Evans named to Associated Press All-Bowl Team....Boone, N.C. – Appalachian State’s Darrynton Evans has been named to the Associated Press 2016 All-Bowl Team as a kick returner, the AP announced on Thursday.

Evans was a difference-maker late in the Apps’ 31-28 win over Toledo in the Camellia Bowl last month. The freshman returned a kickoff 94 yards late in the third quarter to propel the Mountaineers past the Rockets in a wild affair that was rated in the top five bowl games by CBS Sports.

Evans weaved his way up the right sideline, in front of the App State bench, to break a 21-21 tie late in the third after Toledo had scored to knot the game for a third time. The return was Evans’ first career touchdown as Mountaineer.

Evans blossomed as freshman despite playing behind of 1,000-yard rushers in Marcus Cox and Jalin Moore. Evans had 814 all-purpose yards on the year, averaging 22.5 yards per kick return on 25 attempts. He also had 217 yards rushing and six receptions.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold, Alabama running back Bo Scarborough, and LSU linebacker Tashawn Bowerwere among the other AP All-Bowl Team selections.

AP 2016 ALL-BOWL TEAM

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Sam Darnold, Southern California: Darnold threw for 453 yards and five touchdowns as No. 9 USC erased a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit in a 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over No. 5 Penn State.

Honorable mention: Joshua Dobbs, Tennessee; Ryan Higgins, Louisiana Tech; Quinton Flowers, South Florida

Running back

Justin Jackson, Northwestern: Jackson rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries as Northwestern upset No. 22 Pittsburgh 31-24 in the Pinstripe Bowl .

Bo Scarbrough, Alabama: Scarbrough needed just 19 carries to run for 180 yards and two touchdowns in No. 1 Alabama's 24-7 Peach Bowl triumph over No. 4 Washington.

Honorable mention: Dalvin Cook, Florida State; Jamaal Williams, BYU; Joe Williams, Utah

Wide receiver

Deontay Burnett, Southern California: Burnett caught 13 passes for 164 yards and three touchdowns, including a game-tying score with 1:20 left in the Rose Bowl.

KD Cannon, Baylor: Cannon had 14 receptions for 226 yards -- including touchdown catches of 30 and 68 yards -- as Baylor defeated Boise State 31-12 in the Cactus Bowl .

Honorable mention: Chris Godwin, Penn State; Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech; Kendall Sanders, Arkansas State; Allenzae Staggers, Southern Mississippi; Olabis Johnson, Colorado State; Anthony Miller, Memphis

Tight end

Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State: This tight end/fullback hybrid caught six passes for 104 yards and three touchdowns in the Wolfpack's 41-17 Independence Bowl triumph over Vanderbilt.

Honorable mention: Troy Fumagalli, Wisconsin; Metuisela 'Unga, Hawaii; Deon Watson, Idaho

Offensive line

Isaac Asiata, Utah: Asiata paved the way for Joe Williams' 222-yard rushing performance in Utah's 26-24 Foster Farms Bowl victory over Indiana . Asiata won the Morris Trophy this season as the Pac-12's top offensive lineman, an award determined by voting from the conference's starting defensive linemen.

Scott Frantz, Kansas State: Frantz was the primary man responsible for holding All-America defensive end Myles Garrett to zero sacks and only one assisted tackle in Kansas State's 33-28 Texas Bowl victory over Texas A&M.

Jay Guillermo, Clemson: Guillermo graded out at 93 percent and tied a season high with five knockdowns as No. 3 Clemson breezed to a 31-0 Fiesta Bowl victory over No. 2 Ohio State.

Forrest Lamp, Western Kentucky: Lamp didn't allow a sack or a quarterback pressure in Western Kentucky's 51-31 Boca Raton Bowl victory over Memphis. He even scored a touchdown by catching a lateral and running 9 yards into the end zone.

Matt Leidner, Minnesota: This former walk-on and scout-team center had dropped 30 pounds before the Holiday Bowl to prepare for foot surgery since he wasn't expecting to play. He instead earned his first career start because of injuries to Tyler Moore and Jared Weyler. Leidner helped Minnesota defeat Washington State 17-12 and underwent surgery the following day.

Honorable mention: Zach Banner, Southern California; Parker Braun, Georgia Tech; Jesse Burkett, Stanford; Tyler Gauthier, Miami; Ty Hayworth, Wake Forest; Tejan Koroma BYU; Chandler Miller, Tulsa; Jordan Rose, Idaho; Jonah Williams, Alabama

All-purpose

Saquon Barkley, Penn State: Barkley ran for 194 yards and two touchdowns while also catching five passes for 55 yards and a third score in the Rose Bowl. Barkley also totaled 57 yards on two kickoff returns.

Honorable mention: Joe Mixon, Oklahoma; Anthony Wales, Western Kentucky

DEFENSE

Line

Jonathan Allen, Alabama: Allen had six tackles - two for loss - with one sack and a fumble recovery to lead the dominant performance of Alabama's defense in the Peach Bowl.

Clelin Ferrell, Clemson: Ferrell recorded three tackles for loss and a sack in the Fiesta Bowl.

Ja'Boree Poole, Southern Mississippi: Poole made nine tackles and delivered three sacks in Southern Mississippi's 28-21 New Orleans Bowl victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.

Trenton Thompson, Georgia: Thompson set a Liberty Bowl record by recording three sacks in Georgia's 31-23 triumph over TCU.

Honorable mention: Derek Barnett, Tennessee; Jesse Brubaker, Tulsa; Nick Dawson-Brents, Western Kentucky; Patrick Gamble, Georgia Tech; Kyle Kelley, San Diego State; Harold Landry, Boston College; Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, Arkansas State; Solomon Thomas, Stanford; DeMarcus Walker, Florida State

Linebacker

Tashawn Bower, LSU: Bower sacked Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson three times in No. 19 LSU's 29-9 Citrus Bowl rout of No. 15 Louisville.

Anthony Shegog, Virginia Tech: Shegog had six tackles, a sack, an interception and a forced fumble to help Virginia Tech rally from a 24-0 deficit to beat Arkansas 35-24 in the Belk Bowl .

Matthew Thomas, Florida State: Thomas had 15 tackles - 3 ½ for loss - as No. 10 Florida State edged No. 6 Michigan 33-32 in theOrange Bowl .

Honorable mention: Ryan Anderson and Reuben Foster, Alabama; Thomas Brown, Wake Forest; Blake Cashman, Minnesota; Caleb Kelly, Oklahoma; Arden Key, LSU; Jeremy Timpf, Army

Secondary

Chauncey Gardner, Florida: Gardner picked off two passes and returned one for a 58-yard touchdown as No. 20 Florida trounced No. 21 Iowa 30-3 in the Outback Bowl .

Dallas Lloyd, Stanford: Lloyd forced a fumble, made six tackles and had two interceptions as No. 16 Stanford edged North Carolina 25-23 in the Sun Bowl . He scored on a 19-yard interception return early in the fourth quarter to put Stanford ahead for good.

Leon McQuay, Southern California: His 32-yard interception return in the final minute of the Rose Bowl set up the game-winning field goal. McQuay also had seven solo tackles and two pass breakups.

Ron Smith, San Diego State: Smith made 10 tackles and scored on a 54-yard interception return as part of a San Diego State defense that recorded eight sacks and four interceptions in a 34-10 Las Vegas Bowl triumph over Houston.

Honorable mention: Anthony Averett and Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; Corn Elder, Miami; Khalid McGee, South Florida; Mook Reynolds, Virginia Tech; Elijah Riley, Army; Wes Steelhammer, Air Force; Orion Stewart, Baylor

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

Harrison Butker, Georgia Tech: Butker was 4 of 4 on field-goal attempts with kicks of 23, 26, 44 and 52 yards in Georgia Tech's33-18 TaxSlayer Bowl victory over Kentucky. He was 3 of 3 on extra-points and had touchbacks on each of his seven kickoffs.

Honorable mention: Jonathan Barnes, Louisiana Tech; Matt Boermeester, Southern California; Andy Phillips, Utah

Punter

Kenny Allen, Michigan: Allen averaged 47.4 yards per punt at the Orange Bowl and landed four of his eight attempts inside Florida State's 20-yard line. He also made each of his three field-goal attempts and had touchbacks on six of his seven kickoffs.

Honorable mention: Jake Bailey, Stanford; Mason King, Louisville; Zach Sinor, Oklahoma State

Returner

Darrynton Evans, Appalachian State: He scored on a 94-yard kickoff return late in the third quarter to give the Mountaineers a 28-21 lead in their 31-28 Camellia Bowl triumph over Toledo.

Honorable mention: Keith Gavin, Florida State; Nyheim Hines, North Carolina State; Kalija Lipscomb, Vanderbilt

 

Mountaineers Snap Conference Streak, Belt A-State

BOONE, N.C. -- Three double-digit scorers and a 12-0 explosion out of the gates gave Appalachian State University men’s basketball the advantage, toppling Arkansas State, 70-57, on Monday night at the Holmes Center.

The Mountaineers (6-9, 1-3 Sun Belt) used a confident 51.9 percent shooting percentage in the second half to nab their first conference win of the season, while the Red Wolves (11-6, 2-2 Sun Belt) fell in their second straight league game.

Leading all-scorers for the game was Mountaineer guard Ronshad Shabazz(Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) who finished with 18 points, six rebounds and two steals. Shabazz finished 7-for-15 from the floor and a stellar 4-of-6 from long range.

Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll) also chipped in 12 points, including a clutch 4-4 from the line late in the game, while Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) came off the bench to give key bench minutes, grabbing six boards to go along with 10 points, two steals and a block.

Chances from the charity stripe, while hard to come by in a physical battle, also went in the Mountaineers favor as they shot 72.7 percent from the line, while the Red Wolves mustered just 56 percent.

Appalachian raced out to a 12-0 lead into the first media timeout of the game with15:51 left in the opening half. Five different scorers led to the early advantage for the Black and Gold. Despite the run from the Mountaineers, the Red Wolves answered with a 23-5 run themselves for a 23-17 lead.

The Apps would slowly crawl back in the game behind stellar defense and a keen sense for the rim, using eight free throws combined with a three from Patrick Good (Johnson City, Tenn./David Crockett) and a layup from Shabazz to trail by just two, 32-30, at the break.

With the score in A-State’s favor at 39-38 with 13:09 left in regulation, Craig Hinton (Winston-Salem, N.C./East Forsyth) banged a 3-pointer to give App State the two point edge.

After the Red Wolves tied the score, App State regained the lead and pushed it to five points on an unearthly play that saw Shabazz save a ball from going out-of-bounds on the App State baseline only to return to the corner and drill a 3-pointer and give App State a 46-41 lead.

App State held its advantage, leading by just four with 5:14 left to play before Hinton hit his second big 3-pointer to put the Mountaineers up by seven. The Apps would maintain its lead with clutch free throw shooting winning by a game-high lead of 13 points.

The Mountaineers finished 16-for-22 at the line with Logan and Kelvin Robinson(Little Rock, Ark./Episcopal) finishing a perfect 4-for-4.

Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson) led the Mountaineers with seven rebounds, while Shabazz contributed six and Hinton added five.

The Mountaineers now head on the road for three-straight, beginning at Coastal Carolina on Jan. 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Notes: With the win, App State extended its winning streak over Arkansas State to three games … App State leads the all-time series with A-State, 4-2 … The Mountaineers earned its first Sun Belt win of the season … Ronshad Shabazz led App State with 18 points — good for his 32nd double-digit scoring game of his career and 14th this season in 15 games … Emarius Logan netted double-figures for the third time this season …with 10 points, Isaac Johnson netted his fifth career double-digit scoring game.

Photo Courtesy: Darrynton Evans, App State Athletics