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Appalachian State Finishes FCS 3-Peat
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8:00 PM ET, December 14, 2007
Appalachian State kicked off this crazy football season with the stunning upset of Michigan. Now the Mountaineers have the perfect bookend: History as Division I-AA’s first three-peat national champions.
Armanti Edwards threw for three touchdowns, and Appalachian State jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never trailed in beating Delaware 49-21 on Friday night for a third consecutive title in the Football Championship Subdivision.
“Historic?” left guard Kerry Brown said when asked about the three-peat. “I ain’t got to that point yet. … I’m just thrilled. … I don’t want to sound like a sissy. I hadn’t cried in years, but I cried today. It’s a great way to go out.”
They became only the third team to win consecutive titles last year, but the Mountaineers now have done something that neither Georgia Southern nor Youngstown State could. They returned to a third straight championship game – and won by their biggest margin yet.
No. 13 Delaware (11-4) came in looking for its second championship five years. The Fightin’ Blue Hens had rallied from 10-0 deficits in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Not this time.
“They were as good as advertised,” Delaware coach K.C. Keeler said.
The Mountaineers (13-2) won their record 12th straight playoff game and had the game so in hand that fans spilled onto the sidelines with 3:29 left with only the Delaware bench area kept clear. They rushed the field as the final seconds ticked off.
This game was never as close as Appalachian State’s 34-32 victory over the then-No. 5 Wolverines on Sept. 1, and the Mountaineers didn’t need late-game heroics like Corey Lynch’s blocked field goal that clinched that shocking upset.
Not when the Mountaineers scored more points by halftime than in either of their previous two championship victories, fed by their fans who helped turn Finley Stadium into a black-and-gold version of the Big House.
They set a neutral-site record with 23,010 in attendance and stood throughout. They couldn’t wait to celebrate and started chanting, “Three-peat, three-peat” midway through the fourth quarter. They were high-fiving players and getting autographs after they got onto the sidelines.