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Western Michigan Broncos vs Georgia Southern Eagles: Phillips has a memorable game in 49-31 win

Darius Phillips had an interception return and a kickoff return go for scores, and the Broncos shut down the Eagles’ run game in an impressive home win

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Illinois Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

The Western Michigan Broncos are now 4-0 after they throttled the Georgia Southern Eagles to the tune of 35 first half points in a 49-31 win on Saturday night at Waldo Stadium. Darius Phillips stole the show with a pair of non-offensive touchdowns, and Jamauri Bogan went over 100 yards for the 5th straight game.

The Broncos scored on a Bogan 4-yard run to open the scoring midway through the 1st quarter. And after Fabian Upshaw hit a wide-open Wesley Fields for a 44-yard score to tie the game, it appeared we’d have a game. But with the Broncos threatening to start the 2nd quarter, they were determined to put on a show for the home crowd.

To start the quarter, Zach Terrell hit Michael Henry on a 1st-and-25 pass for a 37-yard touchdown. After the Eagles responded with a 34-yard field goal, Phillips scored his first touchdown of the evening on a 100 yard kickoff return. The ensuing Eagle drive would only last two plays, before Justin Ferguson knocked a Kevin Ellison option pitch away to the hands of his fellow Broncos. Carrington Thompson would score on an 8-yard catch and the rout was on.

The Eagles would try to make it interesting. They would respond on a Upshaw touchdown pass to Myles Campbell, but the Broncos would answer with a 35-yard score to Corey Davis, with the senior wide-out making the catch through double coverage just before the half.

Phillips’ interception would come not even three minutes into the second half, taking an Upshaw pass 70-yards to the house to make it 42-17. The Eagles would get scores from Montay Crockett and L.A. Ramsby on a 44-yard catch and a 13-yard run respectively, but the Broncos would put it away on a 15-play, 87-yard touchdown drive. Michael Henry scored from 7-yards out after P.J. Fleck’s offense burned up nearly 8 minutes of the clock.

Western Michigan held Georgia Southern’s option offense to just 204 yards rushing on 50 attempts, while forcing three fumbles and recovering two. Matt Breida was held to just 42 yards on 14 carries, with no run longer than 9 yards. The Eagles did most of their damage through the air, throwing for 168 yards on 9-for-16 passing.

The Broncos got 4 turnovers (one coming way late) while committing none of their own. Bogan finished with 104 yards rushing on 26 carries, and Terrell added 35 yards on 4 carries himself. The senior quarterback also went 18-for-27, throwing for 270 yards and four scores, with his main target being Henry. Henry had 8 catches for 125 yards and a pair of scores, while Davis added 6 catches for 78 yards, moving 7 yards behind Jordan White for the all-time MAC receiving yards record.

The Broncos begin MAC play next weekend with a trip to Mt. Pleasant to take on hated rival Central Michigan in the Battle for the Victory Cannon. The game is also the first leg of the football version of the Michigan MAC Trophy. Western Michigan currently holds both trophies and are looking to become the first back-to-back-to-back champion of the Michigan MAC Trophy in football.