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Noell Barnidge / Special to the Forum, Published December 10 2011

GSU rolls on to FCS semis, set to play Bison

STATESBORO, Ga. – Bundle up, Eagles fans. Georgia Southern is heading to Fargo, N.D., for the Football Championship Subdivision semifinals.

Third-ranked and third-seeded GSU beat No. 13 Maine, 35-23, in an FCS quarterfinal Saturday at Paulson Stadium to advance to the semifinals for a second consecutive season.

The Eagles (11-2) will play No. 4 and second-seeded North Dakota State (12-1), which beat No. 6 Lehigh,

24-0, on Saturday to advance to the semifinals for the first time in the school’s history.

GSU and North Dakota State will play inside the Fargodome Dec. 16 or Dec. 17 at a time to be determined. Last year, the Eagles traveled to Delaware and lost, 27-10, in the semifinals.

“It’s a good feeling,” GSU senior center William Maxwell said. “It was our goal at the beginning of the season to get back in this position. We’re working hard each and every week, and we’re fortunate to be back in this position.

“We’re going to practice this week real hard and do the best we can to get to the national championship game, which is our goal.”

A crowd of 12,886 watched as Maine (9-4) failed to stop GSU’s triple-option, which amassed 360 yards on 67 carries. The Black Bears, who limited Appalachian State to three yards rushing en route to a victory last Saturday, struggled against GSU’s running game.

“We thought we had a great effort last week. We felt like we had to have an even better one today,” Maine head coach Jack Cosgrove said. “We had difficulty, as you saw, stopping the triple (option). We don’t see it a lot. I thought we got better as the game went on but time ran out on us.”

Sam Houston State 49,

Montana State 13

HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Richard Sincere rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries as Sam Houston State piled up 428 rushing yards on Saturday in beating Montana State 49-13 in a Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal game.

The top-seeded Bearkats (13-0) will host Montana in the semifinals either next Friday or Saturday.

Sincere caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown, while Torrance Williams rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on five carries for the winners.

Brian Bell rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on four carries for Sam Houston State, and threw for 73 yards and another score.