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App State Rolls To Road Victory in Texas (2018-11-11 02:36:17)

SAN MARCOS, Texas — Zac Thomas wasted little time announcing his return, even though Appalachian State chewed up plenty of clock with its scoring drives.

Thomas' 43-yard pass to Collin Reed on App State's first offensive play triggered a productive day for the sophomore quarterback, and Chris Willis' backfield pressure set up Noel Cook's goalline interception that served as the biggest momentum swing in a 38-7 victory at Texas State on Saturday.

"It's a business-like approach what we've done the last two weeks," said App State head coach Scott Satterfield, who improved his career record to 48-24, moving him into sole possession of third place for coaching victories at the school. "What we've done defensively, holding these teams to low yardage, creating turnovers today, and last week our special teams were outstanding. Today, our offense picked up, so we're finding ways to win football games as a complete team with the offense and defense really feeding off each other."

Thomas, who sat out last weekend's win after playing only one series in the previous game, completed 25 of 36 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. With help from receiver Mock Adams' downfield block, Darrynton Evans reached the end zone for the second time with a 79-yard run that gave the Mountaineers a 28-0 lead just two plays into the second half, and Texas State finally ended the defense's shutout bid midway through the third quarter.

App State has allowed single-digit points in six of its last eight games, and its opponents have totaled 14 second-half points in the Mountaineers' seven victories.

"Everybody was out there just playing hard and doing their jobs," safety Josh Thomas said. "That's all you can ask for."

Appalachian (7-2, 5-1) engineered scoring drives of 13, 13 and 17 plays in the victory, which, coupled with a road win for Troy (8-2, 6-0) at Georgia Southern (7-3, 4-2), left the Mountaineers with sole possession of second place in the Sun Belt's East Division. They close the regular season with home games against Georgia State and Troy over the next two weeks, meaning App State controls its chances of hosting the first Sun Belt Championship Game.

Austin Exford's recovery of a fumble forced by Thomas in the opening two minutes preceded App State's first touchdown drive, a three-play series that ended with Dominique Heath gaining 16 yards and scoring from the 8-yard line on consecutive receptions.

A quick 3-for-3 start for 67 yards was the beginning of a solid day from Zac Thomas, who completed throws to nine players and also rushed for 76 yards.

"It felt phenomenal just being out there helping the team," he said. "Being off those two weeks really helped me out, both in the physical and mental part of the game. I healed up, and I feel fantastic."

Thomas' 1-yard touchdown pass to Reed early in the second quarter pushed the Mountaineers ahead 14-0, and Texas State (3-7, 1-5) was in position to cut into its deficit when it reached the App State 2 midway through the second quarter.

Willis' pursuit of backup quarterback Tyler Vitt during a third-and-goal play from the 4 forced a desperate, fluttering throw that was intercepted by Cook at the 3, and App State responded with a 13-play, 95-yard touchdown drive to move ahead 21-0.

"We really focus on our position in the gaps and fitting like a puzzle," Willis said. "All day, the quarterback had been throwing the ball on time, and we were just focused on trying to get him down. There, he just held it too long and threw it out late."

The Mountaineers' 17-play scoring drive lasted more than eight minutes, concluding with a 29-yard field goal from Chandler Staton early in the fourth quarter, and true freshman running back Camerun Peoples scored the first touchdown of his young career on a 9-yard run behind a block from center Noah Hannon. Peoples ranked third on the team with 42 rushing yards on five carries, all in the fourth quarter, and Evans had a team-high 86 rushing yards on his nine attempts.

Willis and Okon Godwin recorded sacks for a defense that limited the Bobcats to 218 total yards, and MyQuon Stout made App State's second fumble recovery of the game in the final 90 seconds. Inside linebackers Anthony Flory and Jordan Fehr tied for the team lead with nine tackles apiece.

APPALACHIAN STATE 38, TEXAS STATE 7

                          1st 2nd 3rd 4th    F
APP  STATE           7   14    7  10   38
Texas State           0     0   7     0    7


Team Statistics

Game Stats APP TXST
Total Yards    468 218
Pass Yards     247 132
Rushing Yards 221 86
Penalty Yards 5-50 3-19
1st Downs      19 15
3rd Downs    9-16 3-12
4th Downs    2-2 2-4
TOP          33:36 26:24

Scoring Summary

1ST QUARTER
APP
12:04 - APP - Heath, D. 8 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick) 3 plays, 67 yards, TOP 1:02
7 0

2ND QUARTER
APP
14:14 - APP - Reed, Collin 1 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick) 13 plays, 70 yards, TOP 6:01
14 0
APP
01:20 - APP - Evans, D. 1 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 13 plays, 95 yards, TOP 5:51
21 0

3RD QUARTER
APP
14:36 - APP - Evans, D. 79 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 2 plays, 79 yards, TOP 0:18
28 0
TXST
08:00 - TXST - Brown,Keenen 6 yd pass from Vitt,Tyler (Kessler,Chris kick) 7 plays, 43 yards, TOP 3:15
28 7

4TH QUARTER
APP
14:50 - APP - Staton, C. 29 yd field goal 17 plays, 68 yards, TOP 8:05
31 7
APP
02:01 - APP - Peoples, C. 9 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 9 plays, 72 yards, TOP 4:33
38 7

Individual Statistics

APP STATE
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Evans, Darrynton 9 88 2 86 2 79 9.6
Thomas, Zac 11 81 5 76 0 16 6.9
Peoples, Camerun 5 44 2 42 1 27 8.4
Williams, Marcus 6 10 0 10 0 5 1.7
Harper, DeMarcus 3 7 0 7 0 3 2.3
Totals 34 230 9 221 3 79 6.5

TEXAS STATE
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Twyford,Caleb 11 38 3 35 0 11 3.2
Vitt,Tyler 9 32 15 17 0 8 1.9
Brown Jr, Robert 2 16 0 16 0 15 8.0
Jones III, Willie 1 11 0 11 0 10 11.0
Taylor, Anthony D 3 10 0 10 0 5 3.3
Brown,Keenen 2 4 2 2 0 4 1.0
Gipson,Jaylen 2 1 0 1 0 0 0.5
Watts,Tyler 1 0 6 -6 0 0 -6.0
Totals 31 112 26 86 0 15 2.8

APP STATE
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Thomas, Zac 25-36-0 247 2 43 1
Totals 25-36-0 247 2 43 1

TEXAS STATE
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Vitt,Tyler 17-28-1 106 1 15 2
Jones III, Willie 2-2-0 26 0 15 0
Totals 19-30-1 132 1 15 2

APP STATE
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Virgil, Jalen 5 51 0 20
Heath, Dominique 4 38 1 16
Reed, Collin 3 52 1 43
Sutton, Corey 3 36 0 24
Evans, Darrynton 2 28 0 25
Williams, Malik 2 18 0 10
Hennigan, Thomas 2 13 0 8
Pearson, Henry 2 4 0 5
Duck, Clifton 1 5 0 5
Williams, Marcus 1 2 0 2
Totals 25 247 2 43

TEXAS STATE
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Brown,Keenen 7 44 1 15
Watts,Tyler 3 18 0 11
Sheread, Jah'Marae 2 27 0 15
Taylor, Anthony D 2 15 0 9
Rogers,Elijah 1 11 0 11
Twyford,Caleb 1 8 0 8
White,Hutch 1 5 0 5
Brown Jr, Robert 1 3 0 3
Haydel,Jeremiah 1 1 0 1
Totals 19 132 1 15

Photo Courtesy: Zac Thomas, App State Sports



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