Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Football Wallops Campbell in Home-Opening Shutout

Simms McElfresh, Marcus Cox and Ricky Fergerson each scored two touchdowns and Appalachian State University football opened the home portion of its 2014 schedule with its largest win in 73 years, a 66-0 triumph over Campbell on Saturday evening at Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Appalachian State’s 66-point margin of victory was the fourth-largest in school history and the largest since the Mountaineers blanked Arkansas-Monticello, 67-0, on Sept. 27, 1941. Appalachian’s 66 points were the seventh-most in program history and its most since it hammered Wofford, 70-24, on Oct. 31, 2008.

App State (1-1) led 10-0 after one quarter but scored five touchdowns in the second period to grab a commanding 45-0 halftime lead.

The Mountaineers’ 35-point second quarter included a stretch of three touchdowns in 3:41 and four scores in 7:43 and was highlighted by a 52-yard interception return by Doug Middleton.

A severe storm that passed through the Boone area near the end of halftime delayed the start of the second half by 52 minutes but the Mountaineers found the end zone three times in their first five possessions after the break to close out the rout.

Appalachian State outgained Campbell (0-2), 538-95, and forced four turnovers in its first shutout since in blanked Mars Hill, 41-0, on Sept. 16, 2006.

Cox led the Mountaineers’ offensive outburst by rushing for 114 yards and two touchdowns (both from two yards out) on 20 carries. The 100-yard game was the seventh in 11 career starts for the sophomore Doak Walker Award candidate, who did not start last Saturday’s season opener at Michigan after missing much of preseason camp with a lower-body injury.

Cox’s effort was augmented by three Mountaineers who averaged at least six yards a rush — quarterback Taylor Lamb, who ran for 68 yards on five carries (13.6 avg.), Fergerson, who had 48 yards and two scores (11 and seven yards) on eight carries (6.0 avg.) and Terrence Upshaw, who amassed 41 yards and a 10-yard touchdown on just four carries (10.2 avg.).

Kameron Bryant led the way through the air, throwing for 149 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-17 passing. Lamb added 94 yards and a touchdown on 5-of-10 passing.

McElfresh led all receivers with five catches for 81 yards, including his touchdown receptions of 12 and 39 yards. Tight end Barrett Burns added 43 yards on two catches, including a 21-yard touchdown.

Defensively, the Mountaineers racked up two sacks and seven tackles for loss in the shutout. Outside linebacker Rashaad Townes led the squad with seven tackles while Joel Ross and Stephen Machanic added interceptions to go along with Middleton’s.

Thanks in large part to App State’s stout defensive effort, the Mountaineers’ offense had an average starting field position at its own 49 yard line.

Next week, Appalachian State enjoys its first of two byes this fall before returning to action on Sept. 20 at Conference USA’s Southern Miss. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET at M.M. Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg, Miss.

NOTES: Appalachian State moved to 62-20-2 (.750) all-time in home openers with its 12th win in its last 14 lid-lifters at Kidd Brewer Stadium ... the Mountaineers moved to 2-0 all-time versus Campbell in the schools’ first gridiron meeting since Sept. 19, 1931 (a 20-6 Appalachian win) ... App State moved to 34-1 in its last 35 home games against in-state opponents ... the shutout was Appalachian’s 18th all-time in a home opener but its first since it blanked North Carolina A&T, 45-0, on Sept. 17, 1994 ... the Mountaineers’ 45 first-half points were the most that they scored in an opening half since they led Western Carolina, 45-21, at halftime of a 79-35 win on Nov. 10, 2007 ... Appalachian State avoided having consecutive 0-2 starts for the first time since 1992-93 and losing consecutive home openers for the first time since 1982-83 ... Appalachian committed its first turnover of the season late in the third quarter when Bryan was intercepted by Campbell’s Isaac Scott ... McElfresh’s two-touchdown game was the first of his career ... Fergerson’s touchdowns were the first of his career ... Upshaw’s touchdown run and Lamb’s touchdown pass were career firsts ... the attendance of 25,861 marked the 52nd time in its last 53 regular-season games that Appalachian State played in front of a crowd larger than the official seating capacity at Kidd Brewer Stadium (which is currently 23,150).

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