By Paul T. Choate
(See photo gallery below article and scrimmage recap)
Aug. 20, 2012. Approximately 7,000 Appalachian State University football faithfuls turned out in full force to support their squad at the annual ASU football Fan Fest on Saturday, Aug. 18, at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
“This is the real kickoff to our football season,” said Samantha Stevens, assistant athletics director of marketing and licensing at ASU. “This is when we see all the faithful come out.”
The event kicked off with two full hours of traditional family-friendly Fan Fest activities from 4 to 6 p.m. This included Mountaineer student-athletes and coaches signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, face-paining by Appalachian cheerleaders, inflatable rides for kids and access to the Kidd Brewer Stadium playing field.
Debbie Carter, advertising/art director with High Country Press and one of the biggest ASU football fans we know, said she was impressed with how well-organized the event was. She said there was a wide range of activities for all ages — everything from balloon animals and bouncy houses for the kids to free posters and other memorabilia for older fans.
“I think [the turnout] was a good mix of all over the place,” said Carter. “You always expect a lot of freshmen because it is Freshman Move-in Weekend and it is free for them, but I was impressed by how many families were there because it is not free for them.”
Though many ASU players were on hand for autographs, legendary ASU Head Coach Jerry Moore was perhaps the highlight of the signings.
“Coach Moore was where the concessions and the bathrooms are with a long line all day signing autographs and they announced that even after the scrimmage he was going to go back because he didn’t finish” said Carter. “He was really dedicated and was going to wait as long as it took to make sure everybody got an autograph.”
At 6 p.m. the Mountaineers took the field for their first intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason. Highlights included quarterback Jamal Jackson completing 13 of 20 passes, as well as the defensive squad pulling off a touchdown (more details on the scrimmage below). The scrimmage was limited to 78 plays.
At 8:30 p.m. nationally acclaimed Southern Rock band NeedToBreath took the stage for a post-scrimmage concert. Hailing from Possum Kingdom, S.C., NeedToBreathe is touring nationwide on the heels of their latest album, The Reckoning, debuting at No. 6 on Billboard’s top-200 chart. NeedToBreathe has sold out venues such as Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Chicago’s House of Blues and scored an impressive number of placements in blockbuster films and numerous primetime television shows, including P.S. I Love You, Desperate Housewives and The Biggest Loser.
According to Stevens, Fan Fest is basically the last time to really see the team prior to the start of the season. The Mountaineers kick off their first regular season game on Saturday, Sept. 1, in Greenville where they take on East Carolina University.
For more information, visit goasu.com.
Fan Fest Scrimmage Recap and Stats
From Appalachian Sports Information
Appalachian State University football held its final scheduled intrasquad scrimmage of the preseason on Saturday evening as part of its annual Fan Fest at Kidd Brewer Stadium. A crowd of approximately 7,000 was on hand to see the Mountaineers battle for 78 plays.
• Saturday’s scrimmage was a fairly even battle, with the offense scoring six touchdowns and two field goals on its 16 possessions and the defense forcing three turnovers, five three-and-outs and scoring a touchdown of its own.
• The scrimmage started with a bang when junior quarterback Jamal Jackson connected with redshirt freshman wide receiver Sean Price for a 75-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline. Price got a step on the secondary and Jackson brought the crowd to its feet when he made a perfect pass to hit Price in stride for the easy score on the first play from scrimmage.
• Price finished with 105 yards on six catches to lead all players.
• Jackson completed 13 of his 20 passes without an interception for 174 yards and a touchdown. He led the first-team offense two three scores (a touchdown and two field goals) in seven series.
• Walk-on freshman running back sensation Ricky Fergerson continued his push to make the travel roster by rushing for a game-high 54 yards on just four carries, including a game-best 43-yarder that set up a touchdown.
• Backup quarterback Kameron Bryant engineered five touchdown drives for the second-team offense. The redshirt freshman had one of his finest individual performances of the fall, completing 10-of-11 passes for 143 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 10 yards and another score.
• Redshirt freshman wideout Bobo Beathard made one of the top offensive plays of the day when he made a leaping catch of a pass from Bryant and had the wherewithal to get a toe down in-bounds for an acrobatic 15-yard touchdown catch.
• Defensively, redshirt freshman defensive back Henry Barnes led all tacklers with nine and also broke up a pass.
• Fellow redshirt freshman defensive back Chris Shaffer chipped in with seven stops and a pass break-up.
• Senior linebackers Jeremy Kimbrough and Brandon Grier added seven and six tackles, respectively, and both recorded tackles for loss.
• Sophomore linebacker Jamal Ware led all players with two sacks and three tackles for loss.
• True freshman defensive tackle Greg Milhouse had a big day with a sack, tackle for loss, forced fumble and fumble recovery.
• The defensive play of the day came when Milhouse sacked Bryant to force a fumble that was scooped up by sophomore linebacker Brandon McGowan and returned 20 yards for a touchdown.
• One of the most entertaining plays of the day came on the final snap of the scrimmage senior running back Matt Watson fumbled into the end zone and, in the mad scramble for the ball, redshirt freshman wide receiver Trey Kavanaugh hustled from well away from the play to dive on it for a touchdown.
• Sophomore Doug Middleton had a good showing in the return game, taking back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and returning a punt 70 yards to set up another score.
Rushing: Fergerson 4-54, TD; Chisholm 9-35; Jackson 7-30; Frazier 6-27, TD; Magloire 5-24; Holloway 4-16; Bryant 11-10, TD; Watson 1-4; Andre 1-1; Kavanaugh 0-0, TD.
Passing: Jackson 13-20-0, 174 yds., TD; Bryant 10-11-0, 143 yds., TD
Receiving: Price 6-105, TD; Jones 3-69; Washington 4-39; Holloway 1-33; McElfresh 1-21; Sumler 3-15; Beathard 1-15, TD; Kavanaugh 2-11; Peacock 2-9.
DEFENSIVE STATISTICS (including special teams tackles and fumbles)
Tackles: H. Barnes 9; Kimbrough 7; Shaffer 7; Grier 6; Blalock 5; Ross 5; S. Burns 4; Krah 4; Lott 4; Sanders 4; Singleton 4; Blair 3; Robinson 3; Roper 3; Ware 3; Canepa 2; Milhouse 2; Shriner 2; Walton 2; Beathard 1; Davies 1; Frazier 1; Hall 1; Harris 1; Kavanaugh 1; McCray 1; McGowan 1; Middleton 1; Ma. Moll 1; Scott 1; Thomas 1.
Tackles For Loss: Ware 3; Milhouse 2; Blair 1; Canepa 1; Grier 1; Kimbrough 1; McCray 1; Singleton 1; Robinson 1.
Sacks: Ware 2; Grier 1; Milhouse 1; Robinson 1.
Forced Fumbles: S. Burns 1; Milhouse 1; Robinson 1; Walton 1.
Fumble Recoveries: Blalock 1; McGowan 1; Milhouse 1; Singleton 1.
Pass Break-ups: H. Barnes 1; McCray 1.
Field Goals: Stewart 2-2 (43, 49); Matics 1-1 (42); Martin 0-1 (42); Powell 0-1 (43).
PAT: Powell 3-3; Matics 2-2; Stewart 2-2.
Punting: Martin 3-145 (48.3 avg.)
The following players did not participate in Saturday’s scrimmage due to injury: OL Alex Acey (head – day-to-day), LB Karl Anderson (head – day-to-day), DB Dante Blackmon (knee – season), DL Thomas Bronson (head – day-to-day), LB Drew Dowdy (thigh – day-to-day), OL Kalan Jones (head – day-to-day), RB Steven Miller (hip – day-to-day), OL Matt Privette (head – day-to-day), WR Jonathan Shively (back – day-to-day), WR Andy Shuler (knee – day-to-day), DB Rodger Walker (illness – day-to-day) and TE Jey Yokeley (leg – 3-5 weeks).
WHAT’S UP NEXT
Appalachian State wraps up its fall camp with one final day of two-a-day practices on Monday. With the beginning of classes at Appalachian on Tuesday, the Mountaineers will settle into a typical in-season schedule and begin installing the gameplan for the Sept. 1 season opener at East Carolina in earnest.
Photos by Ken Ketchie
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