Georgia Soutthern's Shai Werts runs with the ball against Liberty's Brandon Tillmon (12) during the second quarter of the 2019 Cure Bowl Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019, at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images
Photo: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Liberty stymies Georgia Southern in Cure Bowl

Hickson became the first Liberty running back since Rashad Jennings (2006-08) to have back to back seasons of 1,000-yards rushing. 

Flames coach Hugh Freeze, who began his first season coaching Liberty from a hospital bed in the press box following back surgery on Aug. 16, got his 50th career win. 

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Liberty (8-5) joined Georgia Southern and Appalachian State as the only teams to move from FCS to FBS and win a bowl game in its first season of eligibility. 

Georgia Southern went three-and-out on its first three possessions, gaining a combined 12 yards. Liberty had four yards over its initial two possessions. 

Shai Werts completed 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards and gained 57 yards on 22 carries for Georgia Southern (7-6). Wesley Kennedy III had 104 yards on nine rushing attempts. 

Werts had his school-record streak of 230 consecutive passes without an interception end when Javon Scruggs picked off his pass late in the second. The turnover resulted on a 46-yard field goal by Alex Probert. 

Calvert threw a 57-yard old touchdown pass to Johnny Huntley late in the first quarter and Joshua Mack scored on a three-run yard during the second as Liberty took a 16-7 halftime lead. 

Kennedy had a 10-yard touchdown dash in the second for Georgia Southern, which was out gained 264-115 in the first half and 402-289 overall. 

Antonio Gandy-Golden caught a 14-yard scoring strike from Calvert in the third. 

The Liberty defense limited Georgia Southern to three field goals in the second half. 

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