Number three Appalachian State University scored on five of its first seven possessions to grab a 27-0 halftime lead and never looked back en route to a 41-6 win over visiting Savannah State on Saturday evening at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Appalachian (2-1) forced five punts and a turnover on Savannah State’s six first-half possessions and ASU’s offense countered with three touchdowns and two field goals before the break to grab the all-but-insurmountable 27-point advantage at the break.
For the second week in a row, Appalachian made its opponent pay for the decision to defer after winning the opening coin toss. Savannah State (0-3) won the toss but elected to give the ball to the Mountaineers, who marched 68 yards in seven plays and took the lead for good just 2:40 into the ballgame on a two-yard touchdown run by Travaris Cadet (Miami, Fla./Central).
After ASU tacked on a 41-yard field goal by Sam Martin (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr’s Mill) to make it 10-0, the momentum shifted entirely to the Mountaineers early in the second period, thanks to the play of true freshman defensive end James Robinson (Blythewood, S.C./Blythewood). Thanks to four completions by starting quarterback Alfred Defillipis, SSU drove all the way to the Appalachian 23 yard line and was threatening to cut into the Apps’ 10-point lead when Robinson sacked Defillipis on consecutive plays to push the Tigers out of scoring position and force a punt. The back-to-back bone-crushing sacks also knocked Defillipis, who had completed 8-of-13 passes for 81 yards in the first quarter, out of the ballgame.
The Mountaineers went on to score on its final three possessions of the first half, first on a 48-yard touchdown pass from DeAndre Presley (Tampa, Fla./Middleton) to Brian Quick (Columbia, S.C./Ridge View), then on a two-yard scoring dive by Presley and finally on a 51-yard field goal by Martin on the final play of the opening half.
An interception and 14-yard return by sophomore Rodger Walker (Thomasville, Ga./Brookwood) set up a three-yard touchdown run by Steven Miller (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway) that stretched Appalachian’s lead to 34-0 and effectively ended the day for the Mountaineers’ starters less than 10 minutes into the second half. SSU ended ASU’s hopes for its first shutout in more than five years when backup quarterback Antonio Bostick scored on a 10-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and Mountaineer backup signal-caller Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) closed out the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown jaunt with just over two minutes to go.
Appalachian outgained Savannah State by a 283-97 margin in the first half and 420-285 for the ballgame. Combined with last Saturday’s 58-6 rout over North Carolina A&T, the Mountaineers have held consecutive opponents to fewer than 10 points for the first time in 13 years.
Presley highlighted the dominating performance on offense by completing 11-of-17 passes without an interception for 186 yards and a touchdown in less than three quarters of work. He also ran for 21 yards and a score and, in the process, became only the seventh player in ASU history with 5,000 yards of total offense in his career (5,125).
Five of Presley’s 11 completions were hauled in by Quick, who racked up 81 yards and moved into sole possession of second place all-time at ASU with his 24th career touchdown reception. He needs just one more touchdown catch to match the 43-year old school record of 25, set by Bob Agle from 1965-68.
Miller led ASU with 60 rushing yards on just nine carries, including a highlight-reel-worthy 30-yard gain that set up his three-yard touchdown run. Cedric Baker Boney (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) added 58 yards on eight carries (7.2-yard averaged) and Terrence McLean (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland County) chipped in with 48 yards on just five rushes (9.6 avg.) to pace the Mountaineers’ 234-yard rushing attack.
Conversely, Appalachian’s defense limited Savannah State to just 41 yards on the ground, including only four in the first half. The Mountaineers tormented the Tigers in the backfield throughout the evening, finishing with 10 tackles for loss and six sacks.
Robinson led the charge with two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble. Linebacker Brandon Grier (Charlotte, N.C./West Charlotte) added 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack while true freshman Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) also had 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage and was in on a sack. Walker, safety Troy Sanders (Chester, S.C./Chester) and linebacker Jeremy Kimbrough (Decatur, Ga./Cedar Grove) paced the Mountaineers with six tackles apiece.
Bostick completed 15-of-33 passes for 136 yards and ran 11 times for 37 yards for Savannah State while SSU’s Vaughn Cornelia led all players with 11 tackles.
After three non-conference games to open the season, the Mountaineers begin Southern Conference play next Saturday with a stern test versus No. 14 Chattanooga (2-1). Kickoff for the SoCon battle is set for 3:30 p.m. at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
NOTES: Appalachian has held back-to-back opponents to fewer than 10 points for the first time since 51-0 and 19-0 wins over VMI and Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 14 and Nov. 21, 1998 ... the six points allowed by ASU matches last week’s 58-6 win over N.C. A&T for the fewest points surrendered by the Mountaineers since their last shutout, a 41-0 win over Mars Hill on Sept. 16, 2006 ... ASU has won 12-consecutive regular-season home games (dating back to a 40-35 loss to McNeese State in the 2009 home opener) and is 57-4 in its last 61 home games overall ... in five night games at Kidd Brewer Stadium since 2007, ASU has won all five by an average score of 51-18 ... Appalachian is over .500 through three games for only the second time in the last four seasons ... ASU wore gold alternate jerseys for the first time this season and moved to 6-0 all-time when donning gold tops (all in the past three seasons) ... unlike past years, this season’s alternate jerseys will not be auctioned to fans but will rather become a regular part of ASU’s uniform rotation ... Martin’s 51-yard field goal on the last play of the first half was his second 51-yarder of the season and is tied for the seventh-longest field goal in school history ... Martin, who is also ASU’s punter, downed two punts inside the five yard line giving him five kicks downed inside the five this season ... Quick’s five catches moved him past Agle (146 career receptions) and into fourth place on ASU’s all-time list with 150 career receptions ... defensive back Ed Gainey (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) and linebacker Lanston Tanyi (Shelby, N.C./Shelby) did not participate in Saturday’s game due to a violation of team rules......Senior wide receiver BrianQuick 48-yard touchdown reception in the second-quarter was the 24thof his career, moving him into sole possession of second place on ASU’sall-time touchdown receptions list. He is one shy of ASU’s 43-year-old careerrecord of 25, set by Bob Agle (1965-68)......With five receptions, Quick also moved into fourth amongASU’s all-time leaders with 150 career receptions, surpassing Agle (146)......Senior quarterback DeAndrePresley became the seventh player in ASU history with 5,000 yards of totaloffense in a career. His 207 yards of total offense on Saturday gives him 5,125for his career......For the second-straight week, junior place kicker Sam Martin kicked a 51-yard field goal,which is tied for the seventh-longest in ASU history......Martin also downedtwo punts inside the five yard line, giving him five punts downed inside the five yard line this season......Making his first collegiate start, true freshman defensiveend James Robinson had three tacklesfor loss, two sacks and a forced fumble.
1 2 3 4 T
Savannah State 0 0 0 6 - 6
Appalachian State 10 17 7 7 - 41
APLST Travaris Cadet 2 yd run (Sam Martin kick)
APLST Sam Martin 41 yd FG
APLST Brian Quick 48 yd pass from DeAndre Presley (Sam Martin kick)
APLST DeAndre Presley 2 yd run (Sam Martin kick)
APLST Sam Martin 51 yd FG
APLST Steven Miller 3 yd run (Sam Martin kick)
SAV Antonio Bostick 10 yd run (blocked XP)
APLST Jamal Jackson 16 yd run (Sam Martin kick)
First Downs: ASU 19, SAV 17
Third Down Efficiency: ASU 2-10, SAV 5-17
Fourth Down Efficiency: ASU 1-1, SAV 2-3
Plays-Net Yards: ASU 62-420, SAV 72-285
Rushes-Yds: ASU 44-234, SAV 25-41
Passing Yds: ASU 186, SAV 244
Kick Return Yds: ASU 12, SAV 128
Punt Return Yds: ASU 21, SAV 0
Passes: ASU 11-18-0, SAV 24-47-1
Punts: ASU 5-235, SAV 7-263
Fumbles-Lost: ASU 1-0, SAV 3-1
Penalties-Yds ASU 5-44, SAV 4-45
Time of Poss. ASU 28:00. SAV 32:00
SAV: Antonio Bostick 11-37, Justin Babb 6-13, Sheldon Barnes 1-5, George Kennedy 3-0, A.J. Defilippis 4--14
APLST: Steven Miller 9-60, Cedric Baker Boney 8-58, Terrence McLean 5-48, Travaris Cadet 9-40, DeAndre Presley 7-21, Jamal Jackson 4-19, Team 2--12
SAV: Antonio Bostick 15-33-136-1, A.J. Defilippis 8-13-81-0, Derek Williams 1-1-27-0
APLST: DeAndre Presley 11-17-186-0, Jamal Jackson 0-1-0-0
SAV: Dylan Cook 7-47, Bryan Lackey 4-62, Kris Drummond 4-51, Simon Heyward 3-34, Byron Leggett 2-34, Chris Strong 2-12, Alakan Thomas 1-4, Desmond Gantt 1-0
APLST: Brian Quick 5-81, Andrew Peacock 3-37, Jamill Lott 1-30, Travaris Cadet 1-23, Tony Washington 1-15
CHATTANOOGA 23, EASTERN KENTUCKY 14
ELON 23, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 22
WOFFORD, GEORGIA SOUTHERN, THE CITADEL, SAMFORD, FURMAN AND WESTERN CAROLINA ALL HAD BYES.