App State Football Fall Camp Aug. 11-13

Published Friday, August 14, 2015 at 10:30 am
Senior defensive end Ronald Blair (49) completes a drill under the watchful eye of defensive line coach Mark Ivey (right). Photo courtesy App State Athletics

Senior defensive end Ronald Blair (49) completes a drill under the watchful eye of defensive line coach Mark Ivey (right). Photo courtesy App State Athletics

Football Fall Camp Report: August 13

Thursday’s highlight for Appalachian State University football came off the field.

The Mountaineers held a two-hour practice in full pads on Thursday morning. There early workout featured some ballhawks on defense, as sophomore linebacker Devan Stringer and true freshman defensive back Josh Thomas both intercepted passes and junior defensive tackle Tyson Fernandez recovered a fumble for a touchdown during 11-on-11 drills near the end of practice.

Instead of holding a traditional two-a-day practice on Thursday afternoon, head coach Scott Satterfield chose to reward their Mountaineers for their hard work over the first two weeks of camp by taking the whole squad to the movies. The Mountaineers took in a matinée showing of Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, featuring football movie veteran Tom Cruise (All The Right Moves, Jerry Maguire).

This is the second-straight year that the Apps went to the movies instead of the practice field on a preseason afternoon. Last year, Satterfield surprised the squad with the news during what was supposed to be a pre-practice meeting, setting off a wild celebration from the student-athletes.

“Camp is a grind, especially for younger players that are going through it for the first time, so it’s good to get away from football for an afternoon,” Satterfield said. “The goal is that they’ll be refreshed for a big weekend of practices before school starts on Monday.”

Appalachian State returns to the practice field on Friday. Practices are closed to the general public but daily recaps and App State TV video reports are available daily at appstatesports.com.

Football Fall Camp Report: August 12

A day after its only two-a-day practices of the season, Appalachian State University football returned to the practice field for a spirited workout on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Buoyed by what turned out to be some popular music choices blasting from the KBS sound system at the beginning of practice (including Digital Underground’s 1989 Hump Day classic The Humpty Dance), Wednesday’s two-hour workout featured great energy throughout. The Mountaineers donned full pads for their ninth practice of the preseason.

Hoping to rise to the top of a group of five running backs vying to be the top backup behind Maxwell and Doak Walker Award candidate Marcus Cox, senior Ricky Fergerson had a terrific showing on Wednesday.

The 5-8, 170-pounder displayed his game-breaking speed during an 11-on-11 period late in the afternoon when hit the right edge and outran the pack down the sideline for a 66-yard touchdown run. On the very next snap, he showed off some power by bulldozing his way to a first down on a second-and-eight play. Finally, in red-zone drills near the end of practice, he capped a short scoring drive with another touchdown run.

For the first time in this year’s preseason camp, Appalachian State closed the afternoon with two-minute drills. In Wednesday’s late-game situation, the offense was down by two points and had the ball at the 49 yard line with 41 seconds remaining on the clock.

On the initial series, featuring the first-team offense against the first-team defense, Bobo Beathard made a spectacular one-handed catch down the left sideline on a long pass from Taylor Lamb. Beathard’s acrobatic catch set up a “game-winning” 27-yard field goal by Zach Matics as time expired.

On the second series, outside linebacker Rashaad Townes made perhaps the biggest hit of this season’s preseason camp when he leveled an offensive counterpart as he caught a swing pass on third down. Townes’ third-down stop was followed by an incomplete pass on fourth down that gave the defense the “win” in the final series.

Appalachian State is once again scheduled for just one practice on Thursday. Practices are closed to the general public but full recaps and App State TV video reports are available daily at appstatesports.com.

Football Fall Camp Report: August 11

Appalachian State University football held its only two-a-day practices of the preseason on Tuesday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The Mountaineers worked out for 75 minutes in helmets and shorts in the morning, followed by a 90-minute session in full pads in the afternoon.

The morning session was dedicated primarily to special teams while the afternoon session featured several periods of full-team work.

The star of the day was senior linebacker Osvaldo Sombo, who made plays throughout the 11-on-11 periods near the end of the afternoon practice.

On the second play of a period featuring third-down situations, Sombo made a diving interception on a tipped screen pass. One play later, he broke free off the left edge for a sack and later in the period, he led a swarm of tacklers that stopped wide receiver Zy Letman short of a first down on a third-and-four play. Finally, during a period of red-zone situations to close the afternoon, Sombo stepped into a hole and stuffed running back Josh Boyd for a short gain.

Sombo’s performance highlighted a strong overall showing by the defense during Thursday’s 11-on-11 work. In 15 third-down plays, varying between third-and-eight and third-and-four, the defense surrendered only four first downs. In four red-zone series, it kept the offense out of the end zone twice, thanks to interceptions by safeties A.J. Howard and Treyon Garnett.

Offensively, the Mountaineers scored red-zone touchdowns on a four-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Lamb to Bobo Beathard and a one-yard run by Boyd.

Appalachian State is scheduled for just one practice on Wednesday. Practices are closed to the general public but full recaps and App State TV video reports are available daily at appstatesports.com.

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