App State Clinches Sun Belt Title With Senior Day Win (2017-12-03 01:06:09)

BOONE, N.C. — The exercise became so repetitive, true freshman Thomas Hennigan began raising fingers to signify how many times he had scored.

 It was the ultimate Ring Game at The Rock, complete with record-setting performances and a stage on which to celebrate.
Appalachian State clinched a share of a second straight Sun Belt Conference championship by winning 63-14 against Louisiana on Senior Day at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Mountaineers (8-4, 7-1) will share the title with the winner of the Arkansas State-Troy game in Jonesboro, Ark., on Saturday night.

Afterward, with fans flooding the field, Sun Belt deputy commissioner Kathy Keene delivered a championship trophy to head coach Scott Satterfield, who handed the hardware off to his seniors.

“This senior class has been the force behind everything in this transition to the FBS, and it is really fitting for them to finish their career here at Kidd Brewer Stadium with a Sun Belt championship,” Satterfield said. “I am really proud of the way they came out and played. The last month our preparation has been the best it’s been all year. The last three games we played, it’s the best football we’ve played and the most complete games.”
Hennigan tied a school record by catching four touchdown passes from senior quarterback Taylor Lamb, App State's run game accounted for 357 of the team's 608 total yards and the defense helped the Mountaineers build a 56-7 lead after the Ragin' Cajuns (5-7, 4-4) scored a touchdown in the opening minute.
Lamb's four TD passes were part of a home finale in which he completed 17 of his 22 passes for 242 yards and rushed for 87 yards with one touchdown on five attempts.
Hennigan finished with 99 receiving yards on his five catches, Jalin Moore added two touchdowns while rushing for 110 yards and another true freshman, Daetrich Harrington, reached the end zone once while rushing for a career-high 118 yards. The Mountaineers set a program record for points in a Sun Belt contest when Curtis Fitch, a walk-on quarterback making his second career appearance in his final home game, scored on a keeper late in the fourth quarter.
Senior linebacker Eric Boggs had nine tackles, one sack and one interception to lead App State's defense, which forced three turnovers. Clifton Duck recorded his fifth interception of the season, and Rashaad Townes' fourth forced fumble of the season led to Desmond Franklin's 28-yard return that set up the tiebreaking touchdown late in the first quarter.
App State's bowl destination will be announced Sunday.


Postgame Notes & Quotes From App State's Win


With the victory, Appalachian State captured its second straight Sun Belt Conference championship. The Mountaineers matched their 7-1 league record from last season, when they shared the title with Arkansas State. Appalachian is 27-3 in the Sun Belt since losing its first two conference games in 2014.

App State won on Senior Day at Kidd Brewer Stadium for the 20th straight year. After a 25-19 home loss to Liberty in the 1997 finale, App State won its last 16 Senior Day games as an FCS program, with six of them coming vs. Western Carolina. The Mountaineers have won FBS home finales against Idaho (2014), Louisiana (2015, 2017) and ULM (2016).

App State’s 63 points set a program record for Sun Belt play (the previous high was 59 against ULM in 2015). It was App State’s highest-scoring game overall since a 70-24 home victory against Wofford in a nationally televised Halloween game in 2008.

True freshman Thomas Hennigan’s four touchdown receptions tied the school record shared by DaVon Fowlkes (2004 vs. Northwestern State) and Bob Agle (1968 vs. Wofford). Hennigan increased his season total to seven touchdown catches with his five-reception, 99-yard performance.

With true freshman Daetrich Harrington rushing for a career-high 118 yards and junior Jalin Moore rushing for 110, App State had two 100-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since the 2016 Camellia Bowl. Marcus Cox had 143 yards and Taylor Lamb had 126 in that 31-28 victory.

Lamb added 87 rushing yards Saturday, giving App State three 80-yard rushers in the same game for the first time since the 2016 win at Georgia Southern — five games before the Camellia Bowl. The Mountaineers’ 80-yard rushers against Georgia Southern were Moore (126), Cox (115) and Lamb (94).

App State has rushed for 933 yards and allowed 364 rushing yards in the last three games. With 357 rushing yards Saturday, the Mountaineers topped their previous season high of 350 against New Mexico State.

App State safety Desmond Franklin recovered a first-quarter fumble forced by Rashaad Townes, who moved into a tie for first place the Sun Belt with his fourth forced fumble of the season.

With nine tackles, one sack and one interception, senior linebacker Eric Boggs now has 342 career tackles, 12.0 sacks and eight interceptions. He entered Saturday as one of only two active FBS players with at least 330 tackles, 10 sacks and seven interceptions.

Sophomore cornerback Clifton Duck recorded his fifth interception of the season, raising his two-year total to 10. Entering Saturday, only 21 active FBS players had at least 10 career interceptions, and 18 of those players are seniors.

True freshman Tim Frizzell recorded his first career sack.




App State head coach Scott Satterfield

“This senior class has been the force behind everything in this transition to the FBS, and it is really fitting for them to finish their career here at Kidd Brewer Stadium with a Sun Belt championship. I am really proud of the way they came out and played. The last month our preparation has been the best it’s been all year. The last three games we played, it’s the best football we’ve played and the most complete games. Defensively, it set the tone over the last three wins, and our offense has been very solid. We took care of the football, created turnovers. It is a great day to be a Mountaineer and go out with a Sun Belt championship.”

“For us, if you take each side of the ball, we really settled in with our roles and what we are trying to do. The offensive line has really jelled and meshed and gotten better and better throughout the season, and Jalin has really helped the last few weeks.”


App State quarterback Taylor Lamb

“That's how we wanted to go out. Not a fast start, but we took care of it. It’s extremely special to do it with this group of guys. You never think this would happen. You know you always kept your head down and worked hard, but you don’t’ know the results will come, and they sure came. It’s a good way to go out for the offense and a great game to end my career at The Rock.”


App State receiver Thomas Hennigan

“I had a couple five-touchdown games in high school, but I never dreamed of doing it in college like this, especially as a freshman. I’m just blessed to have a quarterback and a team and an offense like we have this year.”


App State backup quarterback Curtis Fitch on his teammates’ TD reaction

“It was unbelievable. How about that? It was awesome and really special. It shows the culture of this program and the kind of team we have. You couldn’t ask for more.”


App State senior linebacker Eric Boggs

“We’ve had a very productive last four years. I wouldn’t put anything above it. It’s been awesome. Me and Stringer, we’ve built a great bond, just like all the other players on the defense, and that’s really what’s helped us rally together. We’ve got such a team chemistry that it helps out and gets a lot of wins.”


App State senior linebacker Devan Stringer

“We always strived to work hard and be the best. I don’t think there was a doubt in anybody’s mind that we would get it turned around. That’s exactly what we did. That just goes to the character we have here on our staff, all the way down to us. It shows the character we had to keep fighting, keep striving to be the best.”


Louisiana coach Mark Hudspeth

"First of all, give App State credit. They've got an outstanding football team and did a really good job today and made a lot of plays and we didn't. It wasn't our night. We didn't play as well as we would've liked, especially for these seniors. Really proud of this senior class and everything these seniors have meant to us over the last few years.”

“Any time you lose the turnover battle, just like last week we lost a turnover battle, and when you lose it 3-0, again, that's not a good recipe. This year we were so good at taking care of the football. In the last two games of the season, the turnover bug bit us pretty bad. Give them (App State) credit. They didn't turn the ball over, and they did a good job."


App State Enjoys Breakthrough Win At Ohio

BOONE, N.C. — ATHENS, Ohio — A run of five straight victories enabled Appalachian State’s wrestling team to erase an early deficit and claim a dramatic 18-14 win at Ohio on Saturday

App State (3-1) enjoyed a breakthrough victory against the Bobcats, who had won each of their last 11 meetings with the Mountaineers dating back to 1995. With the dual meet starting on a win at 141 pounds by Irvin Enriquez, Appalachian fell behind 9-3 but took an 18-9 lead into the final match thanks to three-point decisions from Forrest Przybysz (174), Alan Clothier (184), Randall Diabe (197), Cary Miller (heavyweight) and De’Andre Swinson-Barr (125).

Swinson-Barr, a true freshman from Fayetteville, picked up a huge first win of his college career to put Ohio (0-2) in an insurmountable hole with its nationally ranked 133-pound wrestler awaiting in the final match. Down 2-0, Swinson-Barr tied the match against Coleton Chase with a two-point near fall late in the second period, and he opened the third period with a quick escape. He earned a 7-2 decision thanks to a late takedown and his advantage in riding time.

App State had a 15-9 lead when Swinson-Barr took the mat thanks to a 2-1 decision from Diabe and a 3-1 decision from Miller.

Trailing 1-0 entering the third period, Miller tied the match with an escape and broke the tie with a takedown in the final 20 seconds against Zack Parker, an NCAA Championships qualifier in 2016-17.

Diabe opened the second period of his match with a one-point escape, and Ohio’s Hunter Yeargan began the third period looking to do the same from the down position. Diabe never gave up an escape to Yeargan, moving to more than a minute of riding time with 43 seconds remaining in the match. Yeargan was awarded a point for an App State violation with 32 seconds left, but Diabe rode him out to claim a one-point victory thanks to the advantage in riding time.

App State’s string of victories began with Przybysz taking a 6-1 decision and Clothier posting an 8-2 decision.

Przybysz erased a 1-0 deficit against Joe Terry with a two-point takedown and claimed control with a three-point near fall. That match cut App State’s team deficit in half, and the Mountaineers pulled even at 9-all thanks to Clothier’s victory against Dontae McGee.

Enriquez opened the match with an 11-6 decision against Alec Hagan at 141 pounds. Enriquez fell behind 4-1 and was trailing 4-3 when he gained a big advantage in riding time while preventing Hagen from escaping to close the second period. Enriquez began the third period with a tying escape from the down position and broke a 6-6 tie with an escape before he executed a takedown.

Redshirt freshman Thomas Flitz had a strong showing at 165 pounds against Austin Reese, who began the season as the top-ranked MAC wrestler at 165. Flitz tied the match at 2-all before Reese executed an escape and finished with a 4-2 decision thanks to riding time.

The Mountaineers return to action next Sunday, Dec. 10, to face No. 6 N.C. State at 3 p.m. in Varsity Gym.Wrestling tickets are on sale and can be purchased by calling the Appalachian State ticket office at 828-262-2079 or by going online to the App State Ticket Central link. For the N.C. State match, tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for youth.

The Wolfpack will be the highest-ranked opponent to visit Boone since No. 5 Missouri wrestled in Varsity ym two seasons ago.


App State 18, Ohio 14

141: Irvin Enriquez (APP) def. Alec Hagen (OH), 11-6 dec. (3-0)

149: Kade Kowalski (OH) def. Gavin Londoff (APP), 4-2 dec. (3-3)

157: Cullen Cummings (OH) def. Angel Najar (APP), 11-6 dec. (3-6)

165: Austin Reese (OH) vs. Thomas Flitz (APP), 4-2 dec. (3-9)

174: Forrest Przybysz (APP) def. Joe Terry (OH), 6-1 dec. (6-9)

184: Alan Clothier (APP) def. Dontae McGee (OH), 8-2 dec. (9-9)

197: Randall Diabe (APP) def. Hunter Yeargan (OH), 2-1 dec. (12-9)

HWT: Cary Miller (APP) def. Zack Parker (OH), 3-1 dec. (15-9)

125: De’Andre Swinson-Barr (APP) def. Coleton Chase (OH), 6-2 dec. (18-9)

133: Cameron Kelly (OH) def. Codi Russell (APP), 22-5 tech. fall (18-14)

Mabel - 38, Bethel - 16
Parkway - 40, Valle Crucis - 4
Green Valley - 21, Cove Creek - 10
Mabel - 25, Bethel - 47
Parkway - 36, Valle Crucis - 30
Cove Creek - 53, Green Valley - 28
Eli Greene - 10 Points, Josiah Romanus - 18 Points, Carson Warren - 20 Points