Archive

UPDATED: App State Win Over Georgia State Sets Up Big Finale (2018-11-17 23:17:39)

BOONE, N.C. — One big home game down. At least one more to go.

Returning to Boone for the last two games of the regular season, App State posted a 45-17 victory against Sun Belt Conference foe Georgia State to set up a winner-take-all finale with East Division leader Troy next weekend at Kidd Brewer Stadium. If the Mountaineers (8-2, 6-1) beat the Trojans (9-2, 7-0) to win the division via the head-to-head tiebreaker, they would host the inaugural Sun Belt Championship Game on Dec. 1 against either Louisiana, Arkansas State or ULM.

"We just had a business-like approach, and it's a great win," App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. "It puts us in position for next week against Troy, whoever wins is playing for the conference championship at their home field. You couldn't have asked for anything better at this point in the season."

On Black Saturday at The Rock, Desmond Franklin's two interceptions included a 26-yard return for a third-quarter touchdown that followed pressure from Anthony Flory, who had seven tackles to help lead a group that limited the Panthers (2-9, 1-6) to 132 passing yards.

App State quarterback Zac Thomas accounted for four touchdowns, including three through the air as he completed 20 of his 24 passes for 282 yards, and Darrynton Evans rushed for a 56-yard touchdown to highlight a 15-carry, 127-yard performance. Corey Sutton also had a 100-yard day, catching four first-half passes for 101 yards and one score.

In the first quarter alone, Sutton had a 39-yard touchdown and a 40-yard reception.

"Last week, on deep balls, especially to Corey, we were taking (the receivers) off their tracks where they're having to find the ball and are getting stopped and the defense is making a play that shouldn't be made," Thomas said. "That was a big emphasis coach (Frank) Ponce made this week in practice — to keep the receivers on their tracks and don't slow them down."

The other touchdown catches in a penalty-free, turnover-free effort from the Mountaineers came from freshman tight end Henry Pearson and Dominique Heath, as Thomas increased his season totals to 16 passing touchdowns and seven rushing touchdowns with just four interceptions.­­

Georgia State used a 7-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive to take a brief lead, but App State responded with a four-play, 75-yard series that ended with Thomas' 39-yard touchdown pass to Sutton. Pearson hurdled a defender close to the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown reception with 3:16 left in the opening quarter, and Chandler Staton's 23-yard field goal 11 seconds before halftime gave the Mountaineers a 17-7 advantage heading into the break.

Thomas scored on a 1-yard keeper about six minutes into the third quarter, with that drive extending on his 33-yard pass to Thomas Hennigan on a fourth-and-4 play from the 34, and Franklin scooped up a low, desperate throw toward Georgia State's bench before racing untouched down the left sideline. His touchdown pushed the Mountaineers ahead 31-7.

"The coaches called the right calls to put us in the right spot, and I was really trying to bait him into making some throws," Franklin said. "He made them, and I just went up and made the plays."

The Panthers trailed 31-10 when Thomas hit Heath for a 21-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter, and Franklin's 38-yard interception return from the App State 6 to the 44 preceded Evans' touchdown run on the second play of the next series. Georgia State quarterback Dan Ellington entered the weekend with only two interceptions and touchdown passes on the season.

The game also featured the official return of sophomore running back Daetrich Harrington, who suffered a knee injury in February and rushed for 16 yards on four carries in his first game action of the season.

SUN BELT CHAMPIONSHIP GAME RACE

EAST DIVISION
Appalachian State plays in the Championship Game if:
Appalachian State (7-1) beats Troy (7-1)

Tie-breaker is by virtue of the head-to-head win

Troy plays in the Championship Game if:
Troy (8-0) beats Appalachian State (6-2)

WEST DIVISION
Arkansas State plays in the Championship Game if:
Arkansas State (5-3) beats Texas State
ULM (5-3) beats Louisiana (4-4)

Tiebreaker is by virtue of a head-to-head win over ULM

Louisiana plays in the Championship Game if:
Louisiana (5-3) beats ULM (4-4)

Louisiana wins outright with an Arkansas State (4-4) loss to Texas State
Louisiana owns head-to-head tiebreaker over Arkansas State (5-3) if they beat Texas State

ULM plays in the Championship Game if:
ULM (5-3) beats Louisiana (4-4)
Arkansas State (4-4) loses to Texas State

ULM would win outright

POSTGAME NOTES

Appalachian State committed no penalties or turnovers in the 45-17 win against Georgia State. A 23-20 win at Idaho last season was the last time App State didn't commit a penalty, and before that, it was a 35-20 win against Chattanooga in 2009.

Desmond Franklin scored on a 26-yard interception return in the third quarter. It was App State's first interception return for a touchdown since A.J. Howard scored on a 71-yard return at Troy in 2016.

Junior cornerback Clifton Duck had seven tackles to tie outside linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither and inside linebacker Anthony Flory for the team lead. A linebacker has led the team in tackles in every other game this season except against Gardner-Webb, when Duck had a team-high five stops.

Darrynton Evans had a 100-yard rushing game for the fourth time in seven Sun Belt games. He now has 860 rushing yards on the season even though he didn't become App State's primary running back until midway through the team's sixth game.

Corey Sutton entered the game ranking No. 8 in the country and No. 1 in the Sun Belt at 19.96 yards per catch, and he averaged 25.7 yards Saturday with four catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. It was his second 100-yard game, as he had 155 yards against Charlotte.

Since returning to App State's lineup, Zac Thomas is 45-for-60 passing for 529 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions.

True freshman tight end Henry Pearson scored his first career touchdown on a 10-yard reception late in the first quarter.

Sophomore running back Daetrich Harrington, who had knee surgery in February, made his season debut and rushed four times for 16 yards.

Clayton Howell's only punt was a 56-yard kick out of his own end zone, and Michael Rubino had seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs.

True freshman Kaleb Dawson made his App State debut on the opening kickoff, as he covered kicks throughout the day and recorded his first tackle on a 16-yard return that followed App State's second kickoff.

APPALACHIAN STATE 45, GEORGIA STATE 17

                                         1st 2nd 3rd 4th F
Georgia State                       7    0    3   7  17
Appalachian State               14   3   14 14  45

 

1ST QUARTER
GSU
10:17 - GSU - Jones, Tamir 7 yd pass from Ellington, Dan (Wright, Brandon kick) 10 plays, 75 yards, TOP 4:43
7 0
APP
08:54 - APP - Sutton, Corey 39 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick) 4 plays, 75 yards, TOP 1:23
7 7
APP
03:16 - APP - Pearson, Henry 10 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick) 8 plays, 64 yards, TOP 3:26
7 14

2ND QUARTER
APP
00:11 - APP - Staton, C. 23 yd field goal 12 plays, 75 yards, TOP 4:04
7 17

3RD QUARTER
APP
09:16 - APP - Thomas, Zac 1 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 11 plays, 75 yards, TOP 5:44
7 24
APP
08:27 - APP - Franklin, D. 26 yd interception (Staton, C. kick)
7 31
GSU
02:42 - GSU - Wright, Brandon 52 yd field goal 12 plays, 41 yards, TOP 5:45
10 31

4TH QUARTER
APP
14:18 - APP - Heath, D. 21 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick) 7 plays, 75 yards, TOP 3:24
10 38
APP
12:04 - APP - Evans, D. 56 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 2 plays, 56 yards, TOP 0:17
10 45
GSU
08:20 - GSU - Kirk, Demarcus 3 yd run (Wright, Brandon kick), 7 plays, 75 yards, TOP 3:44
17 45

Team Statistics

Game Stats                 GSU APP
Total Yards                  329 524
Pass Yards                  132 296
Rushing Yards             197 228
Penalty Yards             6-61 0-0
1st Downs                   15 25
3rd Downs                6-12 6-12
4th Downs                 0-0 3-3
TOP                       28:33 31:27

Individual Statistics

GSU
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Ellington, Dan 19 115 2 113 0 22 5.9
Gregg, Tucker 4 43 0 43 0 26 10.8
Barnett, Tra 6 26 1 25 0 12 4.2
Stubbs, Darius 2 14 0 14 0 14 7.0
Kirk, Demarcus 2 3 0 3 1 3 1.5
Team 1 0 1 -1 0 0 -1.0
Totals 34 201 4 197 1 26 5.8

APP STATE
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Evans, D. 15 127 0 127 1 56 8.5
Williams, Marc. 13 58 0 58 0 12 4.5
Thomas, Zac 7 36 9 27 1 24 3.9
Harrington, D. 4 16 0 16 0 5 4.0
Totals 39 237 9 228 2 56 5.8

GSU
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Ellington, Dan 10-21-2 132 1 40 0
Totals 10-21-2 132 1 40 0

APP STATE
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Thomas, Zac 20-24-0 282 3 40 3
Huesman, Jacob 2-2-0 14 0 10 0
Totals 22-26-0 296 3 40 3

GSU
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Hart, Penny 2 50 0 40
McCoy, C. 2 45 0 33
Gentry, Devin 2 10 0 5
Jones, Tamir 2 3 1 7
Stubbs, Darius 1 21 0 21
Carter, Roger 1 3 0 3
Totals 10 132 1 40

APP STATE
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Sutton, Corey 4 101 1 40
Hennigan, T. 4 60 0 33
Pearson, Henry 3 36 1 21
Virgil, Jalen 3 32 0 21
Williams, Malik 3 22 0 19
Evans, D. 2 10 0 5
Heath, D. 1 21 1 21
Absher, Brad 1 10 0 10
Reed, Collin 1 4 0 4
Totals 22 296 3 40

 



Back