The Texas State Bobcats lost a 40-38 heartbreaker Nov. 14 to the Georgia Southern Eagles due to costly turnovers and a controversial roughing the passer call.
The Bobcats dropped to 1-9 overall and 1-5 in the Sun Belt Conference, four of those losses coming in one-possession games. The Eagles improved to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in conference play.
The first offensive drive for the Bobcats ended in disaster as Texas State went for it on fourth down but ended up fumbling. Georgia Southern recovered and downed the ball at the Bobcat 7-yard line.
Two plays later, Eagles senior quarterback Shai Werts scored to put Georgia Southern up 7-0.
The ensuing kickoff by Georgia Southern led to seven points for Texas State as senior wide receiver Jeremiah Haydel returned the kickoff 97 yards for the score to tie the game up at 7-7.
For Haydel, he became the first player in the nation to score a touchdown off a punt return and kickoff return this season.
After advancing 46 yards in seven plays, the Eagles scored a second time when Werts struck again, this time running it in for a 29-yard touchdown run to retake the lead at 14-7.
Texas State ended up turning the ball over three times on its next two offensive drives, resulting in a field goal for Georgia Southern as the Eagles took a commanding 17-7 lead going into the second quarter.
The Bobcats would again turn the ball over on just the first play of the second quarter. Georgia Southern would make it 42 yards upfield before kicking another field goal to increase the lead to 20-7.
Not giving up, the Bobcats struck back as a 75-yard drive ended in freshman running back Calvin Hill scoring from 11 yards out to cut the lead down to 20- 14.
Following an interception by Texas State's junior defensive back Jarron “Baby J” Morris, senior quarterback Tyler Vitt hit junior wide receiver Marcell Barbee for a 43-yard touchdown pass to take the first lead of the game at 21-20.
The Bobcats were unable to score again and gave the ball back to Georgia Southern following a failed fourth down conversion. The resulting play saw Vitt injure his wrist, keeping him out for the remainder of the game.
The Eagles scored again to retake the lead following a Werts 2-yard touchdown run with just 1:08 left in the first half. Georgia Southern led 27-21 going into halftime.
The opening drive of the second half saw Georgia Southern add to its lead 30-21 following a 39-yard field goal.
With Vitt out, sophomore quarterback Brady McBride took over and led the team to a touchdown following a 59-yard pass to senior wide receiver Javen Banks. That cut the lead down to 30-28 heading into the final quarter of play.
Georgia Southern responded quickly in the fourth, as senior running back Wesley Kennedy III scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 37-28.
A Texas State 27-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Seth Keller cut the Eagles' lead to 37-31.
The Bobcat defense seemed to have stopped the Eagles on third down as senior linebacker Hal Vinson hit the quarterback before the ball was thrown, but a controversial roughing the passer call extended the drive.
The drive ended in three points for Georgia Southern as the Eagles took a 40-31 lead.
The Bobcats scored again late in the fourth quarter as McBride hit sophomore Jah’Marae “K-Dot” Sheread for a 24-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead back down to 40-38 with 2:45 left on the clock.
The Georgia Southern offense ran the clock out before the Bobcats could complete the comeback, winning 40-38.
McBride led the team in passing, despite only playing in just the second half, throwing 7-13 for 155 yards and two touchdowns.
Barbee led the Bobcats in receiving with 71 yards and a touchdown.
Texas State's will face-off against rival Arkansas State at 2 p.m. on Nov. 21 at Bobcat Stadium.