Appalachian State University football conducted one of its longest intrasquad scrimmages of the spring on Wednesday when the Mountaineers’ offense and defense squared off for 72 plays at Kidd Brewer Stadium.
Appalachian’s offense stood out for the first half of Wednesday’s intrasquad tussle with five drives of 30 yards or more and two touchdowns in its first seven possessions. The Mountaineer defense responded by dominating the second half of the scrimmage, limiting the offense to a total of 25 yards and forcing two turnovers over the final nine series.
Senior running back Rod Chisholm (Charlotte, N.C./Independence) set the tone early with a 60-yard touchdown run on the second play of the scrimmage. The offense scored its second touchdown of the afternoon when starting quarterback Jamal Jackson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) capped an 11-play, 65-yard drive with a six-yard pass to junior wideout Tony Washington (High Point, N.C./T.W. Andrews). Jackson completed 4-of-4 passes for 50 yards on the second touchdown drive of the day.
The defense took control following the second score and allowed just three first downs over the final nine series. Defensive ends John Rizor (Fayetteville, N.C./Jack Britt) and Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County) led the late defensive charge with two tackles for loss apiece (Rizor’s TFL coming on two sacks and Blair’s including a sack of his own).
In all, Appalachian’s offense managed 286 yards and two touchdowns in 16 possessions while the defense forced two turnovers and six three-and-outs. Jackson led the offense by completing 11-of-16 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown. Washington hauled in three receptions for 53 yards and ran once for 37 yards and Chisholm rushed six times for 74 yards.
Blair finished with a sack and three tackles for loss to lead the Mountaineers defensively. Senior defensive back Troy Sanders (Chester, S.C./Chester) joined Rizor with two tackles for loss and redshirt freshman Jamill Thomas (Winston-Salem, N.C./Carver) and sophomore Nich Shriner (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange) accounted for the Apps’ two interceptions.
A number of Mountaineers sat out of Wednesday’s practice with a variety of ailments. Newcomers to the injury list include RB Rommel Andre (head), DL Thomas Bronson (groin), DB Doug Middleton (thigh), RB Quartterrio Morgan (illness), DL James Robinson (head), WR Andy Shuler (knee) and DB Rodger Walker (thigh). All except Bronson and Shuler could return to practice before spring drills wrap up next week.
Wednesday’s practice was the 11th of 15 allowed by the NCAA during spring drills. The Mountaineers will likely scrimmage for the final time this spring on Saturday during an open practice for fans at Kidd Brewer Stadium. The open practice is set for 9:30 a.m.
Passing: Jackson 11-16-0, 116 yds., TD; Hallock 4-9-1, 14 yds.; Bryant 2-6-1, 3 yds.
Rushing: Chisholm 6-74, TD; Washington 1-37; Frazier 9-18; Bryant 4-9; Holloway 10-7; Jackson 7-5; McElfresh 1-6; Hallock 3-3
Receiving: Washington 3-53; Price 2-20; McElfresh 2-16; Sullivan 2-13; Chisholm 1-13; Shively 1-13; Frazier 2-8; Beathard 1-3; Gore 1-(-1); Holloway 1-(-1); Jackson 1-(-10)
Sacks: Rizor 2; Blair; McCray
Tackles For Loss: Blair 3; Rizor 2; Sanders 2; Grier; McCray; McGowan; Thomas
Pass Break-Ups: Davies 2; Barnes; Sanders; Shriner
Interceptions: Shriner; Thomas
Photo Courtesy: Jamal Jackson, ASU Athletics