App gets back on track against rival
BOONE — Appalachian State University football put together the performance its been waiting for all season on Saturday, dominating every phase of the game in a 38-14 rout over rival and No. 24-ranked Georgia Southern at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
With the victory, Appalachian State (2-6, 2-3 SoCon) snapped four-game overall and home losing streaks and handed Georgia Southern (4-3, 2-3 SoCon) its worst Southern Conference loss since a 52-16 loss to Appalachian at Kidd Brewer Stadium in 2009.
The Mountaineers racked up 515 yards while limiting the Eagles to 363, 128 below their SoCon-best 491.7-yard average coming in. Appalachian also held significant edges in passing yards (381-72) and yards per play (7.4-5.3) en route to a season high in points and a season low in points allowed.
Georgia Southern scored on the opening series of the game and led 7-0 after one quarter but the Mountaineers scored the game’s next 31 points to turn the seven-point deficit into a 24-point lead midway through the third quarter.
Kameron Bryant connected on 27-of-33 passes without an interception for a career-high 381 yards and career-high-tying two touchdowns and also rushed for two scores in the best performance of his young career. His leading receiver was Tony Washington, who racked up a career-high 129 yards on just five receptions.
Former Tuscola standouts Graham Fisher, started at center, Austin Chambers, saw action for App State, while freshman Levi Duffield is being red-shirted.
Freshman running back Marcus Cox added a presence on the ground for Appalachian, rushing for 104 yards on 20 carries (5.2 avg.). The 100-yard rushing performance was his second-straight and third in six-career starts.
The win for Appalachian is the biggest to date for first year head coach Scott Satterfield. There’s been little doubt that the team, and the head coach, has been under pressure for much of the season as losing is not part of the common vocabulary in Boone. The win on Black Saturday gives Appalachian a chance to avoid a losing season, something that looked inevitable just a few days ago. The Eagles, along with the Mountaineers, will continue to be rivals in the future as both teams will join the Division 1 Sun Belt Conference next season.
Appalachian State stays at home to face SoCon-title contender Chattanooga next Saturday. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium.