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Mountaineers Destroy South Alabama, 52-7 (2018-09-30 02:11:14)

BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State's first league game resembled its nonconference finale from the previous weekend.

The Mountaineers took control with another first-half explosion, at one point scoring five consecutive touchdowns to claim a big lead in a 52-7 victory against South Alabama on homecoming Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

After the Jaguars responded to quarterback Zac Thomas' 54-yard touchdown run with a tying score midway through the first quarter, App State (3-1, 1-0) benefited from two Jalin Moore touchdown runs, another Thomas touchdown run and a pair of Thomas touchdown passes (to Corey Sutton and running back Marcus Williams Jr.) to take a 42-7 lead into halftime of its Sun Belt Conference opener.

Appalachian's offensive, defensive and special teams units excelled again, just like they did while producing a 52-7 halftime lead in a 72-7 home victory against Gardner-Webb. Adding in a 45-9 win at Charlotte, the Mountaineers have scored at least 45 points in three straight games for the first time in program history, and they have given up single-digit points in three straight games for the first time since 1998.

"Our coaching staff did a great job last week of coming up with a great game plan on Sunday and Monday," App State head coach Scott Satterfield said. "I told our kids that they did a great job of adhering to the game plan and buying in and really practicing all week. We talk about our preparation all the time, and if our preparation is where it needs to be, then we'll come out and play a competitive football game. That's what we've been doing this year, and we've got to continue to do that.

"We have some really good leaders on this football team. There's a lot of talk about how young we are, but we have some good leaders that bring these young guys along. These young guys are being led and allowing it to happen. When you have that buy-in, then you can have a special team."

App State's special teams came up with several more big plays Saturday, as Clifton Duck had a 52-yard punt return to set up a touchdown and Tae Hayes recorded the program's first blocked field goal since a 2014 game against South Alabama. Hayes also made a third-quarter interception as the defense forced six three-and-outs and limited the Jaguars (1-4, 1-1) to 308 total yards, 209 fewer than Appalachian's total of 517. Outside linebackers Akeem Davis-Gaither and Noel Cook combined for 15 tackles.

Thomas rushed for 77 yards with two touchdowns on just six attempts and threw for 146 yards while finishing with two touchdowns through the air. Moore's scoring efforts of 7 and 2 yards were part of a 19-carry, 123-yard performance that moved him into sixth place on App State's career rushing list.

With his 17th career 100-yard game, Moore increased his App State total to 3,538 yards and moved past Chip Hooks, who ran for 3,472 yards from 1991-94.

Scoring drives lasting 35 and 25 seconds enabled Appalachian to turn a 7-all tie into a 21-7 lead by the end of one quarter.

Ryan Huff recovered an onside kick after South Alabama tied the game, and Thomas' 31-yard completion to Thomas Hennigan set up Moore's first touchdown. Duck followed a defensive three-and-out with his long punt return to the South Alabama 25, and Moore's double-digit gain preceded a 7-yard scoring keeper from Thomas.

Thomas had touchdown passes of 2 yards to Sutton and 27 yards to Williams Jr., who made the third reception of his young career as an App State running back, sandwiched around a Moore score.

The Mountaineers' second half points came from Chandler Staton's 23-yard field goal late in the third quarter and tight end Collin Reed's 3-yard touchdown on a pass from quarterback Peyton Derrick, who is now 10-for-10 through the air this season. Michael Rubino also continued to post a high percentage, as seven of his nine kickoffs were touchbacks.

The Mountaineers have next weekend off before returning to action with a Tuesday night game at Arkansas State on Oct. 9. The game will be televised by ESPN2.


POSTGAME NOTES

With a 45-9 win at Charlotte, a 72-7 win against Gardner-Webb and a 52-7 win against South Alabama,
Appalachian State has scored at least 45 points in three straight games for the first time in program history. As recently as 2014, the Mountaineers had consecutive games of 48 points (overtime), 53 points and 44 points. App State has given up single-digit points in three straight games for the first time since 1998. That year, the Mountaineers had four in a row with, in order, a 31-6 win against Wofford, a 28-7 win against Chattanooga, a 51-0 win against VMI and a 19-0 win against Eastern Kentucky.

In App State’s last two Sun Belt games, it has posted its largest margin of victory in a Sun Belt game (49 points in a 63-14 win against Louisiana in the 2017 home finale) and a tie for the second-largest margin of victory in a Sun Belt game (45 points in both Saturday’s game against South Alabama and a 59-14 win at ULM in 2015).

The Mountaineers have allowed two touchdowns and three field goals in 40 possessions over the last
three games. In App State's last two Sun Belt games, it has posted its largest margin of victory in a Sun Belt game (49 points in a 63-14 win against Louisiana in the 2017 home finale) and a tie for the second-largest margin of victory in a Sun Belt game (45 points in both Saturday's game against South Alabama and a 59-14 win at ULM in 2015). With 123 rushing yards on Saturday, Jalin Moore increased his career total to 3,538 and moved into sixth place on App State’s all-time list. He passed Chip Hooks, who ran for 3,472 yards from 1991-94. The top

five rushers on the career list are Marcus Cox (5,103 from 2013-16), Kevin Richardson (4,804 from 2004-07), John Settle (4,409 from 1983-86), Armanti Edwards (4,361 2006-09) and Damon Scott (4,800 1993-96). When Tae Hayes blocked a field goal in the last minute of the first half, it was App State’s first blocked field goal since Deuce Robinson recorded one on a 28-yard attempt by South Alabama in 2014. Marcus Williams Jr. hauled in the third reception of his career and first touchdown reception with a 27- yard scoring catch in the second quarter.

Senior wide receiver Brad Absher made his first career start a week after pulling in a career-high three catches, and sophomore running back Darrynton Evans also made his first career start. He lined up in the slot and was the intended target on a pass.

Noel Cook, a linebacker, had a hand in a sack for the third straight game. He brought down quarterback van Orth for a 3-yard loss after recording one sack at Charlotte and half a sack against Gardner-Webb.

Cook also tied his career high of seven tackles, a total he had this season at Charlotte.
Michael Rubino recorded touchbacks on seven of his nine kickoffs. He has 16 touchbacks in 19 attempts over the last two games.

True freshman linebacker Jay Person made his App State debut in the fourth quarter.
App State quarterback Peyton Derrick is 10-for-10 this season after going 2-for-2 with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Collin Reed.


Postgame quotes

Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield
Opening Statement:
“Starting out, our coaching staff did a great job last week of coming up with a great game plan
on Sunday and Monday. I told our kids that they did a great job of adhering to the game plan
and buying in and really practicing all week. We talk about our preparation all the time, and if
our preparation is where it needs to be, then we’ll come out and play a competitive football
game. That’s what we’ve been doing this year, and we’ve got to continue to do that. We have
some really good leaders on this football team. There’s a lot of talk about how young we are,
but we have some good leaders that bring these young guys along. These young guys are being
led and allowing it to happen. When you have that buy-in, then you can have a special team.
We’re still early in the season and of where we are right now and where we want to be. We’re
1-0 in this conference, and we’re excited about that. We look forward to next game, and we
take a one-game at a time approach and our next game is against Ark. State and we’re looking
forward to that. It’ll be a big test in Jonesboro. The good thing for us is that we do have a few
days to heal up some dings and bruises.”

On playing South Alabama for the first time at home since its first season in Sun Belt:
“We’ve got great respect for South Alabama. They’re a program who can beat anybody in this
league and really anybody throughout the country. They’ve proven that over the years. Coming
into this game, we knew the kind of athletes that they have. They played Memphis tight and
played La Tech, who I think is a good football team, really close. We did not take this team
lightly by any means. You look across those sidelines, and the athletes that they have are
tremendous. Our guys went out and executed and played really well, particularly in the first
half.”

On adjustments throughout the game:
“We do that quite often defensively. It seems like early in the game, they’ll do something a little
bit different, and the defense has to come back and make some adjustments on the sideline. I
thought we did that pretty well. They still had a couple of drives that got down and we did a
good job of bending and not breaking. We had a field goal block and almost another touchdown
on special teams with that. Duck had a great return and almost had that blocked field goal
return for six. The teams have been playing great. Michael Rubino – I don’t even know how
many touchbacks (seven of nine) – but he had a ton of them today again. That’s outstanding.
We made our field goal. The (special) teams are playing well, and we need to continue to do
that if we want to contend for this championship in this conference. I’m just really pleased with
how they did it in all three phases.”

South Alabama head coach Steve Campbell
“We didn’t play well on offense, defense or in the kicking game. I was proud of the defense in
the second half holding (Appalachian State) to 10 points. We didn’t play well though in any
phase of the game and had too many penalties. Our discipline is bad. Offensively, we had some
opportunities early and weren’t able to get points to keep track with App State. On special
teams, we gave up a big punt return and had a field goal blocked. There are just a lot of things
we need to work on and get better at.”

On the turning point of the game:
"It was the onside kick. From that point on, things went bad. I thought we were going to be able
to execute the onside kick, get it and that would give us some momentum. They are a good
football team, though. They took Penn State to overtime and could have won the game, so I
knew that we needed to do something. If I could take (that decision) back, I would. We also got
the 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty on top of that, and they scored two plays later to make it
14-7. It went downhill from there. We have to learn to bounce back and not let one bad play
turn into a couple terrible plays. Right now, that’s not what we’re doing, and we have to get
that fixed.”

App State quarterback Zac Thomas
“It was big for our team. A good Sun Belt opponent. We came in here thinking all week it was
going to be a fight. We prepared all week as best as we could and came out here and took care
of business.”

App State receiver Thomas Hennigan
“We have the best running back in the Group of Five, maybe the country, so we have to keep
feeding him the ball. When it’s our turn to take shots down the field, we have to be able to
execute, and I think that’s what we were able to do today.”

App State linebacker Jordan Fehr
“We had a great game plan going in. Our main goal is to stop the run first no matter who we’re
playing. Being able to execute, keep our eyes on the right keys and fly to the ball, our goal was
to have great pursuit all day, and I think we did that."


APP STATE 52, SOUTH ALABAMA 7

Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Total
South Alabama 7 0 0 0 7
Appalachian State 21 21 3 7 52

1st
13:11 APP - Thomas, Zac 54 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 6-69 1:49 0 - 7
06:12 USA - Baker, Kawaan 2 yd run (Patterson,Gavin kick), 8-70 2:45 7 - 7
05:37 APP - Moore, Jalin 7 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 2-38 0:35 7 - 14
03:10 APP - Thomas, Zac 7 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 2-25 0:25 7 - 21
2nd
12:22 APP - Sutton, Corey 2 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick), 6-86 2:57 7 - 28
04:45 APP - Moore, Jalin 2 yd run (Staton, C. kick), 12-69 5:03 7 - 35
02:41 APP - Williams, Marc. 27 yd pass from Thomas, Zac (Staton, C. kick), 2-37 0:35 7 - 42
3rd
00:46 APP - Staton, C. 23 yd field goal, 7-86 3:29 7 - 45
4th
03:04 APP - Reed, Collin 3 yd pass from Derrick, Peyton (Staton, C. kick), 13-95 7:40 7 - 52


Team Statistics

                                                                USA APP
FIRST DOWNS                                            16 28
NET YARDS RUSHING                                 83 348
Rushing Attempts                                        35 46
NET YARDS PASSING                                225 169
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS                            308 517
Total offense plays                                    68 66
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD                2-27-0 1-24-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD             0-0-0 0-0-0
Possession Time                                     31:08 28:52
Third-Down Conversions                       4 of 17 4 of 8
Fourth-Down Conversions                     1 of 2 0 of 0
Red-Zone Scores-Chances                        1-3 6-6
T o u c h d o w n s                                 1-3 5-6
Field goals                                             0-3 1-6
Sacks By: Number-Yards                         0-0 1-3
PAT Kicks                                              1-1 7-7
Field Goals                                            0-1 1-1
Points off turnovers                                  0 0

Individual Statistics

South Alabama
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Minter, Tra 9 46 2 44 0 13 4.9
Baker, Kawaan 8 26 9 17 1 7 2.1
Miller,JohnTank 1 11 0 11 0 11 11.0
Harris, Sam 2 9 0 9 0 8 4.5
Mayo, Maurice 5 8 2 6 0 5 1.2
Moore, Deonta 2 5 0 5 0 5 2.5
Orth, Evan 5 10 6 4 0 5 0.8
TEAM 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.0
Sutherland,Cade 1 0 5 -5 0 0 -5.0
Johnson, Cephus 1 0 8 -8 0 0 -8.0
Totals 35 115 32 83 1 13 2.4

Appalachian State
Rushing No. Gain Loss Net TD Lg Avg
Moore, Jalin 19 123 0 123 2 37 6.5
Thomas, Zac 6 77 0 77 2 54 12.8
Evans, D. 6 61 0 61 0 42 10.2
Williams, Marc. 9 59 0 59 0 16 6.6
Hicks, D'Andre 5 24 2 22 0 10 4.4
Derrick, Peyton 1 6 0 6 0 6 6.0
Totals 46 350 2 348 4 54 7.6

South Alabama
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Orth, Evan 20-33-1 225 0 41 1
Totals 20-33-1 225 0 41 1

Appalachian State
Passing C-A-I Yds TD Long Sack
Thomas, Zac 8-18-2 146 2 44 0
Derrick, Peyton 2-2-0 23 1 20 0
Totals 10-20-2 169 3 44 0

South Alabama
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Way, Jamarius 7 63 0 16
Baker, Kawaan 4 89 0 41
McCray, Jordan 3 43 0 34
Harris, Sam 1 15 0 15
Smith, Collier 1 13 0 13
Flenord, Davyn 1 5 0 5
Moore, Deonta 1 2 0 2
Taylor, Jahmmir 1 -2 0 0
Minter, Tra 1 -3 0 0
Totals 20 225 0 41

Appalachian State
Receiving No. Yards TD Long
Hennigan, T. 4 65 0 31
Sutton, Corey 2 46 1 44
Williams, Marc. 1 27 1 27
Purifoy, A. 1 20 0 20
Virgil, Jalen 1 8 0 8
Reed, Collin 1 3 1 3
Totals 10 169 3 44

 

 

 



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