Sunday's High Country Sports Update.... (2018-09-30 13:52:38)

App State Men's Soccer Blanks George Mason....
FAIRFAX, Va. - Appalachian State University men's soccer (6-2-1) bounced back with a 3-0 triumph against George Mason (2-4) at George Mason Stadium on Saturday evening.

With the win, App State surpassed last season's win total while picking up their first win over the Patriots. 

Great, complete, team performance tonight," head coach Jason O'Keefe said after the win. "We weathered some good spells by them (George Mason)in the first half then executed our game plan and guys stepped up. Goals change games and they did tonight."

Zeiko Harris (Sandys Parish, Bermuda/South Kent) highlighted the Apps' victory with first-career multi-score game, scoring a pair of goals. Aldo Tarantini (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) notched his first-career collegiate goal, becoming the fourth freshman for App to score the season.

Jake Chasteen (Boone, N.C./Watauga) notched his conference-leading fourth clean sheet of the season with three stops in 90 minutes. After the victory, the Boone native's goals against average is now at an impressive .75, which is the second lowest in the conference. 

Appalachian struck first in the 38th minute when Justin Pruitt (Matthews, N.C./Weddington) sent a cross from the left side to Tarantini who then fired a diving shot from 10 yards outside of the net to give App a 1-0 lead. 

The Mountaineers continued the attack in the first period and capitalized just three minutes later as Felix Kollmannthaler (Frankfurt, Germany/Julius-Echter-Gymnasium) served up a long pass from midfield to Harris for a header just 10 yards outside of the goal. App held the 2-0 lead going into the break. 

George Mason came away with just three shots on goal in the contest, two of which came in the second period. Chasteen stopped both attempts in the 69th minute and later as time was winding down at 89'. App tacked on its third goal with 12 minutes left to play when Ian Bennett's (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) free-kick was loose and Harris provided the rest with the second score to give the Mountaineers a commanding 3-0 advantage. 

"Anytime you can go on the road, get a shutout and score three goals, it's great," O'Keefe continued. "We will recover and then focus to Saturday's Sun Belt opener at Ted Mack! Come out and cheer the team on at 7 p.m. against Georgia State."

App held an 8-3 edge in shots on goal and a 15-14 advantage in total attempts. 

App State will now start conference play next Saturday at 7 p.m. against Georgia State at Ted Mackorell

- App State tied a season high in goals, both of which have come on the road
- The Mountaineers six wins are the most since 2015 (10 wins)
- App is 5-0 this season when allowing three or fewer shots on goal
- Appalachian has attempted at least five shots on goal in seven of nine games this season
- App State has scored 15 goals in the first nine contests this season. The Mountaineers scored just 12 in 2017


Second Half Comeback Falls Short at Furman, 44-38

Greenville, S.C. – Tyrie Adams tossed a career-high tying five touchdown passes including two apiece to Daquan Patten and Owen Cosenke while accounting for 472 yards of total offense on Saturday afternoon, but Western Carolina was unable to overcome a 21-point halftime deficit, falling to the Furman Paladins, 44-38, in Southern Conference action at Paladin Stadium.

Two fumbles inside the red zone thwarted would-be scoring drives for the Catamounts while the Paladins cashed in a 97-yard kickoff return for a TD and a blocked punt that led to a field goal in special teams in picking up their first victory of the season.

Adams just missed his career-high with 424 passing yards on 25-of-36 passing, adding 48 rushing yards despite missing the closing drive of the first half due to injury. He returned to the field without incident in the second half. Patten led two Catamount receivers with 100+ yard games, catching six passes for a career-high 159 yards with two scores while Jordan Mathis hauled in five passes for 100 yards. Nate Mullen matched his career-best with eight receptions for 61 yards.

After an opening-drive touchdown by the Catamounts, Furman (1-3, 1-1 SoCon) score 21-straight points as a part of closing the first half with a 31-10 advantage.

In addition to the special teams score, Furman tallied four rushing touchdowns by four different running backs while quarterback Harris Roberts was efficient in completing 9-of-11 passes with a touchdown and an interception in the win.

WCU senior LB Mitchell Chancey led the defense with 10 tackles, reaching double-digits for the fourth-time in four games this season. Ty Harris came away with his first career interception, setting up the Catamounts for a third quarter score on Saturday afternoon.

Western Carolina (3-1, 1-1 SoCon) stays on the road next weekend as it travels to Birmingham, Ala., to face the Samford Bulldogs. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 pm ET / 12:30 pm CT at Seibert Stadium.

Post-Game Quotes: Western Carolina at Furman

Post-Game Quotes

Furman 44, Western Carolina 38

Paladin Stadium

Greenville, S.C. – Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018

Att: 7,201


Western Carolina head coach Mark Speir

Opening Statement:

“I’m very disappointed in the loss. Any time you give up 10 points in the kicking game and two turnovers in the red zone going in to score, it’s hard to win against any team. Our guys keep battling, kept fighting; they kept trying to win the ballgame. Physically, we just didn’t make plays when we had opportunities. Offensively, we’ve got to take care of the ball.”


On response in second half:

“I thought our team kept battling, they could have laid down. Our guys fought but we made way too many mistakes. We played well at times on defense, but when it came down to it we didn’t make plays when we had to make plays and Furman did.”


On QB Tyrie Adams:

“Tyrie (Adams) is a competitor. He battled today. He got a little dinged up there before halftime, took a helmet to the ribs but he was fine the second half. I thought Will Jones came in and did a good job for us when he was in. Tyrie made some great plays, kept some plays alive. Great pitch to (Mullen) there at the end…you don’t coach that stuff. He’s a streetfighter, you need more of that.”


“We can’t put a complete game together. It seems like we can’t put the O and D together at the same time. We’ve got to get better defensively. We’re not playing disciplined football and that’s on us as coaches because we’ve got opportunities there to get better.”


On heading into next week’s game at Samford:

“We’ve just got to get better. Offensively, we’ve got to hang onto the ball. Defensively, we’ve got to tackle better and be more disciplined in the back end. We’ve got to get the right people on special teams, and that’s my fault. A lot of the stuff that’s bothering us right now is fixable and that’s a good thing. Our guys are fighting, you saw that in the second half. They could have shut down real easily and said ‘go home’. Our guys are fighting, we’ve got to do a better job coach and we’ve got to fix ourselves.”


Post-Game Notes: Western Carolina at Furman

Post-Game Notes

Furman 44, Western Carolina 38

Paladin Stadium

Greenville, S.C. – Sept. 29, 2018

Att. – 7,201


With the Loss…

  • Western Carolina saw its three-game winning streak to start the 2018 season snapped, handing the Catamounts their first loss of the year and first SoCon defeat;
  • Western Carolina dropped its third straight game in the all-time series with Furman – and  its 18th loss in the last 21 series meetings with the Paladins;
  • The Catamounts fell to 6-17-1 all-time in games played in Greenville, having lost in its last two visits to Paladin Stadium;

Post-Game Notes

  • Western Carolina scored a touchdown on its opening drive for the third-consecutive game as Owen Cosenke hauled in a one-handed TD grab over the middle to cap a four-play, 75-yard drive … the Catamounts have scored on each of their opening possessions this season with a Will Horton 29-yard field goal in the season-opener against Newberry being the only score not a TD on the opening drive;
  • The Catamounts scored for just the second time on their first possession of the second half – but both scores have been touchdowns and have come in consecutive weeks, both in Southern Conference play … Daquan Patten hauled in a 43-yard TD pass from Tyrie Adams for the first score of the second half on Saturday; 
  • Furman scored touchdowns on its first four drives of the first half and came away with points on five of six drives before halftime;
  • Western Carolina has trailed at halftime in both of its Southern Conference games thus far … VMI led Western Carolina 24-21 at halftime on Sept. 22;
  • Western Carolina’s offense finished with a season-high 577 total yards on Saturday … Of those 577 yards, a season-best 446 yards came through the air while being limited to a season-low, 131 yards rushing … WCU has recorded 475-or-more yards of total offense in each of its four games this season, surpassing the 500-yard mark in back-to-back weeks in league play (553 vs. VMI);
  • WCU redshirt junior QB Tyrie Adams moved into third-place in school history in career passing yards in Saturday’s road loss at Furman with 5,885 career yards through the air … Adams by-passed former QBs Jeff Gilbert (5,508 yards – 1981-84) and Lonnie Galloway (5,545 yards – 1990-93) and now trails just Mike Pusey (6,160 yards – 1977-79) and Troy Mitchell (7,354 yards – 2012-15) in the school ledgers … Adams just missed his single-game career-high with 424 passing yards at Furman (career-high is 427 vs. Gardner-Webb back in 2016);
  • Adams’ completion for eight yards to Jordan Mathis on the third Catamount offensive series gave Adams his 458th career completion, moving him into second all-time in career pass completions, by-passing Jeff Gilbert (463, 1981-84) … Finishing the game with 482 career completions, Adams trails just Troy Mitchell (655, 2012-15) who holds the school record;
  • All told, Adams has 482 completions (2nd) on 766 attempts (5th) for 5,885 career yards (3rd) and 47 passing touchdowns (2nd);
  • For his third career milestone of the afternoon, Adams moved into second all-time as he completed his 43 career passing touchdown to Daquan Patton, a 43-yard strike that made the score 31-17 in favor of the Paladins at the 11:06 mark of the third quarter.
  • Tyrie Adams was sacked a season-high four times on Saturday afternoon by the Furman defense … Conversely, for the first-time this season, WCU’s defense was held without a quarterback sack, breaking a string of three-straight games of registering 5-or-more sacks … WCU was also limited to a season-low 3.0 tackles for loss;
  • WCU had two receivers hit the 100-yard mark on Saturday including a career day for redshirt sophomore Daquan Patten who matched his career-best with six receptions for a career-high 159 yards and two touchdowns … Patten was joined at the century mark by redshirt senior Jordan Mathis who caught five passes for 100 yards including a career-long reception of 58 yards … For Mathis, it was his second career, 100-yard receiving day – and the first since going for 117 yards against Gardner-Webb back in 2017;
  • WCU’s two, 100-yard receivers (Patten & Mathis) were its first since Terryon Robinson (3 for 144 yards) and Steffon Hill (4 for 102 yards) both eclipsed the century mark in last year’s home-opener against Davidson (9/9/2017) … Patten’s career-high 159 receiving yards was the most by a Catamount since Terryon Robinson caught nine passes for 119 yards against Mercer on Nov. 11, 2017;
  • Tight end Owen Cosenke went 2-for-2 on Saturday – two receptions, both going for touchdowns … It was the first multiple score game of his collegiate career … Sophomore WR Kenny Benton caught his first collegiate pass on a 28-yard, first quarter catch-and-run … Redshirt junior WR Nate Mullen matched his career-best with a team-high eight receptions at Furman;
  • Senior LB Mitchell Chancey recorded double-digit tackles for the fourth-time this season, having done so in each game to start the 2018 season … Chancey finished with 10 tackles including six solo stops to lead the Catamount defense;
  • Ty Harris’ interception was the first of his career and fourth for the Catamounts this season … It set-up a WCU scoring drive on the opening possession of the second half … Coming on special teams, WR Kenny Benton forced and recovered the first fumble for the WCU defensive units for the second of two takeaways for WCU on Saturday at Furman;
  • Jaquez Williams blocked the PAT attempt of the year on Furman’s final touchdown drive … It was the second blocked PAT for WCU’s special teams this year – Kalen Allen swatted a try in the season-opening win over Newberry;
  • After not having a fumble in the first three games, Western Carolina had four fumbles on Saturday, two of which were lost.

Miscellaneous Notes

  • WCU’s game captains on Saturday were its season team captains: senior RB #7 Corey Holloway, senior DB #29 Marvin Tillman, senior OL #63 Zach Weeks, and senior P #83 Ian Berryman;
  • Western Carolina OL #72 Andrew Miles carried the American flag and DB #30 Michael Murphy carried the “All You Got” flag when the Catamounts took the field on Saturday;
  • Furman won the opening toss and elected to defer to the second half … WCU received the opening kickoff.