Nov. 24, 2013. Appalachian State University football raced out to a 31-0 lead less than midway through the second quarter and cruised to a 48-27 victory over longtime rival Western Carolina on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
With the victory in its final Southern Conference and NCAA Division I FCS game, Appalachian State (4-8, 4-4 SoCon) kept possession of the Old Mountain Jug (the traveling trophy presented to the winner of the Appalachian-WCU matchup) for the ninth-straight year and 31st time in 38 games since the Jug was introduced to the rivalry in 1976.
Saturday’s contest was a rout from the get-go. Appalachian took a 7-0 lead just 2:14 into the game on the first of Marcus Cox’s four touchdowns and went on to score on four of its first five possessions, capped by a 50-yard touchdown pass from Kameron Bryant to Tony Washington that stretched the advantage to 31-0 with 8:05 still left to play in the second quarter.
Highlighted by a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown by linebacker Karl Anderson on the second play of the second half, the Mountaineers extended the lead to 48-14 midway through the third quarter before Western Carolina (2-10, 1-7 SoCon) scored two late touchdowns to account for the final margin.
The story of the day was Cox, who capped one of the most prolific campaigns by a freshman in Appalachian State history with a record-breaking performance in the season finale. Cox rushed for 215 yards on the afternoon, giving him 1,250 rushing yards for the season, both Appalachian State freshman records. His four touchdowns (on 13-, 56- and two-yard runs and a 15-yard reception) were also the most ever by a Mountaineer freshman while his 21 total touchdowns and 15 rushing touchdowns for the season set and tied Appalachian freshman records, respectively.
In all, Cox accounted for 234 of Appalachian State’s 491 yards of offense. The 491 yards came on just 60 snaps, good for a whopping 8.2 yards per play.
Bryant engineered the majority of the 491-yard output with an efficient day behind center, completing 10-of-16 passes for 186 yards and two scores before being lifted from the game in the third quarter. Senior Jamal Londry-Jackson came on to complete all five of his passes in the final outing of his collegiate career.
Washington was the quarterbacks’ top target with four catches for 86 yards.
Defensively, Appalachian State forced five-straight three-and-outs in the first and second quarters to help stake the Mountaineers to the commanding 31-0 lead. Appalachian surrendered just 145 yards before WCU put together three long touchdown drives long after the game was in hand.
Senior Patrick Blalock led the Mountaineers with right tackles while Anderson added seven stops to go along with a pass breakup and the 37-yard pick-six.
NOTES: Appalachian State moved to 59-18-1 in 78 all-time games versus Western Carolina … the Old Mountain Jug will remain in Boone for the foreseeable future, as there are currently no future matchups scheduled between Appalachian and WCU after the Mountaineers move to the Sun Belt Conference and NCAA Division I FBS next season … Appalachian finished with a 204-87-5 (.698) all-time record in 296 SoCon games … the Mountaineers won 12 conference championships in their 42 seasons in the SoCon, good for second in league history behind Furman, which won its 13th SoCon title on Saturday … Cox’s 215 rushing yards broke the previous Appalachian State single-game freshman record of 207 set by Alan Atwater versus Chattanooga on Nov. 1, 2003 … Cox’s 1,250 rushing yards on the season broke the previous App State freshman record of 1,153, set by Armanti Edwards in 2006 … his 1,250 yards are good for the 13th-best overall single-season rushing total in school history … Anderson’s interception was his second in three games and the touchdown was the first of his career … Appalachian scored 40 points in a game for the first time since a 55-14 win over Coastal Carolina on Sept. 29 of last season … the Mountaineers’ span of 18 games in between 40-point games was their longest since they went 21 games between 40-point games from Oct. 14, 1995-Sept. 20, 1997 … with wins in its final two games, Appalachian State avoided finishing below .500 in SoCon play since going 2-5 in league games in 1984 … in his final game as the CEO of Appalachian State University, outgoing Chancellor Dr. Kenneth E. Peacock was honored with an on-field halftime ceremony and was presented with a game ball after the contest in the Appalachian State locker room … senior wide receiver Andrew Peacock was taken off the field in an ambulance for precautionary reasons after colliding with a WCU player in the third quarter but was released from Watauga Medical Center shortly after the conclusion of the game with no major injuries.
Photos by Debbie Carter
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