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  • Hunter Bostain

Monarchs Crowned Winners in Saturday Night Face-off

Appalachian State Football made the five-and-a-half-hour trek to Norfolk, Virginia last Saturday to face off against the Old Dominion Monarchs. The most recent meeting came last November when the Mountaineers defeated the Monarchs 27 to 14 at home. That game was highlighted by a good performance by App State running back Ahmani Marshall (19 carries, 137 yards, 1 TD). Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the game this year was not as favorable to them.

After both teams started the game exchanging punts, App State (3-4, 1-2 Sun Belt) began the scoring with a touchdown run by QB Joey Aguilar just under the 4-minute mark in the first quarter. The home Monarchs (4-3, 3-1 Sun Belt) struck next at the 13-minute mark of the second quarter when QB Grant Wilson hit WR Kadarius Calloway with a 3-yard pass. App followed with a 4-play drive and a punt, followed by a three-and-out for the Monarchs. With possession, the Mountaineer offense marched 70 yards down the field and scored their second touchdown, with QB Joey Aguilar hitting TE David Larkins with a 5-yard pass with just over 4 minutes to go in the half. The Monarchs wasted no time responding, putting together a 5-play, 92-yard drive that ended with a 20-yard touchdown run by Monarch RB Keshawn Wicks. The Monarchs also capitalized on a quick Mountaineer three-and-out at the end of the half, getting the ball and driving it down the field to set up K Ethan Sanchez for a 47-yard field goal as time expired. We headed into halftime in Norfolk with a 17-14 game in favor of the home Monarchs.

Coming out of the half with the ball, the Monarchs wasted no time extending their lead, marching the ball down the field and nailing another field goal from 46 yards. App State started their next drive with a nice kickoff return from WR Milian Tucker for 35 yards. This led to a nice 13-play, 60-yard drive that resulted in a 17-yard touchdown pass from Joey Aguilar to WR Kaedin Robinson. Unfortunately for both teams, this would be the last points scored until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Six straight punts, three for each team, occurred for the rest of the third and the start of the fourth quarter. The biggest happening for the Mountaineers was when the Monarchs punted them the ball with 4:50 seconds to go in the ballgame. App State was unable to get anything going. The drive resulted in a costly three-and-out. What ensued was the final nail in the coffin for the Mountaineers, an 11-play, 69-yard drive for the Monarchs, capped off with a Keshawn Wicks 16-yard run and a Grant Wilson pass to Jalen Butler for the two-point conversion. App State was able to get the ball back and drive into Monarch territory but was unable to score on two attempted passes to the endzone from QB Joey Aguilar to WR Dalton Stroman.

App State Quarterback Joey Aguilar finished the game 22 for 31, for 252 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Kanye Roberts posted the first 100-yard game of his career with 109 yards on 26 carries for the Mountaineers. For the Monarchs, Grant Wilson finished 18 for 25 for 188 yards.

The Mountaineers look to bounce back in their next game this weekend against Southern Miss (1-6, 0-4 Sun Belt) at home, while Old Dominion looks to continue their momentum traveling to play #25 James Madison (7-0, 4-0 Sun Belt) in Harrisonburg, Va.

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