McKinnon’s rushing total was the second-best ever for the Eagles (9-3) — 17 yards short of Adrian Peterson’s 1999 school and FCS playoff record. He fell 5 yards short of the Southern Conference record of 321 set this season by Wofford’s Eric Breitenstein.
Peterson’s mark of 333 is not considered a record by the conference because it came before 2002, when playoff figures were first counted.
“The stats might go under my name, but all 10 guys out there with me get the credit,” said McKinnon, the former standout at Sprayberry High School in east Cobb. “There were some great blocks out there on the perimeter. Central Arkansas was skating to the pitch, and I just tried to turn it up field.”
McKinnon ran for touchdowns of 57 and 6 yards and hit Darreion Robinson for a 32-yard score — one of just two completions in seven attempts for McKinnon.
Former Lassiter High School kicker Alex Hanks gave Georgia Southern its final points of the game, on a 40-yard field goal with 2:31 left in the first half.
The Eagles, the FCS’ leading team in rushing, piled up 404 on the ground to improve their playoff record at home to 33-3. They’ll play at Old Dominion next week.
“This is the most fun time of year because you have to win to get to play again,” Georgia Southern coach Jeff Monken said. “I’m just impressed with our whole team and how much they care about each other and play together as a team. We win games like this because we guys who care about each other and are willing to lay it on the line.”
Wynrick Smothers passed for 251 yards for Central Arkansas (9-3), but he was just 16-of-41.