Tuesdays practice closed with two captivating 11-on-11 periods, the first featuring App States offense and defense squaring off in the red zone. In six red-zone series beginning with first-and-10 at the 12 yard line, the offense found paydirt four times while the defense recorded two impressive stops. The stars of the period were freshmen J.P. Caruso (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Palm Beach Gardens) and Trey Anderson (Orlando, Fla./Bishop Moore), who hooked up for touchdown passes of 13 and four yards on the final two series of the period.
Simms McElfresh (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Christian) and Terrence Upshaw (Duluth, Ga./Northview) scored the other touchdowns in the period on a 12-yard pass from Kameron Bryant (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek) and a one-yard run, respectively.
Local products were largely responsible for the two defensive stops, as Dustin Anderson (Hiddenite, N.C./Alexander Central) thwarted a scoring threat with a tackle for loss on third-and-one from the one yard line and fellow Alexander Central product Stephen Burns (Taylorsville, N.C./Alexander Central) recovered a fumble to end another series.
The afternoon ended with a two-minute drill showdown possessions starting at the defenses 48 yard line with 1:24 to go and the defense clinging to a 30-22 lead. In four series, the defense came away victorious each time.
The offense went four-and-out on each of its first two possessions, with a sack by Burns and pass break-ups by Joel Ross (Damascus, Md./Damascus) and Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) highlighting the defensive effort.
On the third drive, Bryant completed six-consecutive passes (two to Upshaw and four to McElfresh) to set up second-and-two from the five yard line. However, the defense came up big with its backs against the wall, forcing three-straight incompletions to hold on for the win.
On the final series, Caruso completed 4-of-6 passes, including a four-yard touchdown strike to fellow true freshman Jordan Noil (Duluth, Ga./Norcross) that pulled the offense within two points. However, on the ensuing two-point-conversion attempt, Tashion Singleton (Charlotte, N.C./West Mecklenburg) broke through to sack Caruso and preserve the defenses 30-28 victory.
Appalachian State returns to two-a-day action on Wednesday with a pair of practices at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Practices are closed to the general public but check appstatesports.com for a full recap and video report from Wednesdays workouts.