Arkansas State gets first win with late TD strike vs. Georgia Southern

Arkansas State gets first win with late TD strike vs. Georgia Southern

Arkansas State quarterback Justice Hansen threw a touchdown pass with 9 seconds remaining to lift the Red Wolves to victory.

JONESBORO, Ark. — Omar Bayless caught an 8-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 9 seconds left and Arkansas State overcame five turnovers to beat Georgia Southern 27-26 on Wednesday night.

Down 26-20 with 2:41 remaining, Arkansas State (1-4, 1-0 Sun Belt) went on a 13-play, 70-yard drive — kept alive by Justice Hansen’s 18-yard scramble on fourth-and-16. Hansen also completed a 29-yard back-shoulder pass to Kendall Sanders with 18 seconds left and connected with Bayless on a fade route for the winner.

Arkansas State, which turned it over seven times in its last two games, fumbled on its first three drives. Georgia Southern (3-2, 2-1) recovered two of them and Joshua Moon intercepted a tipped pass later in the first quarter. In the fourth, Cam Echols-Luper muffed a long punt and Hansen threw his second interception.

Hansen was 16 of 27 for 182 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for Arkansas State.

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Georgia Southern scored on its first two possession of the second half to take a 23-10 lead. Younghoe Koo kicked a 24-yard field goal, and Myles Campbell caught a short pass, broke a tackle and outran the defense for a 63-yard touchdown. But the Eagles were held to just three fourth-quarter points.

It was the first meeting between the teams since Georgia Southern’s victory in the 1986 NCAA Division I-AA national championship game.