Notes from Fridays damp practice:
Wideout Bobo Beathard (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) continued his impressive fall camp by making a spectacular touchdown catch in 11-on-11 drills for the second-straight day. On his latest highlight-reel-worthy play, the junior leaped high over a defender at the end of a fly route to haul in a 40-yard touchdown pass from Kameron Bryant (Cary, N.C./Panther Creek).
In the period following Beathards catch, Appalachian States defense got the best of the offense in 7-on-7 passing drills. Interceptions by true freshmen A.J. Howard (Hamilton, Ga./Harris County) and Devan Stringer (Gainesville, Ga./Gainesville) and sophomore Alex Gray (Suwanee, Ga./Peachtree Ridge) headlined the defensive effort.
In an 11-on-11 period that featured third-down-and-two plays, redshirt freshman running back Terrence Upshaw (Duluth, Ga./Northview), Bryant and fellow quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun) had nifty runs to pick up first downs and more. Upshaw followed stout blocking on the left side of the offensive line for a 30-yard gain, Bryant made a great fake en route to an eight-yard pickup on a quarterback draw and Lamb kept the ball on an option and followed terrific downfield blocking all the way to the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown.
The afternoon closed with two series simulating the following late-game situation: offenses ball on its own 49 yard line with 41 seconds to go in the game, down by two points with one timeout remaining. In the first series, pitting the first-team offense against the first-team defense, the offense drove to the edge of field-goal range but with less than 20 seconds remaining and no timeouts left, defensive end Olawale Dada (Columbus, Ga./Shaw) came off the left edge to sack Bryant and the defense came away with the win. On the final series, which matched up the second-team offensive and defensive units, inside linebacker D.J. Ward (Elizabeth City, N.C./Northeastern) picked off a pass by Lamb and raced 60 yards for a would-be victory-sealing touchdown with two seconds left on the clock.
Fridays practice was the last of eight that were open to the general public during the first week of Appalachian States 2014 fall camp. Practices will be closed going forward as the Mountaineers begin to install their gameplan for the Aug. 30 opener at Michigan. However, appstatesports.com will continue to have recaps and video reports from the practice field for the duration of fall camp, leading up to Appalachian States first day of class on Tuesday, Aug. 19.