The mighty CAA -- "the SEC of FCS," according to certain Colonial supporters -- has been vanquished from the 2011 FCS playoffs tournament. The Georgia Southern Eagles overcame a rigid Maine Black Bears defense, 35-23, and will advance to likely play North Dakota State on the road in next week's semifinals, unless Lehigh can pull off an upset.
Maine's offense came to life after a 61-yard first half, scoring three minutes into the third quarter. A second Warren Smith touchdown later in the third made it 35-23. The game's key play came late in the fourth quarter, when the Black Bears faced a fourth-and-11 in GSU's red zone. Laron Scott broke up Smith's effort, and the game was all but won.
The Eagles offense, designed to hang onto the ball for long periods of time, did just that, holding a 23-minute advantage after that fourth down stand. They finished with 45. J.J. Wilcox produced 99 yards and a pair of touchdowns, Jaybo Shaw totaled 135 yards and three scores, and Dominique Swope churned out 81 yards of his own.