Oct. 7, 2013. Appalachian State University football forced overtime with an epic late-game drive but a 35-yard field goal lifted The Citadel to a 31-28 overtime win over the Mountaineers on Saturday afternoon at Johnson Hagood Stadium.
With its third-straight three-point loss, Appalachian State fell to 1-4 overall (1-1 Southern Conference) for the first time since 1993. With its third win over the Mountaineers in the last 20 seasons, The Citadel moved to 2-4 overall and 2-2 in SoCon play.
Trailing 28-21 with 1:19 to go in regulation, Appalachian drove 79 yards in 53 seconds and knotted the score at 28-28 on Kameron Bryant’s (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek) two-yard touchdown run with 20 seconds left on the clock.
The Mountaineers got the ball first in overtime and appeared on their way to putting at least three points in the first extra period. However, on third and eight from the 11, Bryant’s pass intended for Sean Price (Reston, Va./South Lakes) was deflected high into the air and back towards the line of scrimmage where it fell into the hands of Citadel defensive lineman Mitchell Jeter, squelching the Mountaineers’ scoring opportunity.
Four plays after the fluky interception, Bulldog place kicker Thomas Warren hit a low knuckleball on a 35-yard field-goal attempt but the ugly kick found its way through the uprights for the game-winning points.
Neither team led by more than a touchdown in a battle that was also nearly even in total yards (375 for The Citadel, 364 for Appalachian), time of possession (31:05 for The Citadel, 28:55 for Appalachian) and third- and fourth-down conversions (7-of-15 for The Citadel, 9-of-16 for Appalachian). However, errors proved costly for the Mountaineers, who turned the ball over twice and were penalized seven times for 56 yards. The Citadel also benefitted from some good fortune, particularly losing only one fumble despite putting the ball on the ground four times.
Making the first start of his career, Bryant completed 19-of-23 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown despite suffering from cramps for much of the ballgame in Charleston’s stifling heat and humidity (temperatures were in the mid 80s with humidity pushing 80 percent). He was aided by true freshman Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula), who amassed 193 all-purposed yards (98 rushing, 95 receiving) and scored two touchdowns on runs of two and 23 yards.
Defensively, inside linebacker Karl Anderson (Pilot Point, Texas/Pilot Point) and John Law (Atlanta, Ga./Grady) led the Mountaineers with seven tackles apiece. Redshirt freshmen Alex Gray (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) and Darian Small (Hampton, Ga./Dutchtown) chipped in with six stops each.
Appalachian State’s latest narrow defeat gives it three-straight losses of three points or less for only the second time in the program’s 84-season history. The only previous instance coming in 1952, when the Mountaineers lost 14-12 at Lenoir-Rhyne, 3-0 to Catawba and 22-19 to East Carolina.
Appalachian State returns home next Saturday for a SoCon tilt versus Samford (4-2, 2-0 SoCon), which is one of only two teams remaining in the conference without a league loss this season. Kickoff for the homecoming contest is set for3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
NOTES: Appalachian State went to overtime for the second time in the last six games and 10th time in program history … Appalachian, which has lost three-straight overtime affairs, fell to 5-5 all-time in extra periods … the overtime tilt was also the Mountaineers’ second in their last three trips to Johnson Hagood Stadium (Appalachian topped The Citadel, 30-27, in OT in 2009) … The Citadel has claimed consecutive wins over App State for the first time since it won three-straight games in the series from 1991-93 … the loss was Appalachian State’s first to a team with a losing record since a 30-27 defeat at Western Carolina in the 2004 season finale … prior to Saturday, Appalachian’s previous 26 losses had come to teams with .500 record or better … App State fell to 37-2 since the beginning of the 2005 season against SoCon teams other than Furman, Georgia Southern and Wofford … both losses have come at the hands of The Citadel in the past two seasons.
THE CITADEL 31, APPALACHIAN STATE 28 (OT)
OCTOBER 5, 2013 • CHARLESTON, S.C. (JOHNSON HAGOOD STADIUM)
• Appalachian State fell to 1-4 on the season for the first time since 1993.
• The loss was only Appalachian State’s third in its last 20 meetings with The Citadel (2-4, 2-2 SoCon).
• The Citadel claimed consecutive wins in the series for the first time since it defeated Appalachian State three-straight times from 1991-93.
• Appalachian State lost to a team with a losing record for the first time since a 30-27 loss at Western Carolina on Nov. 13, 2004. Appalachian’s previous 26 losses had all come against teams with .500 records or better.
• The overtime game was Appalachian State’s second in its last six games. The Mountaineers fell in OT to Illinois State in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Division I Football Championship (38-37 on Dec. 1, 2012).
• The overtime tilt was the second in Appalachian State’s last three trips to Johnson Hagood Stadium. Appalachian defeated The Citadel, 30-27, in OT on Oct. 3, 2009.
• Appalachian State has lost three-straight overtime games (last year vs. Illinois State and 21-14 at Georgia Southern on Nov. 6, 2011).
• Appalachian State dropped to 5-5 all-time in overtime games.
• Appalachian State sophomore Kameron Bryant made the first start of his career at quarterback, snapping senior Jamal Londry-Jackson’s string of 23-consecutive starts.
• Appalachian State freshman running back Marcus Cox scored two touchdowns (three-yard run, 23-yard run), giving him a Southern Conference-best 10 touchdowns for the season.
• Appalachian State freshman defensive tackle Darian Small made the first start of his career.