Late TD lifts Georgia State past Kennesaw State, 24-20

ATLANTA – Things didn’t start well for Georgia State in its season over, but they finished just peachy.

Georgia State linebacker Jordan Strachan pursues Kennesaw State quarterback Chandler Burks during the first half at Georgia State Stadium. ( photo by Chuck Cox).

Diondre Champaigne hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Dan Ellington with 41 seconds remaining to lift the Panthers to a 24-20 comeback win over Kennesaw State, 24-20, at Georgia State Stadium under the Thursday night lights.

Fresh off a 12-2 season that included a trip to the FCS quarterfinals, the Owls jumped out to a 14-0 lead on a 5-yard TD run by Shaquil Terry and a 23-yard TD pass from Chandler Burks to Justin Sumpter.

GSU (1-0) tied the game up by halftime with a pair of scores in the final 50 seconds of the first half. After Ellington threw a 3-yard TD pass to Penny Hart, the Panthers got the ball back on a turnover. Forty-seven seconds later, Ellington was at it again, this time connecting with Christian Owens on a 6-yard TD strike.

The Owls pushed the lead back to six with a pair of Justin Thompson field goals in the third quarter. The Panthers trimmed that advantage back to three on a 35-yard Brandon Wright field goal early in the fourth quarter.

Ellington was 20-of-28 for 187 yards and 3 TD’s. The junior from Olive Branch, Miss., also rushed for a game-high 103 yards. Sumpter caught 7 passes for 95 yards for GSU. The Panthers were 7-5 and won a bowl game in 2017.

Kennesaw State plays another Thursday game at Tennessee Tech on Sept. 6, while GSU is at NC State on Saturday, Sept. 8.


Kennesaw State at Georgia State gallery

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