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Georgia Southern vs. Old Dominion: Eagles rally back to win, Jeff Monken beams with delight

Georgia Southern's head coach was doing his best Paul Rhoads impression after the Eagles advanced to the FCS semifinals

Scott Cunningham

Down two touchdowns when the fourth quarter started, it looked like the script was about to be flipped on Georgia Southern.

The Eagles knocked Old Dominion out of the playoffs last season, but now trailed, 35-21, with 15 minutes to go. Things weren't bleak yet -- but they were nerve-racking.

That is, until Georgia Southern's triple-option attack exploded for 28 unanswered points in the fourth quarter and sent the Eagles and head coach Jeff Monken back to the FCS semifinals.

The Eagles tallied a tremendous 632 total yards of offense, including 186 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Dominique Swope and 171 yards and four touchdowns from quarterback Jerick McKinnon.

After the big comeback win, Monken didn't hold any praise back when he spoke to the Macon Telegraph.

"These kids just fought so hard, and I'm so proud of the effort of our players and everyone associated with our team," Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken said. "We got down 14 and battled and fought and believed in each other. We carry that black flag as a symbol that we will never surrender, and we did not surrender today and haven't surrendered all season."

This week, Georgia Southern will go on the road to do battle with North Dakota State, the team that bounced them from the playoffs last season with a 35-7 win in Fargo.

Now, it's up to them to see if last year's script holds true for another week -- or if the Eagles will actually be the one to re-write history.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.