|Mountaineers lose heartbreaker at Montana|
|Written by Mike Kelly|
|Saturday, 12 December 2009 18:03|
The Appalachian State football team suffered a heartbreaking loss Saturday in the FCS NCAA Division I National Semi-Finals against the No.1 team in the country.
Montana (14-0) marched its way to Chattanooga for seventh time in school history as the Grizzlies defeated ASU 24-17 in a snow storm at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. The Grizzlies, the No.1 seed in the tournament, staved off another Armanti Edwards miracle comeback stopping ASU at their three-yard-line as time expired.
Edwards, a finalist for the second Walter Payton Award, marched ASU (11-3) from its 25-yard-line to Montana's three with six seconds left. But Brandon Fisher broke up a pass and Brian Quick let one slip right through his hands as time expired ending Appalachian's season. The loss broke Appalachian's 11-game winning streak and it denied the Mountaineers their fourth trip to the national championship game in Chattanooga in five years.
Edwards, playing his final game as a Mountaineers, was also denied an opportunity to tie Raymond Gross of Georgia Southern as the all-time leader in post-season victories for a starting quarterback. Edwards finished with 11, and one shy of tying the record.
Trailing 17-14 to start the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies rallied for ten points in the period. The last seven points coming on a 25-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Andrew Selle to Jabin Sambrano with 1:31 remaining.
Edwards was 28-54 for 353 yards; Quick, despite that drop at the end of the game, caught a career-high ten passes for 135 yards; Devon Moore ran for 93 yards and two touchdowns. The Apps had 479 yards offensively; the Grizzlies had 373. The Mountaineers also held the ball for nearly 35 minutes. But ASU was plagued by penalities.
The Mountaineers were flagged 11 times for 131 yards. And they came away with no points on two trips inside the red zone (a missed field goal from 44 yards away; and a blocked field goal attempt). Chase Reynolds paced Montana with 193 rushing yards and a pair of scores.
Montana, which won its last national title in 2001, will now play Villanova in the national championship game Friday in Chattanooga. Villanova advanced by beating William & Mary 14-13 Friday in Philadelphia.
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