Mountaineers Trounce Panthers Behind a Dominant Second Half
On a cold Wednesday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium in Boone NC, the Appalachian State Mountaineers defeated the Georgia State Panthers 42-17. After a disappointing loss to Texas State the week before, the Mountaineers got back in the win column in this contest.
However, the game did not begin the way the Mountaineers would have wanted. The first of these was scored by running back Tucker Gregg who snuck in from 4 yards out to put the Panthers up early after the Mountaineers failed to score on their first drive. The next Panther drive also resulted in a Georgia State touchdown, this time quarterback Darren Grainger took it himself and got the endzone from 26
yards away. The first quarter ended with a 14-0 lead for the Panthers.
Both defenses began the second quarter strong forcing the opposition to punt. The Mountaineers went3 and out twice within this span. However late in the quarter, the Mountaineers would finally crack the endzone. A touchdown came from star running back Cam Peoples who showed a lot of power on a spectacular 16-yard scamper to make the score 14-7. After this drive the Panthers would go 3 and out allowing the Mountaineers to try to even it up before half. This did not happen however as time expired on App State and the half ended 14-7 in favor of Georgia State.
App State got the ball in the first half, so they kicked off to Georgia State to begin the second half. The Panthers were driving the ball down the field after a personal foul by the Mountaineers gave them a big boost. However, things turned around for the Mountaineers when linebacker Nick Hampton came flying off the edge and forced the ball from Darren Grainger where the Mountaineers would fall on it to get possession. This turnover turned into points as a few plays later running back Ahmani Marshall would come onto the field and take off for a 37-yard touchdown. This tied it up 14-14 early in the third. A quick drive for the Panthers allowed the Mountaineers to get their offense back on the field. A 10-play drive then ensued with a Chase Brice one yard keep on the goal line getting into the endzone to put the Mountaineers on top 21-7. Turnovers proved to be the difference again as on the next Georgia State drive, Darren Grainger misfired and threw it to linebacker Tyler Bird for an interception. This quickly
turned into even more points for the Mountaineers as Brice took it again for another touchdown, moving his total to 2 rushing touchdowns on the day. This put App State up 28-14 as the third quarter
came to a close.
The fourth began with Georgia State getting some points as a Michael Hayes 47-yard field goal sailed through the uprights to make it 28-17. This score did not phase the Mountaineers however as they quickly marched down the field again and found the endzone on a powerful run by Cam Peoples from 7 yards out to make it 35-17 App State, who looked like a completely different team than they did in the first quarter. Another 3 and out for the Panthers followed, as they looked out of gas. App State would find the endzone one more time however, with running back Anderson Castle scoring from 2 yards out to get his first touchdown of the year. Georgia State could not get anything going on offense and a Cadarrius Thompson fumble put their day away. Final score in this one: 42-17.
Not a big day through the air for quarterback Chase Brice, only throwing 62 yards and going 7 for 17 throwing the ball but did add 2 touchdowns rushing. Camerun Peoples had a monster game going for 168 yards on 23 carries averaging 7.3 yards a carry and scoring twice. Nate Noel followed up by getting 15 carries for 69 yards. The leading receiver would surprisingly be tight end Henry Pearson who had a single catch for 31 yards. Logan Doublin led the way for the Mountaineers on defense getting 12 tackles
and a pass defensed. Nick Hampton had 8 tackles, 2 sacks and a forced fumble while Tyler Bird got an interception for App State. Finally, freshman Kyle Arnholdt forced a fumble late for the Mountaineers.
Georgia State quarterback Darren Grainger went 9 for 23 on the day with 73 yards and an interception. However, Grainger did have a rushing touchdown for the Panthers as he led them in rushing with 19 carries for 100 yards. Tucker Gregg followed with 11 carries for 93 yards and a touchdown. Ahmon Green led the way in receiving with 2 receptions for 24 yards. Leading the way for the Panther defense was Antavious Lane and Jordan Veneziale with 10 tackles each.
This win moves the Mountaineers to 4-3 on the season and 2-2 in conference. The Panthers fall to 2-5 and 1-2 in conference. Appalachian State will face the Robert Morris Colonials next week at home. Georgia State will also get a home game next week, taking on the division leading Old Dominion