|« Mountaineers Trample Mocs||Road-Weary Lafayette Heads Home After Win over Bucknell »|
Fast-Starting Appalachian Rolls by Chattanooga 49-7
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - First met worst yesterday, and the result was predictable.
Appalachian State scored often and went to the bench early in a 49-7 romp against Chattanooga.
The Mountaineers improved to 8-2 overall and 6-0 in Southern Conference play. The Mocs fell to 1-9 and 0-6.
“They’re everything they’re advertised to be,” Coach Rodney Allison of the Mocs said of the Mountaineers, who finished with a 655-227 advantage in total yards.
The Mocs, whose only win this season was over Cumberland, an NAIA team, were facing an uphill battle which was heightened by falling behind early.
“For Chattanooga, the only thing they’re playing for now is pride,” Coach Jerry Moore of the Mountaineers said. “The question coming into a game like this is how long they can sustain that … how long will they fight?
“Three plays and we score. Then we get the ball back and we score again. You could almost see the life go out of them.”
Armanti Edwards, Appalachian’s quarterback, had 152 yards rushing and 176 passing in the first half before getting the rest of the day off. Edwards, who has thrown just two interceptions this season, stretched his string of attempts without an interception to 157. He hasn’t been intercepted since Sept. 20 against James Madison.
“That’s the one thing I’ve focused on all season, and I do take pride in that,” Edwards said.
DeAndre Presley, Edwards’ backup, played the second half and finished with 101 yards rushing. Reserve running back Cedric Baker had a career-best 107 yards rushing.
Mark LeGree of the Mountaineers got his eighth interception, which broke a school single-season record set in 1963 by Larry Harbin. LeGree leads the NCAA’s Football Championship Subdivision in interceptions this season.
The Mountaineers nearly made it through the game penalty free, not picking up one until the fourth quarter.
“We usually have a gang of penalties,” said linebacker Pierre Banks. “It’s good that we came out of here pretty much mistake free. We didn’t give away yards.”
Appalachian rolled up 407 yards in the first half on the way to a 35-7 halftime lead.
The Mountaineers took the lead for good just 1:29 into play, and none of their first six touchdown drives took more than 2:06 to complete.
Edwards rushed for 152 yards in the first half, getting half his total on one carry. He gained 76 yards on a broken play before being tracked down by cornerback Buster Skrine at the 4-yard line.
Robert Welton provided some highlight runs as well, scoring three times in the first half.
“We got in and got out,” said Welton, part of an attack that rolled up 428 rushing yards. “The game plan was to run the ball, just pound the rock.”
Defensively, the Mountaineers kept the heat on quarterback Jare Gault, who completed just 5 of 18 passes. Lanston Tanyi, Anthony Williams and Jabari Fletcher all were in on first-half sacks, and Jacque Roman and Quavian Lewis added sacks in the second half.
The Mocs’ high-water mark came midway through the first quarter, when Gault completed a 56-yard scoring drive with a 28-yard pass to Clint Woods that tied the score 7-7.
It was all Appalachian from there, and the Mountaineers closed the first half with a 95-yard march that took just 1:21 and ended with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Edwards to T.J. Courman.
After a 39-yard run by reserve Baker on the opening play of the second half, Presley hit Blake Elder with a 48-yard scoring strike. Presley capped the scoring late in the third quarter with a 5-yard run.
Malcolm Bennett, a defensive tackle for the Mountaineers, didn’t start for the first time this season. He sat out with an ankle injury suffered during pre-game warm-ups.
Fast-starting Appalachian rolls by Chattanooga 49-7
By Tommy Bowman, The Winston-Salem Journal