STATESBORO, Ga. (AP) -- Jayson Foster ran for 231 yards, threw for 124 yards and accounted for four touchdowns to lead Georgia Southern to a 45-21 victory over West Georgia on Saturday night.
It was a successful coaching debut for Chris Hatcher, who took over as Eagles coach after winning a national championship at Valdosta State in NCAA Division II. He was brought on to restore Georgia Southern's prestige as a Football Championship Subdivision powerhouse again after finishing 3-8 last season, the last when the division was recognized as 1-AA.
But Hatcher's first win didn't come easy. The Wolves took a 21-10 lead in the second quarter when Keats Baldwin threw a 7-yard touchdown to Daniel Johnson, then Baldwin scored on an 11-yard run.
The Eagles (1-0) took control after halftime, scoring twice on Foster's 56-yard run and a 41-yard touchdown by Zeke Rozier, who finished with 53 yards on seven carries.
Hatcher, known for his passing philosophy, mostly used the running game as Georgia Southern gained its edge. Foster, who completed 6-of-9 passes, connected with Michael McIntosh on an 81-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
After Rozier scored his second rushing touchdown, Foster added a 74-yard touchdown for the Eagles. Foster also had a 54 yard scoring run in the opening quarter.
Lamar Lewis also helped a strong Georgia Southern rushing attack, gaining 150 yards on 14 attempts.
Baldwin completed 21-of-35 passes for 224 yards for West Georgia (1-1). James Kennebrew, who led the Wolves with 49 yards, had a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.