1000 x 90

App State Mountaineers Roar Past Coastal Carolina, 56-37 After Two Hour Weather Day

Photo by David C. MayoBy Tim Gardner

Appalachian State recorded a win in its Sun Belt Conference opener Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone to remain unbeaten, ripping Coastal Carolina 56-37.

Neither Coastal Carolina’s defense, nor a horrid weather delay because of lightning, could slow down Appalachian State’s offense.

“It was a unique game today with the delays and having to deal with the lightning,” Appalachian State head coach Eliah Drinkwitz said. “I thought our guys handled the adversity well. We also had the factor of where we spent a lot of energy last week against UNC, so to be able to come back and sustain that energy for as long as we did today made me real proud of our guys.”

The Mountaineers were paced offensively by quarterback Zac Thomas and running back Darrynton Evans.

Thomas, Appalachian State’s redshirt junior quarterback, completed 19-of-23 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns and 246 passing yards. He opened the game by connecting on his first nine passes, five of which came on the Mountaineers’ opening drive.

Evans ran for two touchdowns.

Coastal Carolina entered the game allowing 245.3 yards per game, seventh-best in major college football. But Appalachian State tore that defense up, rolling up 314 yards by halftime and 430 for the game.

The Chanticleers took the opening kickoff and drove 75 yards in ten plays to take a 7-0 lead. Two plays after he rambled eight yards for a first down at the Appalachian State 10-yard line, quarterback Fred Payton ran for a 6-yard touchdown at the 10:01 mark of the first quarter.   Massimo Biscardi kicked the extra point.

Appalachian State (4-0 over-all; 1-0 conference) answered the score on its first possession when Evans ran eight yards for a touchdown at the 7:36 mark of the period and Chandler Staton booted the point-after kick to tie the game at 7.

Thomas passed to Malik Williams down the middle for a 35-yard gain on third-and-seven at their own 38 to give the Mountaineers a first down at the Coastal Carolina 27 to key the 8-play; 65-yard drive.

Appalachian State then went up 14-7 just over a minute later (6:27). After forcing a Coastal Carolina punt, Appalachian State took possession on its own 42-yard line. Wide receiver Corey Sutton caught a 48-yard pass from Thomas to give the Mountaineers a first down on the Coastal Carolina 10 . Then two plays later, Collin Reed grabbed an 11-yard touchdown pass from Thomas.

But with just over a minute left in the first quarter, played was delayed for more than two hours due to lightning, which caused players to return to their locker rooms and forced fans to leave the stadium. Play resumed at 6:17 p.m.

Then Coastal Carolina quickly tied the score at 14 when C.J. Marable rushed up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown with 23 seconds remaining in the period, followed by Biscardi’s PAT kick.

The Mountaineers came right back to go ahead 21-14. Evans capped a 13-play; 64-yard drive with 9:15 to go in the second quarter when he scored a touchdown on a 1-yard run. Staton added the conversion kick.

The Chanticleers (3-2 over-all; 0-1 conference) then deadlocked the score again when Payton connected with Isaiah Likely for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 3:52 left in the half. Biscardi kicked the extra point for a 21-21 game.

On the ensuing possession, Thomas threw a 55-yard completion to wide receiver Thomas Hennigan to key Appalachian State’s next score, which came when Marcus Williams, Jr. made a 1-yard touchdown run with 1:59 left before intermission to cap a 77-yard drive that took only four plays. Staton converted the extra point kick as the Mountaineers led 28-21.

They increased their cushion to 35-21 with 45 seconds left in the half when Thomas tossed a 15 yard touchdown to Sutton in the back-left corner of the end zone and Staton made the PAT.

Appalachian State then scored its third consecutive touchdown with 8:33 left in the third quarter. Daetrich Harrington rushed to the right for a 22-yard scoring run. Staton then nailed his sixth extra point of the game to boost the Mountaineers to a 42-21 advantage. It was Harrington’s first score since 2017. He played in only two games last year due to an ACL tear.

He led the Mountaineers with 71 rushing yards.

Coastal Carolina scored nine straight points to pull within 42-30. Biscardi kicked a 32-yard field goal to cap an 11-play; 60 yard drive with 1:56 remaining in the third period. Payton then rushed to the right for an 11-yard-touchdown with 49 seconds left in the quarter. A two-point conversion try failed.

Appalachian State pushed its lead to 49-30 when cornerback Shaun Jolly intercepted a Payton pass and returned it for 24 yards for a touchdown with 11:59 to play, followed by yet another extra point by Staton.

The Mountaineers added an insurance touchdown with 3:55 left when Williams, Jr. scored on a 2-yard run. Sutton then concluded his team’s scoring with his eighth PAT for a 56-30 lead.

But Coastal Carolina answered again with another touchdown-although meaningless-with 27 seconds to go. Payton passed to Jeremiah Miller down the middle for a 14-yard score and Biscardi added the point-after for the tally.

Sutton grabbed five receptions and 76 yards in his second game of 2019. He missed the first two due to a suspension. Jolly, a sophomore defensive back, added his second touchdown of the season.

Outside linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither had a sack among his team-leading eight tackles for Appalachian State’s defense, which had three first-time starters, and Demetrius Taylor followed up a starring performance against North Carolina with a batted down pass, one stop behind the line of scrimmage and a partially blocked punt.

Appalachian State has a long break before its next game, when it will travel to Sun Belt rival Louisiana-Lafayette on Oct. 9.