By Tim Gardner
Appalachian State’s home football opener at sold-out Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone Saturday afternoon featured a 44-10 victory against long-time, fellow-North Carolina rival Elon before 30,224 fans, while special homage was paid beforehand to a colossal contributor to the Mountaineer program’s rich and storied history.
The latter occurred during pregame festivities as Appalachian State University officials unveiled the Jerry Moore Plaza, honoring the Hall of Fame head coach who led the Mountaineers for 24 seasons and to three Division I-AA/FCS (Football Bowl Subdivision) championships.
Moore, 82, was joined by his wife, Margaret, school brass and others, who helped to officially designate in the new plaza as Mountaineer fans observed. It is located near the west side of Kidd Brewer Stadium, equidistant from the main entrance and the recently opened North End Zone facility.
At the center of the bricked platform stands a statue of Moore, a block-A on his Appalachian State cap and his right hand on his chin as he’s watching a play from the sideline.
Black helmets with colorful stripes and white Appalachian State ‘A’ logos even paid tribute to Moore’s first team in 1989. Thirty-two years later, Moore watched as one of his mid-1990s standouts, Shawn Clark, coached the Mountaineers.
As for the game, quarterback Chase Brice ran for one touchdown and passed for another to lead Appalachian State to the win over the FCS Phoenix.
Brice opened the scoring on a 47-yard touchdown pass to Malik Williams and his 1-yard plunge early in the third quarter pushed the Mountaineers to 20-3 lead.
Appalachian State scored 31 second-half points.
Camerun Peoples had two touchdown runs in the second half.
T.D. Roof’s 90-yard interception return set up a third-quarter touchdown that gave the Mountaineers a 27-3 cushion. Roof’s end-zone interception on a tipped pass and the lengthy return set up the first touchdown runs from Peoples.
The Mountaineers finished with a sterling total of 528 yards.
Brice completed 19-of-25 passes for 293 yards. Wide Receiver Corey Sutton had seven receptions for 128 yards and Williams made four catches for a career-high 123 yards.
Peoples finished with 80 yards on 11 carries.
Nate Noel added 73 yards on 17 carries. And Appalachian State’s Anderson Castle’s first career touchdown came on an 8-yard run in the game’s final minute.
Elon (1-2) had 291 yards. Quarterback Davis Cheek passed for 225 yards for the Phoenix.
McKinley Witerspoon scored Elon’s touchdown on a 2-yard run late in the third period and Skyler Davis kicked the ensuing point-after.
Davis also nailed a 46-yard field goal in the first quarter for Elon’s other points (3).
D’Marco Jackson delivered a career-high three sacks among his 4.5 tackles for loss and 13 stops to pace the Mountaineer defense, which held the Phoenix to only 66 yards rushing.
Appalachian State’s Chandler Staton converted all three of his field-goal attempts, including a 45-yarder late in the first half. He also made all five of his extra point tries.
For complete game statistics and related data, log onto: https://appstatesports.com/documents/2021/9/18/APP03.PDF
The Mountaineers will next play at Kidd Brewer Stadium this coming Thursday night (September 23) for a nationally televised game against Marshall. The game will be broadcast on ESPN with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff time.
PHOTOS By Dave Mayo