|Mountaineers Blitz Bulldogs, 35-17|
|Written by Mike Flynn|
|Saturday, 22 October 2011 22:39|
Appalachian State University, ranked sixth in the nation, scored 21 points in a 12:46 span of the second quarter to turn 3-0 deficit into a 21-10 halftime lead and cruised to a 35-17 win over visiting Samford on Saturday at Kidd Brewer Stadium. With the win, Appalachian moved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in Southern Conference play
going into next week’s colossal showdown versus No. 1 Georgia Southern (7-0, 5-0 SoCon) at The Rock. With No. 4 Wofford’s 26-21 loss at Furman on Saturday, ASU controls its own destiny in its quest for an unprecedented seventh-straight SoCon championship.
Appalachian dominated the action from the get-go but a pair of turnovers deep in Samford territory and a missed field goal left the Mountaineers empty-handed. Samford took advantage of the ASU miscues to take a 3-0 lead on Cameron Yaw’s 39-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.
The Mountaineers’ dominance finally began to pay dividends in the second period, as they put together three-straight drives of 74 yards or more to erase the 3-0 deficit and take a commanding 21-10 lead. The second-quarter blitz began when quarterback Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run to give Appalachian its first lead of the afternoon at 7-3.
One series later, ASU marched 84 yards on seven plays, buoyed by 18 and 13-yard runs by Travaris Cadet (Miami, Fla./Central) and a 27-yard gain on a screen pass to Steven Miller (Piscataway, N.J./Piscataway). Cadet closed out the impressive drive with a five-yard touchdown run to stretch the ASU advantage to 14-3.
Samford (4-3, 2-3 SoCon) appeared to regain a bit of momentum when it cut the lead to 14-10 with 2:38 to go in the first half but Appalachian quickly turned the tables back in its favor five plays later when Jackson hit Brian Quick (Columbia, S.C./Ridge View) in stride over the middle and Quick sped untouched past several Bulldog defenders for a 69-yard touchdown. The score not only gave the Mountaineers a 21-10 lead going into halftime but was also the 26th of Quick’s career, breaking the 43-year-old ASU record for touchdown receptions in a career, previously held by Bob Agle (1965-68).
On the first quarter:
“We were sloppy in the beginning, we had to settle back down," Jackson said. Defensively, they did a good job come up with those stops, so kudos to the defense. All of those receivers, Peacock, Washington, and Lott those are definitely playmakers, it is my job to spread the ball around.”
Appalachian put the game away for all intents and purposes on its second possession of the second half when, after a 37-yard punt return by Cadet gave the Mountaineers terrific field position in Samford territory, Jackson found Tony Washington (High Point, N.C./T.W. Andrews) for a 41-yard touchdown strike that stretched the Mountaineers’ advantage to 28-10.
ASU erased any doubts about the final outcome when it put together a clock-milking, 13-play, 86-yard touchdown drive that spanned 6:41 late in the third quarter and early in the fourth that extended its lead to 35-10. The back-breaking drive was highlighted by 20-yard completions to both Washington and Andrew Peacock (Durham, N.C./Northern Durham) and capped by Cadet’s second touchdown run of the day from 12 yards out.
“Jamal for a year and half now has practiced well, its not like he has just been sitting there waiting" said ASU coach Jerry Moore. "He practices hard, he practices as if he were the starter for a year, so the Citadel was no big deal for him because he practices that way.”
In all, Appalachian’s offense racked up over 500 yards of offense for the second-straight week, outgaining Samford, 519-380, and averaging 7.2 yards per snap. The balanced ASU attack included 290 passing yards and 229 yards on the ground. Cadet and Quick led the onslaught with 139 yards on 22 carries and 100 yards on four receptions, respectively. The 100-yard game was the 10th of Quick’s career and his fourth this season while Cadet surpassed the century mark for the fifth time overall and first time in back-to-back games (he rushed for 133 yards in last week’s win at The Citadel).
Jackson completed 19-of-30 passes for a career-high 290 yards and two touchdowns with six of his completions going to Washington, who amassed 78 yards.
Despite the offensive fireworks, the story of the day may have been senior DeAndre Presley (Tampa, Fla./Middleton). After having a string of 18-straight starts at quarterback snapped last week at The Citadel due to a shoulder injury, Presley started at right cornerback on Saturday after less than one week of practice at the new position. Presley made his presence on the defensive side of the ball known just seven plays into the game when he leveled Samford’s Kelsey Pope, causing a fumble that was recovered by the Mountaineers. Presley went on to finish with six solo tackles to go along with the forced fumble in his first-ever defensive action.
“It happened on Wednesday," Presley said, "Coach (Moore) came to me in the weight room and told me we were short on DBs and that we needed help and I told him I would love to do it. I got picked on all week that I wasn’t going to hit anybody and my first tackle was a forced fumble.”
Jeremy Kimbrough (Decatur, Ga./Cedar Grove) and Troy Sanders (Chester, S.C./Chester) led Appalachian with nine tackles apiece with Kimbrough adding a sack, one-and-a-half tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. Rodger Walker (Thomasville, Ga./Brookwood) had two interceptions for the Mountaineers.
ASU limited Samford to just 84 rushing yards, marking the third time in seven games this season that an opponent failed to rush for 100 yards against the Mountaineers.
Samford’s Dustin Taliaferro completed 27-of-42 for 253 yards but threw for just one touchdown and was picked off twice. Fabian Truss, who came into the contest ranked fourth in the SoCon and 25th nationally with 98.2 rushing yards per game, managed just 65 yards on 16 carries.
“I think (Samford) are a very good football team," said Moore. "I think they are well coached and their kids play hard. I was impressed that they were as physical as they are and I was impressed with what they did in the last minute of the game, they showed a lot of class and they never quit.”
NOTES: Appalachian moved to 30-2 in its last 32 SoCon games ... the win was ASU’s 15th-straight regular-season home victory ... the Mountaineers moved to 59-4 in its last 63 home games overall ... the crowd of 28,912 was the ninth-largest in Kidd Brewer Stadium history ... ASU won for the ninth-straight time on homecoming and is now 37-11-2 in 50 all-time homecoming games played at The Rock ... Appalachian moved to 7-0 all-time when wearing gold jerseys, including 2-0 in this
year’s incarnation of the alternate third jersey ... Appalachian moved to 4-0 against Samford since the Bulldogs joined the SoCon in 2008 and 5-1 all-time versus SU ... ASU remains as the only SoCon team that Samford has not beaten in four years in the league.
1 2 3 4 T
1st 07:28 SAM Cameron Yaw 39 yd field goal, 10 plays, 73 yards, TOP 3:03 3 - 0
2nd 14:00 ASU Jamal Jackson 2 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 9 plays, 74 yards, TOP 2:45 3 - 7
3rd 10:38 ASU Tony Washington 41 yd pass from Jamal Jackson (Drew Stewart kick), 3 plays, 44 yards, TOP 1:03 10 - 28
4th 11:56 ASU Travaris Cadet 12 yd run (Drew Stewart kick), 13 plays, 86 yards, TOP 6:41 10 - 35
TOTAL OFFENSE: ASU 519, SAMFORD 380
ASU: CADET 22-139-2TD
ASU: JACKSON 19-30-INT-2TD-290
ASU: QUICK 4-100-TD, WASHINGTON 6-78-TD
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