickets. Student tickets with a valid student ID can be purchased for $5 at the University Store.

Monken honored
Georgia Southern football coach Jeff Monken was selected as the American Football Coaches Association’s FCS Region 2 2011 Coach of the Year. 
Monken, in his second season as a head coach, led GSU to its ninth Southern Conference title and ended a five-year playoff drought when he took the Eagles to the postseason in 2010.
Monken is among 20 coaches up for the Eddie Robinson FCS Coach of the Year Award. Streak ends
Georgia Southern kicker Adrian Mora’s extra-point streak ended at 151 on Saturday when Old Dominion’s Erik Saylor blocked the senior’s point-after-touchdown kick attempt with 3:45 remaining in the third
Mora made five extra-point attempts (he has scored in every game in his career) during the game. He was a perfect 151-for-151 in his career before Saylor blocked his kick.
Against Furman earlier this season, Mora set the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision record for consecutive extra points, passing Chris Snyder’s (Montana, 2000-03) record of 126 consecutive extra points.
Mora also missed an extra-point attempt with 2:03 left in the game when the ball sailed wide left. He finished 5 of 7 on PATs on Saturday.
“It was a great streak,” Monken said. “And he and Charlie (Edwards, holder) and Carter (Jones, snapper) all have been a part of that streak. All three of them have been in there for every kick.
“I guess it’s fitting when he missed, he missed two. We did a very poor job of protecting on the one that got blocked.”

McKinnon on defense
GSU sophomore Jerick McKinnon, who has played at quarterback and slotback this season, played defense for the first time in his Eagle career Saturday.
“He got some pass breakups, made some tackles. He did a real good job. He sparked the defense,” GSU cornerback Laron Scott said.
McKinnon started at safety and made two tackles and broke up two passes, including a pass on fourth down with 2:12 left in the third quarter. He celebrated as if he had scored a touchdown.
After the game, McKinnon was asked which feels better — breaking up a pass or scoring a touchdown.
“It’s the same,” he said, smiling.
Said Scott of McKinnon’s celebrating: “That’s the offense coming out of him.”
Asked to describe the fourth-down play, McKinnon said, “The quarterback threw the ball and I made a play. That was a credit to the D-line. They had pressure and hands in his face, and everybody had their man on lockdown.”
Monken said the Eagles had to find a place on the field for McKinnon, who is widely considered GSU’s best athlete in football.
“Our goal is to try to get the very best players that we have in our program on the field,” Monken said. “Obviously, we had Jerick on offense earlier in the year. He was playing quarterback and slot. We found several different ways to get him the ball and he was very productive for us. We recognize that he is a good player on offense, but he can help us (on defense).”

Swope runs wild
GSU freshman B-back Dominique Swope ran for a career-high 255 yards on 31 carries to become the first Eagle with more than 200 yards rushing in a game since Jayson Foster ran for 279 yards against Wofford in 2007.

Russell fifth in sacks
With his sack of Old Dominion backup quarterback Thomas DeMarco in the first quarter, GSU All-American nose tackle Brent Russell moved into fifth place on the Eagles’ all-time sack list with 20 sacks.

Noell Barnidge is the sports editor of the Statesboro Herald.

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